My friend referred me to a harness shop for some tack repair. While there I admired some great looking flags in the “bike flag” catagory. They had plenty of white reflective material on the edges and center of a lime green fabric with a red and white pole. He also had a flashing yellow strobe light on a pole for carriages. Must be an LED type bulb, small but very bright!
He is Amish and they had a terrible wreck just down the road last spring with people killed. He said they are all thinking of ways to be MUCH more visible driving their carriages. Country road speed limit is 55mph and most folks travel the speed limit in their cars.
I agreed with him about being visible in carriages and shared our use of face stripes in lime green, reflective material. I made these, they run between the browband and noseband. Visible at all times, head up or down. I had rejected striping on the breastcollars because the head might lower to cover it up. We do have lime reflective material on the neck yoke of the two vehicles we drive most.
He showed me some very tasteful reflective browbands he had made with the silvery reflective material. They looked like gently sparkly show browbands in daylight. I am sure they really lit up in headlights though! My thought was that lacking the green color, they just were not obvious enough to oncoming traffic. We have gotten a lot of comments on our green stripes from various people. They were a big hit at the National Drive in October, with folks asking where we got them or looking to make some for their horses. I believe the lime color is key to being seen from the front at road speeds. I plan to take a photo of our horses when I return to get our tack. Sometimes seeing is believing, rather than trying to explain why lime is perhaps a better choice than the grey/white in daylight hours.
Most of us have our reflective triangle in back with some reflectors on the carriage too. Maybe even the blinky bike lights. Have you considered adding side reflective devices on the horse and vehicle? Keep in mind that universally YELLOW markings are on the sides. Red shows the back corner and rear END of a vehicle to allow other drivers to know it has fully gone by them. Putting red reflectors in other locations could have them thinking you are completely past them, when you are not.
Granted most of us drive in daylight hours, think we ARE quite visible. But at car speeds they may not recognize our profile from the front or rear. I just think if we “help” car drivers see us better, that is good for all of us.
We people all wear the safety reflective vests when on the road. Orange when deer season starts, on thru winter. Then the lime green vests after snow is gone and in summer until deer season starts again. The lime green just does not show well against snow, so orange is better then.
We added our lime face stripes on the bridles, a bike flag sticking out to the left side and a good size yellow sign saying “Please pass wide and slow” off the rear step. We have noticed a definate slowing down by most drivers approaching and passing us. The sideways bike flag keeps cars AWAY from the carriage or risk scratching themselves in a hurry to pass before approaching car arrives! Flag sideways prevents us getting crowded over! I do have to take flag off before entering the barn, too wide for the door.
We drive on the roads because we have a small acreage, the arena gets very boring and we need to do distances to get horses fit, build their wind. We do TRY to get home before dusk, but sometimes it is getting dark early with a storm rolling in, should have turned around earlier. We need to be very visible at all times and if we look like an escaped “road work zone” when headlights hit our reflectors, so be it. Ha ha. I have followed husband home after meeting while coming home as dark comes. I think the reflectors are doing a good job, front and rear. Those funny bobbing lights on 17H horse heads, solid light bar on the neck yoke, gives pause to approaching drivers from a good distance, so they slow down.