Horse Senses and Their Natural Behaviour



Courtesy of Persian Equine


1.  Sight – The Visual Sense.

More than any other sense , the vision is the horse’s primary danger sensor.
They see most things in shades of black and white and pastels. For that reason , black and white are the most visible colors to the horse.
Horses also lack our power of adaptation.

Horse do not have our power of depth perception. Their eyes are set  on the sides of their heads, enabling them to better see predators sneaking up on them.  Many prey species have this type of lateral vision.
Horses have two blind spots; one right in the front under the nose and one right at the back behind the tail , the eyes on each side of the head gives them the power to see all around them. For this reason horses stand head to tail in the herd so they could detect danger everywhere.

Each eye sends a different message to the brain.

Horses see things at a Far distance much better than Near.
“I don’t want to make this too long – there is much more to be said about The Vision.”
2. Touch – The Tactile Sense.

This sense is very important for us to appreciate.

Only in our fingertips humans have this kind of sense; but the Horse’s entire body has that sense. “It is how they feel a fly on their body and move that spot to remove the fly from their body.”
Now can you imagine how they feel when we Pat them or Whip them. Horses don’t Pat each other – they Nibble one another.
“There is much to be said, but I am making this short.”

3.  Hearing – The Auditory Sense.

The hearing of the horse is much keener than ours, assisted by movable ears.

A horse can move one ear to hear the back and one ear to hear the front , we don’t have that ability .

They capture sound from every direction and “Wind plays a big role for letting them hear far distance noise”.
“There is much more to be said but i am making it short.”

4.  Taste – The Gustatory Sense.

What we have to do is watch horses graze in the pasture of mixed grasses to see how deftly they can select the more palatable species and reject those which are less palatable .
Horse’s fondness for dry hay, wooden fences, bedding and lead ropes show the Horse has an undiscriminating sense of taste.
The dry food is also good for the Teeth, especially when they get old it rasps their back teeth .
“There is much more to be said but i am making it short.”

5.  Smell – The Olfactory Sense.

The horse’s sense of smell, like the dog’s, is so superior to ours and we never could identify with it.
Sound waves and odors carried by the air (Wind), barrage the horse’s mind.They often convey to the horse a message of danger.
Humans don’t understand why horse react to everything unusually in windy days … they become more SPOOKY and very Sensitive  in windy conditions.
So don’t get them wrong in a windy situation; especially when they are young because horses often show alarm for no reason and that is our interpretation, and our interpretation about their senses are always wrong because we normally judge them with our own senses.
“There is much more to be said but i am making it short.”

6.  The Six Sense.

I will talk about this at a later time – Especially
A. Why horses have a good sense of coming home.
B.  How information transfers to their brain by their HOOVES.



1- Horse is a flight animal not a fight animal.
2- Hoses need to see everything from the both sides (from each eye).
3- Horses have emotions.
4- Praise is the real reward for horses.
5- For learning something there must be peace in horses mind.
6- Horses do not see food the way that predators do.
7- Horses communicate with their body language.
8- For teaching something to a horse just show them a few times they will learn quick.
9- The horse eye works like a binocular.
10- Horses are very delicate to touch.
11- Horse is a mimic animal but mostly from their own.
12- Horses see color –  White , Red (mostly like brown) , Green , Yellow
13- Horses have excellent night vision and can learn at night time just like day time.
14- Horses have good sense of coming home (finding home at night and day).
15- Horses can feel (from the hoof to the brain) the holes in the ground when they are running they do this by the middle ear the same way that they could discern an impending earthquake.
16- Horses have great memories.
17- Horses have habits.
18- Horses are excellent in reading minds.
19- Horses respond to pressure.  In other words – they come towards the pressure.  For example, if you press your hand into the left side of the horse’s body, the horse moves to that pressure, not away from that pressure.
20- Horses are very good for responding to Imprint Training at Birth.

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