Horse And Human Compared: Color Vision

We’ve all been there, horses that spook at certain fences and maybe even refuse to approach them. The fences themselves have become more colorful than ever and they literally come in all shapes and sizes. We as humans like a proper course with as many eye-catching fences as possible. But do our four-legged friends like them too? And how do they experience the abundance of color? Research, done by scientists Sarah Catherine Paul and Martin Stevens, has given us the answers! 

First of all, it is important to keep in mind that a human’s color vision differs from that of a horse. We as humans can see more colors than horses for example. A horse’s color vision goes from blue to yellow. Therefore, it is hard for them to distinguish between red, orange, and green.

‘How is the examination conducted?’, you may ask.

The scientists did all of these tests on horses who compete at steeplechases. Nevertheless, the principle also applies to all kinds of jumping courses.

During the steeplechase, fourteen horses needed to jump a few obstacles, all of which had different colored markings. Their jumps were then filmed and analyzed. The results were striking.

Depending on the color of the markings, the horses had different take-off and landing points lea el informe completo. This too can make or break a jump and cause a horse to touch a pole. Worst case scenario, the horse may even miscalculate which could mean bad news.

Be mindful 

Now that we know all of this, the next step is to be mindful of poles, fences, and courses in general. A white pole, for example, is fine when it lays on the ground or at least not on top of the fence. A white top bar can be hard to see for horses since it blends in with the background. This may cause trouble.

Long story short… That makes two important points of attention: color (and the intensity of it) and position. Oh… And a bit of mindfulness when it comes to our four-legged friends’ eyes.


Source: Applied Animal Behaviour Science