Horse vision is monocular. They have eyes set on the side of their head and mostly see two of each image.
Why do you need to know this if you are a beginner rider?
Because they have blind spots in front of their nose as well as near their tail.
The two images they see separately come together right right in front of their nose. As they get closer to an object, the image then disappears, creating a “blind spot” where they can’t see you.
Seeing this way helps them locate danger because they have great peripheral (side) vision compared to humans. They can spot the lion that might want to attack them more easily. This helps them survive in the wild.
Horses also lose vision at the rear near their tail where their peripheral vision ends.
That means in these areas he is most likely not going to see you if you appear suddenly. While most of the time they don’t intentionally bite or kick to hurt someone, they can react when startled.
He may wake up quickly and not be able to see you in his field of vision. Because of his instinct you could have just found yourself on the receiving end of a horse kick, bite or strike.
If he’s dozing your talking should wake him up. Approaching like this at the shoulder is best because you will be out of range of his front legs and be in a less likely spot to get hurt.
I hope you enjoyed learning about horse vision and how you can enjoy your time around horses while being safe.
You may also like the following: Click and enjoy!