Thought Bubbles

How Do Horses See?

Recently I’ve had an interest in how animals see color. Like dogs, it turns out that horses aren’t colorblind either! And, they can actually see one more color than dogs do – green. Anything that falls on the red spectrum, horses see as an earthy color with a slight yellow and blue hue around it.

That bright red apple or the vibrant orange carrot you might give as a treat, will appear greenish or brownish to your horse. But, a granny smith apple will look just fine!

Since horses are animals of prey, “their vision plays an essential role in being able to see predators and take flight before they end up as dinner.” Their eyes are located on the sides of their heads. This means that they have almost 360-degree vision. Because of this, they can’t see directly in front or behind them.



In front of his face and directly behind him

Under his nose


Even though horses can’t as many colors as humans do, horses can see much better at night. It turns out that their eyes,“ have more of the structures that pick up light” which helps them see well in darker places. This is a bit of a surprise to me, because when it’s dark Oliver seems to become more spooked at things than in the daylight.

I haven’t found much info on this yet, but according to The Spruce, horses can see objects in more detail than many animals, and see distance better.

Nobody would want to see color like horses do, but would you want to see in other ways that horses can (ex their night vision or almost having 360° vision, …)? Also, if you had to choose between dog vision or horse vision which one would you choose?

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  1. natalie dente February 26, 2018

    Hi Anna, Yes I would probably like to see as well as a horse. However I would miss the colors they can”t see.I like the fact that their night vision is good .I have night blindness at times and do not like driving in the dark. This was a very interesting article , keep up the good work.. ps i would like seeing as a horse rather a dog. love Grandma Natalie

  2. Kurt March 4, 2018


    Very interesting. I think it actually makes sense that Oliver gets more spooked at night — he can see more that makes him nervous, whereas during the day he has other distractions (people, other horses) around that make the things he’s seeing less scary. Well, that’s my theory anyway.

    Of course, vision aside, I am sure he can smell things incredibly well — he sniffed out apples in my pocket today. Or maybe it’s his spidey sense.


  3. Donna March 4, 2018

    If I have to choose — I would rather see like a horse. Like grandma I have trouble seeing at night. Seeing like a horse would help. But — as dad says — that could make the night more spooky. Now I’m not so sure !

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