Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Equine Vision: Impact on Trail Behavior (Book Excerpt)

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Les Sellnow
April 02 2010, Article # 16100

It's all in the eye of the beholder. That cliché has been around for years, but when we consider it in light of the human eye compared to the equine eye, the saying takes on a whole different meaning.

Humans and horses literally see things differently, and this difference can sometimes lead to problems on the trail. No doubt you've ridden on windy days when suddenly your horse became agitated and excited. A piece of paper flew across the road or trail and your horse jumped or stopped dead in its tracks. This might well be the same horse you rode on this trail yesterday without a hint of skittishness.

Why the sudden change in behavior? Because of the way your horse sees. Once you learn how the equine eye functions, you'll better understand your horse's actions. And you'll have insight managing your trail horse when it becomes skittish for no apparent reason. Let's consider the windy day-flying paper scenario. You didn't give a second thought to that piece of paper skittering across the trail. Your horse, though, saw a strange, out-of-focus object moving across its path. The inability of your horse's eye to send a clear message to the brain brought on apprehension and fear.

More at http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=16100

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