The horse eye

Das Auge von Pferd Inka

Your horse sees the world differently than you do. You have probably experienced the following situation. This or something similar:

You are out riding with your horse. On the way out, the newly painted bench doesn't matter to your horse, but on the way back, that very bench seems to turn into a horse-eating monster. The hooves are rammed into the ground, the nostrils are blown, the head is pulled up and riding on is out of the question for the time being.
Or you are at a show with your horse. To get to the warm-up area, you have to pass all kinds of things. There are other horses nervously rumbling around in the trailer. Tractors that are needed to pull the floors. Nervous people running around frantically. Your horse already knows this and stays cool. When you ride off, everything goes according to plan and you're ready for the test. Full of confidence you start riding your task or jumping your course. Everything is going great. But suddenly your horse sees a ray of light or a small shadow on the ground. In an instant, your favorite's concentration is gone. And now you can't even manage to ride sensibly into the corner.
We could describe thousands of such examples. In fact, sometimes you don't understand what is going on in the horses' minds.

It wouldn't be hard to see if you could just see through the eyes of this sensitive animal. Horses are flight animals and that's exactly what their eyes are designed for. They recognize dangers much earlier than we humans do. Especially movements! Even from a very long distance. In the wild, this is exactly what is important for survival, because it could ultimately be a predator.

All around view of the horse

The eyes of a horse sit on the side of the head and are not directed forward like those of us humans. Thus, your horse has a much larger angle of vision. This is almost 180 degrees per eye and thus almost allows a panoramic view. But the interesting thing is that the center of gravity of the angle of vision is at the bottom. Thus, it can detect dangers lying on the ground early. In case of escape, this is very important in order not to possibly stumble. Now it is also easier to understand that things lying on the ground are more quickly perceived as danger. Even if it is only a shadow.
Zeichnung Sichtfeld Pferd

Restricted field of view

Your horse cannot see only two areas, i.e. two blind spots. These are the area directly in front of the nose and the area of the tail. That is why it is very important to address your horse when you approach him from behind. Otherwise, it could get spooked and step out. Horses see monocularly. This means they see with one eye. The right eye sees the world from the right side and the left eye sees the world from the left side. So they see in two dimensions. There is only one area where the horse can see in three dimensions (60 degrees). In front of the horse, the field of vision of the right eye overlaps with that of the left eye. It is different with us humans. We see binocularly. Our fields of vision overlap.

When can a horse see sharply

Only when your horse turns its head in the direction of an object, it can focus on it or see it sharply. Now it has the possibility to see binocularly, i.e. with both eyes. However, the lens of a horse's eye does not work as finely as that of a human's eye. This means that your horse will never be able to see as sharply as you do. Objects more than 10 meters away will only be perceived blurred.

Linking eye and brain

The right eye is linked with the left hemisphere of the brain and the left eye with the right hemisphere. Unfortunately, sometimes the linkage is not working. This explains why the "newly painted bench" can play a greater role on the way home than on the way there.
Das Auge unseres Fohlens

How colorful is the world of your horse

Unfortunately, your horse's world is not nearly as beautifully colorful as it is for you. We humans have three types of cones in our eyes. The red, the green and the blue. Your horse has only two. He lacks the red. Thus it cannot recognize the color red at all. Blue and yellow, on the other hand, are recognized very well. All in all, your favorite's world is a little grayer.

In the dark

Unlike you, your horse has no problems seeing in the dark. It does need a moment to adjust, but after that it works very well because it has a kind of residual light amplifier in its eye. This reflective layer on the retina (tapetum lucidum) not only reflects light that has already passed the retina, but throws it back again. You know this from cats and other nocturnal animals.

If you learn to understand how your horse sees the world, you will have the opportunity to react to problems in a better and fairer way. Frustration, which often leads to unfair actions, can be eliminated in this way.

3 comments

Hi,
wollte fragen ob Pferde mit einem oder zwei Blauen Augen nochmal anders sehen?
Interessiert mich nur dar meiner zwei Blaue Augen hat ( ;
LG

Zoe March 30, 2021

Wow, sehr interessant. Jetzt habe ich viel dazugelernt.💓😍🥰

Chiara January 07, 2021

Ein sehr interessanter Artikel❤️ Darüber hatte ich mich noch nie informiert und weiß jetzt aber Bescheid. Danke ihr seit die besten😘🥰

Annika Glatzer January 06, 2021

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