How Horses See
The sense of sight is very important to horses. Like people, horses can see the same scene with both eyes at once; this is called binocular vision. However, the horse can also see separate pictures with each eye; called monocular vision. It is important to know how a horse sees in order to understand why a horse reacts the way it does.
A horse's eyes are set wide apart as compared with a human's eyes. This wide eye position allows the horse to see areas to each side of its body. This increased side vision helps to protect it from predators it can see danger coming from either side without turning its head.
To judge distances, a horse uses its binocular vision. However, the horse's binocular vision is not as good as its monocular vision. Some horses have better binocular vision than others because their eyes are set closer together. Other horses have to learn to develop their binocular vision through training. One example of this would be teaching a roping horse to follow cattle at the correct distance, teaching barrel horses to judge the distance to the barrel to make a nice smooth turn round it or teaching a jumper to properly approach and jump each fence.
Some Facts About a Horse's Vision
|A horse has a blind spot directly behind its hindquarters. |
|A horse can't see directly below its head. |
|A horse must lower its head to see faraway objects. |
|A horse must raise its head to see close objects. |
|If an object is closer than 4 feet, the horse can't see it with its binocular vision. |
|A grazing horse can see almost all the way around its body. |
|It takes time for a horse to adjust its eyesight to a dark stall, a dark trailer or a dark building.|
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