horses and mirrors?

riding_high

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2009
Messages
1,146
Location
somerset
Visit site
i know mirrors are good for horses (most of the time) to help them settle as it gives them the feeling they aren't alone.
my pony is besotted with the mirrors in the arena, he gives a little whinny before he enters and then has to go and stare in the mirror, he would spend all day licking it if he could. i dont' think it's doing him any good as he just wants the pony in the mirror.

but my question is how do horses see their reflection? do they see it like we do or as something else?
 

twobearsarthur

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 October 2008
Messages
1,069
Location
West Yorkshire
Visit site
I know only higher primates, dolphins, orcas elephants and magpies are known to recognise themselves in a mirror.
It's believed other animals see the reflection as another animal.
 

Greylegs

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 December 2011
Messages
3,213
Visit site
The indoor at my yard has wall to wall mirrors along the far wall. I think my boy really thinks it's another arena on the other side of the wall.
 

Cowpony

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2013
Messages
2,944
Visit site
My first mare used to prance about in front of the mirrors. I'm sure she thought it was a really attractive stallion and couldn't understand why he wouldn't come out to play!
 

riding_high

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2009
Messages
1,146
Location
somerset
Visit site
my boy thinks he's too handsome to do anything except stand and look pretty so really loves the mirrors. it's a battle to get him to move away as he just thinks they are amazing.
going by his reaction he must think it's another horse but then after months of it and this horse doesn't talk back to him etc you'd think he would realise it's only his reflection. is he being stupid (more than normal) or am i expecting too much? lol
 

LadyLuck1977

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 October 2010
Messages
181
Visit site
Mine has to have a look at herself every time we pass the mirrors. She really likes what she sees ears forward so I assume she knows it's her reflection as she doesn't like any other horse in her space
 

riding_high

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2009
Messages
1,146
Location
somerset
Visit site
Mine has to have a look at herself every time we pass the mirrors. She really likes what she sees ears forward so I assume she knows it's her reflection as she doesn't like any other horse in her space

mine is the same, he really hates other horses being near him, if in the school and a horse is behind him he gets very edgy but doesn't care about the "pony in the mirror"! this is why i'm very confused! lol
 

spike123

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 June 2006
Messages
2,585
Location
Kent
Visit site
my horse is still quite new to our new yard and has gone for his reflection in the mirrors a few times. Im hoping it's because he sees it as another horse and isn't into some kind of weird self harming
 

jojo5

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 May 2008
Messages
777
Visit site
Have to say that I recently moved to a yard which has a mirror in my boys box - a new thing for him. The very first time he went into the box he looked at his reflection for a couple of minutes, and i have never seen him interact with it in any way since.
 

riding_high

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 September 2009
Messages
1,146
Location
somerset
Visit site
i was contemplating getting one for his stable but i don't think i'd ever get him out of there! none of the other horses react like he does to the mirrors and everyone comments on his behaviour. very extreme but then he is a bit "special"!!! lol :D
 
Top