As a horse lover fascinated by all the preconceptions and false information horse people pass on from one person to the next, I thought it would be fun to look into whether horses are colour blind or not.
Are horses colour blind?
To answer the question, I sifted through these articles and studies and came out with a definitive conclusion.
- The Equine Color Vision Debate by Joanne Meszoly published by Equus Magazine
- Color vision in horses: Do horses see color? by Jenny Chandler and Associate Professor Mary Foster, of Waikato University
- Equine Vision on Wikipedia
- Vision in horses: More than meets the eye by Neil Clarkson
Horses have dichromatic vision, two-colour vision. So they probably see the world similarly to people who suffer from red-green colour blindness. It means they see degrees of blue, yellow, and green, but likely do not see red very well.
Throughout the internet, horse owners have written anecdotes about how their horses react strongly to specific colours. It’s interesting to note that not one specific colour stands out, sometimes orange, yellow, or red.