So why do some racehorses wear blinkers over their eyes?

“Because if they look right and left they are not doing their job, says Pierre Vercruysse, trainer and driver.

But it is also to reassure them”.

Indeed, in nature, "the horse is prey and therefore has a particular vision", recalls Sylvia Masson, veterinarian and specialist in medicine of the behavior of pets.

Unlike humans, who see 180 degrees, the horse "can scan more than 270 degrees, but with 3D vision only about 70 degrees, because its eyes are located on the sides of its head."

We then speak of monocular (left and right with one eye) and binocular (front with both eyes) fields.

No, the horse does not see in black and white

The perception of colors is also a little different.

Thus, the French Institute for Horses and Riding (IFCE), recalls that equines have dichromate vision;

"that is to say a palette ranging from blue to yellow […] but do not distinguish red or green (which appear gray to them)".

Thus, they are more easily surprised by yellow, white or blue colors than by green, red or brown.

“White is a color they are very receptive to.

They see it very well.

In show jumping, for example, there are precisely white bars”, illustrates Pierre Vercruysse.

The elongated shape of the pupil of equines (while ours is round), “also allows them to see far in the dark.

They are more comfortable in the dark than us”, notes Sylvia Masson.

Yes, some horses have fragile eyes

The veterinarian recalls that "these visual abilities are essential for horses to survive", but that they are paradoxically able to adapt much more easily than humans to loss of sight: "I know a woman who goes for a ride with his blind horse.

He stumbles a little, but he never falls,” notes the animal behavior specialist.

Common point with humans this time, all horses are not equal in terms of ocular fragility.

“The horse is used to living in nature and therefore suffers less than us from projections.

Only, some racehorses are more sensitive to it than others, so we put a mask on them with a mesh to protect their eyes, ”explains the trainer.

And for those wondering how to approach a horse without scaring or surprising it, Sylvia Masson has the answer: “You don't approach a horse like a human.

We go there quite slowly, announcing ourselves and we avoid arriving from the front but rather from the side, specifies the specialist.

The fact that we are standing and raising our arms may seem threatening to them, but not our height.

Forget the received idea according to which the horse sees us bigger than we are and that it is for this reason that we have succeeded in domesticating it.

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