Stable mirrors are installed to help keep horses calm and to provide a feeling of companionship for these herd animals, who can become stressed if kept in isolation in a stable environment. During the winter months, it can be unavoidable to keep a horse in a stable so installing an acrylic mirror can help them feel as though they have company, which has a soothing effect on their health and mental state. Acrylic mirrors are lightweight, durable and provide the same reflective surface that glass mirrors offer without the hazard of risk of breakages and injuries.
What are stable mirrors?
Horses are herd animals and they crave companionship, so when a horse is kept isolated from others in a stable environment, it can affect their behaviour. Horse mirrors are installed to help maintain the horse’s health and mental wellbeing when they’re kept in isolation. There are several stress-related behaviours that horses can display when they’re lonely or bored, such as box walking where the horse constantly paces around the confined area and weaving, whereby the horse bobs its head and neck rhythmically in a restless manner.
Stable mirrors are an easy and cost-effective way to alleviate some of this behaviour and help to make the horse’s environment more soothing. When the horse sees its own reflection, it has a calming effect on them which can ease stress and boredom. It also gives the illusion of more space in the stable which can help to reduce the feelings of being trapped in a confined space.
Why is acrylic so beneficial for stable mirrors?
Acrylic is far more lightweight than glass mirrors so it’s easy to handle and has a softer surface than glass. While scratches may show up more easily than with glass, the mirror will remain highly reflective and the horse’s teeth won’t cause wear or chips to the surface. Light scratches can be easily polished out on acrylic, so it’s easy to maintain. Plastic mirrors are much safer than glass for animals, as they won’t shatter and are much more durable. Because acrylic is shatterproof, you can be safe in the knowledge that if the mirror does break, your horse won’t be in any great danger or prone to serious injury.
Another benefit of using acrylic mirrors over glass is that they provide the same clarity and reflective surface as glass, while being much more impact resistant. Where horses are prone to kicking or rearing, this is ideal. Acrylic mirrors have a higher refractive index than glass, so they allow more light to pass through which will open up the stable space and make it appear brighter. Horses can become distressed if they’re kept in stables with poor lighting, so adding an acrylic mirror can help to soothe and calm them.
All that’s needed is a bit of careful consideration of where to place the mirror – don’t take up an entire space with wall-to-wall mirrors as your horse will need to have the option to turn away from the mirror if it needs to, and don’t place it near the feeding station.
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