Equine vision by Judy Brodland, The Draft Horse Journal, Autumn 2023

Eye of the Beholder

by Judy Brodland

Your horse can't see the color red, but he definitely has the upper hoof when it comes to seeing in low light.

"Though horses have a lower visual acuity than humans, the fact that they’re a prey species is what makes them flighty–it isn’t because of their eyesight. From personal experience, we all know that windy days are more challenging when working our horses. It becomes easier to understand when you look at his ocular design; his enormous eyes are situated on either side of his head giving him considerable advantage by allowing a wide, circular view–one that enables him to readily detect stalking predators, especially those coming up from behind. Understandably, that has served him well in terms of survival. That wide, circular vision is panoramic, and is referred to as monocular (meaning one); they can take in their surroundings on both sides with either eye. And get this: the left eye works independently of the right eye, with each eye surveying different surroundings at an arc of about 200–210 ̊ around his body."

To read more about equine vision purchase the Autumn 2023 issue!


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