Horses see differently

Field of vision
A horse‘s field of view is typical of a prey animal. The eyes are arranged laterally, thereby enabling almost a full all-round view without having to move the head. The largest part of the field of view is thereby covered by just one eye (two-dimensional vision). Its view tends to be towards the ground. Instinctively, horses want to see what is happening around them. With a clear view of its surroundings, the animal can recognise and assess potential threats. Unobstructed perception helps calm the animals. Even lighting without blinding the animals helps them perceive their environment.
Horse field of view graphic
Horse field of view
Human field of view graphic
Human field of view
Forward field of view graphic
Forward field of view
Colour perception
Different cones in the retina of the eye are responsible for colour perception. While humans have three different cone types, horses do not have the L cone for recognising red shades. Horses see in shades of yellow, green and blue. If you take this into account when designing lighting, you can help your horse to better perceive contrasts. The horse can then fully concentrate on other tasks.
Farbspektrum beim Menschen
Human colour spectrum
Farbspektrum beim Pferd
Horse colour spectrum
Farbwahrnehmung beim Menschen
Human colour perception
Farbwahrnehmung beim Pferd
Horse colour perception
Seeing in bright and dark environments
Horses have much better twilight vision than humans. However, the eye has to adjust to the respective lighting conditions. In the wild, the daylight does not just switch on and off. Sunrise and sunset are a smooth transition between light and dark, and vice versa. An abrupt change requires a period of familiarisation. When switching from light to dark in particular, horses initially see next to nothing. This short-term blindness leads to unnecessary discomfort for the horse. The time required to get used to the new light condition is longer for horses than it is for humans.