Tuesday, October 8, 2013

And The Ears Have It

I enjoy a good news article involving horses.  Better yet, I like research involving horses, but when I don't have enough time to dig up the long articles, I usually head out online to see what people dig up.

So tonight's light reading was How Horses' Ear Direction Affects Jumping on thehorse.com

I'll have to see if I can find the entire report, but it's something to think about.  I know often in training, it is desirable to have at least a split ear showing some attention to the rider i.e. in lunging.

But, it seems the arguement in this article is that horses need to focus on the jump.  But I don't necessarily buy that.  Horses have monocular vision so each eye sees independently with a blind spot in the front (and immediate back) of the horse.  They essentially can't see the jump right at it, so why the need for additional focus.  To focus on something close up, horses are like folks with bifocals: raising their head and looking down their nose.  I buy more into the theory that the ears are showing enthusiasm or heart.  Perhaps a flicked back ear shows a bit of hesitation.

To all who jump, what do you think about the article?


  1. Very interesting article. It's hard for me to focus on ears alone, but some horses seem to have "radar" and when they are going around a course. To me, they almost seem to lock onto a jump, and I really notice that with their ears: straight forward... almost straining forward!

  2. The ears are a tell tale sign for what Ramone is going to do. I can instantly tell what he's focused on and going to spook at lol.


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