Blinky has been testing out the new eQuick eVysor for a few weeks and we have now used this latest eye protection product for various activities. So far Blinky has tested this visor…
- Out hacking
- Schooling at home on the flat and jumping
- On the gallops
- Show jumping on grass
- Cross country
- In dry and wet weather
The Design and Fit
The eVysor is fitted to the horse’s face with two wide elasticated straps, one over the top of the horse’s head behind the ears and the other under the jaw just in front of the cheek. The wide straps create a secure fit that appears comfortable for the horse and both straps are adjustable enough to fit most horse’s.
The googles themselves appear to be sturdy but have a slight flex, which makes the visor fit the shape of your horse’s head better. The edge of the visor that sits against the horse’s head is lined with layered foam which is soft enough on the horse’s face but not slippery to avoid too much movement. Blinky’s head measurements are between cob and full size and he has quite fine thoroughbred features. When fitting the eVysor to his face there are a few gaps so it’s not a snug fit but these gaps do allow better air flow to prevent the mask misting up or his eyes getting overly sweaty on warmer days. At first, I wondered if this would mean the visor would move around, but after testing the visor doing various activities this didn’t appear to hinder Blinky or the stability of the visor.
We have chosen the transparent lenses eVysor, these are very transparent due to the material that has been used. This is I think is a benefit to Blinky and any horse that may have vision issues as it does give them an almost glasses like transparency to see as much as possible. I am keen to try the tinted lenses in the future as it is nice when hacking or doing flat work in the bright sun to offer Blinky a little more protection, but I much prefer jumping in a transparent mask. I do make sure to keep the lenses clean with a mirco-fibre cloth before and after use just to preserve them as much as possible. You do also get a bag and case with the eVysor to keep the lenses protected when not in use, I have been putting the visor back it its bag after every use as I do think the lenses may scratch quite easily so I don’t just throw them in with the tack when travelling.
The overall design of this product appears to be well thought out and if the use of a visor on your horse makes you feel a bit self-conscious these googles look quite slick and stylish. The only part of the design I am unsure of is if it creates a blind spot in the horse’s downward vision, its pretty hard to tell on Blinky as he has always had a spooky character and often thinks a gremlin is hiding under a pole on the ground!
On the Flat
Blinky and I have tried the eVysor on the flat schooling at home, schooling on grass, hacking and on the gallops. On all occasions the visor appears to be very stable in walk, trot, canter and at a gallop. You will see some slo-mo of the visor on the flat in the video and can see how little movement there is. Even with some gaps between the foam fitting and Blinky’s face the visor does connect to the key bone structures of the face which is what I think keeps it so secure.
The first time I used the eVysor on Blinky it was a blustery day and all the horses were fresh with the first bit of spring grass coming through. Blinky was feeling particularly well at the time after coming to the end of a uveitis flare and when trotting over a pole he decided to put in his annual bucking bronco moment. These moments usually only happen once a year, as they do take a lot of effort on Blinky’s part, and only last for a few seconds. However, on this occasion he still managed to ping me straight out the saddle and when he had finished he was most confused that he was on his own without a jockey. But I have to say his eVysor had not budged and was still sitting perfectly central over his eyes. Blinky obviously takes his product testing very seriously and was just putting the eVysor through its paces.
Now this was always going to be the real test of any visor. Blinky’s Equivizor’s have always been very reliable when jumping and have been an essential part of his wardrobe since his ERU diagnosis. So the eVysor already had some large shoes to fill, and it had no problem in doing so. Me and Blinky have jumped at home in our school, around a course on grass and been cross country through water and up/down steps. We obviously aren’t jumping around Badminton or down the Hickstead bank but the eVysor has proved to be very suitable for jumping for us.
There are a couple of features that I prefer compared to the Equivizor. Where the eVysor has better ventilation, the visor does not steam up in the same way as the Equivizor when the horse is creating a bit more heat/sweat from jumping and galloping cross country. Its also slightly more transparent or clearer for the horse to see through compared to a slightly worn Equivizor. It will be interesting to see in time how well the eVysor lenses weather with use. Unfortunately, Blinky can’t really tell me if he finds the clearer lenses better but I feel he is slightly more confident in the eVysor, which of course may vary from horse to horse.
Wet Weather Conditions
One evening when working in the school and using the eVysor the heavens opened and Blinky worked for a good 20 minutes in the rain. Wearing a visor in the rain has never been ideal for Blinky, naturally his body heat reacts with the cold rain and his Equivisor would usually steam up fairly quickly. The eVysor only started to steam up once we had finished our session and Blinky had stood still for a few minutes, all the time we were working and moving the eVysor stayed 95% clear.
All in all, I have been very impressed with this new design of visor and would recommend it to others. I still use the Equivizor and swap between the different designs depending on what Blinky is doing, this also means that he wears visors that sit in slightly different places on his face so prevents rubbing on the same areas every day. The Equvizor also has the advantage of being secure and safe to leave on unattended, where as the eVysor is designed purely for riding/exercise. The eVysor is definitely my preferred visor for jumping.