Knowing how a horse’s senses work—and how they’re different from human senses— will help you nderstand how
the horse perceives his reality. A horse’s
senses are keener than a human’s. They
take in every bit of information possible
from their environment with their eyes,
ears, noses, tactile senses and even taste.
/ Quick Decisions /
Horses rely on all their senses to make
decisions in a flash. Their keen senses
help them know whether they are
safe or need to run.
Horses have more peripheral
vision than humans do, and they are
keyed in to sense small changes in
their environments. They can smell
a change in the air and smell when
dinner is coming. Their sense of taste
helps them know what is safe.
What your horse senses from the
environment will tell him how he
should behave. Should he be calm
because all is going as usual? Or on
guard because the bushes moved or
there is a new smell or taste? Is he
agitated because a blanket doesn’t fit
right or his new tack feels different?
Sense BY JULIE GOODNIGHT WITH HEIDI NYLAND MELOCCO
Find out how
your horse’s five
senses relate to the
behavior you see.