It is believed that horses and other animals see things exactly as humans do.
We cannot know how horses perceive their surroundings because there is still no way to see everything with a horse's eyes.
But we can know that the structure and position of their eyes are different from ours. This makes horses have a different experience in determining distance, color, and vividness compared to human beings.
And sometimes, you may wonder the horses' vision ability. One of the most common questions here is: “Can horses see in the dark?”
Somehow, the answer is yes.
Horses vision ability
If you own horses, you can notice that their eyes are located on both sides of their head which brings them a broader view of their surroundings.
Horse's eyes are sensitive to weak light, so they can see better in the dark than humans can.
However, they seem not able to adjust to darkness quickly. It takes longer for them to adjust to changing light levels. Horses need about 10 to 15 minutes to get accustomed to different lighted environments. It is what they cannot do as well as humans.
This explains why some horses are frightened or anxious when being lead from a lighted area into a darker area. To avoid their anxiety, whenever you are going to change from a fairly dark to a lighted area (or vise versa), make sure that your horse has enough time to get accustomed to the new lighting.
Some riders feel dangerous when riding horses in the dark. However, some mounted horses are perfectly able to negotiate narrow roads and wooded areas after dusk.
Riding horses at a night lit by a partial moon or by many stars is safe because a normal horse can see as well as they do in full daylight.
A dense woods isn't also a suitable place for riding because of its extreme darkness, but your horse can navigate well enough in his familiar territory when you let him follow his own path.
So, after all, can horses see in the dark?
Just like humans, horses need a light source to determine objects. Therefore, they can see enough to graze if there are possible light sources around them.
The special thing that allows horses to see better than humans at night is their sensitivity to light, especially low light. The drawback of this sensitivity is that it will take much longer for horses to adjust different light levels.
Horses can see in the dark or not depends on some factors.
If the question is “can horses see at night?” well then the answer would be yes because we still have natural light at night. Horses only cannot see if we eliminate all possible light sources.