Years ago a real old nagsman (or nagswoman, it was so long ago that I can’t even remember who said it!) told me that horses are always naturally suspicious of pure white and pure black objects, since neither of those colours really occurs in nature, which is all about shades of colour. This is something I have seen proven many times since then.
XC Schooling last week at Little Downham, BE Trainer Tina Ure had us jumping her rather notorious “spooky white seat”, and, sure enough, it caused problems.
Black water trays are more spooky than blue ones, and newly black-creosoted fences look bigger than if they were brown, and tend to back the horses off more.
Draping a white bed-sheet over a fence at home can be very educational for young horses. Black tarpaulins are also useful for this… better to have the problem at home, and sort it, than wait until you encounter something similar at a competition.
It’s worth bearing in mind when walking and riding courses, never forget the extra spook-factor of something totally white or totally black!
If you haven’t found it yet, Shoestring Eventing’s extensive library of Course Pictures is here.