Horses Eyes & Vision

Horses eyes and vision are a fascinating attribute. Here are some facts about the way horses see the world which might help you better understand these magnificent creatures.

Horses have the largest eyes of all land mammals. With their large eyes positioned on either side of their head they have the ability to see almost a full 360 degrees around them with only small blind spots directly in front of them and directly behind them.

Horses have the ability to use both monocular vision and binocular vision. They mostly use monocular vision which is when the eyes move separately with the ability to see and then process different things that are happening on either side of the body. They will also use binocular vision, both eyes working together, when looking straight ahead.

Horses also have excellent night vision. They have more rods in their eyes than humans and tapetum lucidum, which reflects light through the retina. However because of these factors their eyes can also take longer to adjust to sudden changes in light, like turning on the lights in a dark stable.

Horses are not colourblind they actually see colour in two wavelengths, unlike humans who can distinguish between three wavelengths. Horses don’t see colours as vividly as humans but will see things in shades of blue or greens however they are unable to distinguish red.

Keep these things in mind when working with horses to help you understand how they see the world.

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Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. Bec is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and also has a Bachelor in Applied Science Animal Studies with special interest in Wildlife and Recreational Animals. Her studies have been put to good use working in various animal industries including small and large animal veterinary clinics, horse studs and the family cattle property. Horses have played an important part in her life, living on a horse stud and caring for horses throughout breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, a cheeky cockatiel, chickens and many horses including a naughty little pony.