Binocular Set

In your efforts to become a good horseman, you need to know certain horse facts that will hasten your progress. Horses have the same senses we do, hearing, smell, taste, sight and touch. But, they operate differently than our own. Because the information they get from their senses dictate how horses interact with their environment, it is important to take the time to understand how they work and what to expect from our horses. Let us explore their senses and how they may differ from our own.

A horse can hear keener than we do and since he can move his ears about 180 degrees around, he can better isolate where a sound is coming from. That way, he will know which direction to run in, escaping from whatever he perceives endangers him! For us riders, horses can hear us speak quite well. This horse fact is important. We know we can speak quietly and they will hear us just fine. Horses are conducive to learning voice commands and they are always best received when delivered in a calm, soothing way.

Their sense of smell is also more acute than ours, but not as good as dogs. They can detect smells that we are oblivious to. This is an important horse fact. If you are out riding and your horse stops and acts alarmed even though you cannot see anything, he may be smelling another animal lurking nearby that you are unaware of. Pay attention to his behavior and trust him! Almost always, if you stop, watch and listen, you will eventually see what your horse has been smelling all along.

Like us, horses enjoy a variety of tastes including sweet and salty foods. Molasses and a good salt block will satisfy a horse! But, that is not enough to keep him healthy. It is up to us to provide healthy feed and roughage, all of which will be covered in another article. They can develop a distinct preference for sweets which is not good for them! Giving them sweet treats can create a bad habit of nipping, looking for that treat in your hand or in your pocket. We are all guilty of spoiling those we love, including our equine friends. But, I would encourage you not to do too much of this.

Horses have very sensitive skin and can feel a single fly light on their hair anywhere on their body! That makes it easier for us to train them because they are receptive to the side of our legs on their bellies and the feel of our hands through the reins attached to the bit in his mouth. In fact, sometimes, we must de-sensitize the horse so he does not over react to us as riders. That is why slight pressure from a rider is all that is usually needed to signal a command to a horse, whether that be legs or hands.

Probably the most important horse fact to understand regarding senses is about their sight. They have monocular vision, meaning they see different things out of each eye and only occasionally use binocular vision like we do, seeing the same thing out of both eyes. Their eyes are set out on the sides of their heads which allows them terrific peripheral vision. They have two blind spots, however: directly in front of their forehead and directly behind them. You will often see horses moving their head from side to side to increase their field of vision. They are going from monocular to binocular use of their eyes. Their color detection is poor and they do not have good depth perception. That is why a mud puddle in a tire track could appear to be a bottomless pit to them! They can also visually detect motion better than us. You will notice that on a windy day, horses seem to shy and jump around more. Part of it may be the wind on their skin but also, they see things moving that we do not notice. They are looking for scary things to run from and seem to be ready at any second to do just that! So, recognize that for what it is next time you are riding on a windy day and your horse is acting flighty!

In conclusion, once you understand these horse facts, how horses perceive the world through sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, you will be better able to predict their behavior. You will also better understand your horse and develop a true compassion for him as your friend and companion.

For more information on horse facts, go to http://www.HorseFactsGuide.com or http://www.HorsesEquestrian.com

Lisa B. Blackstone has been involved in the Arabian horse business all of her life. She operated a family owned Arabian horse breeding and training stable called Onyx Arabians for many years. She went back to law school in the early-90s and is now a practicing attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia area. She is an original founder of the Equine Section of the Georgia Bar.

Recently, Lisa launched two websites designed to teach the novice rider about horses and horsemanship. You can visit them at http://www.HorseAndRiderClub.com and http://www.AmericanHorseAssociation.com She continues to ride and to judge Arabian horse shows in the United States and abroad.

How do I find out how old a set of Jason Empire binoculars is?

I have a Jason Model 1113F with Mercury 10 x 50; Field 288ft@1000 yds. Fully coated optics (Jason Empire). How do I find out when it was made?

You might be hard pressed to find an answer to this question but here is a little background info for you.

The Jason binocular company was founded in 1947, the 10x50 was one of their most popular models featuring the instafocus, this feature made the binoculars automatically focus when looking through them.

The Jason brand was bought out by Bushnell in 1992 and was discontinued soon after they incorperated some Jason features into their own optics.

You could contact Bushnell and they may be able to help you or try an optics store they sometimes have good info also.

Good Luck.




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