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Testing visual acuity at a distance?

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  • Testing visual acuity at a distance?

    Mr. Blondie (14-year-old QH) has recently started spooking at odd things - sometimes they're up close, but sometimes they're far enough away (maybe 40-60 meters) that I'm wondering if he has a problem seeing at a distance.

    The other day, we were ambling down the street and saw a black lump off the side of the road. As we approached, I could see that it was a person, dressed all in black and with a black hoodie, hood pulled up, sitting on a little scooter. We were probably 20-30 meters away when the person stood up - quietly, slowly - and Mr. Blondie spun away and would have left had I not stopped him.

    I'm projecting, I know, but it felt like he just couldn't tell what was out there.

    So... I know about testing for vision by doing the hand waving up close thing, but is there some kind of test for distance vision? Specifically, acuity?

    I'm guessing not, unless I can teach him to recognize letters
    Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
    "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

  • #2
    Gosh, I think even the most steady of horses might try to leave the scene if a black lump suddenly sprouted arms, legs, AND wheels! Especially if it's an area he's used to and no lumps had ever been there before.

    Was it good and sunny? The shadows in morning and afternoon are a lot longer and more noticeable in the spring and fall.

    I'm racking my brain trying to think how you'd figure out even a reasonably fair means of assessing a horse's "far" vision. Might not hurt to start with a general eye exam, though.
    Click here before you buy.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      The thing is, it wasn't sudden.

      The black lump was actually our friend Tatum, a young girl who knows horses and has ridden both my boys before.

      I could understand a reaction if she had bounced up suddenly, but she just sort of morphed into a girl.


      We had another spooking / backing up session today when we encountered a sign outside Lisa W-B's arena. Mind you, this sign was just like a number of other signs that have been sprouting up around the neighborhood - past which he has walked willingly, with the occasional cocked head and stink eye.

      Not today, baby! I was beginning to think I was going to have to get off & lead him past it when we finally managed to get by. There was maybe 4-5 feet of dirt between the sign & the asphalt, so we had to go past it instead of around it - no way was I risking a spook on the asphalt.

      Once we got past it, we walked back & forth past it several times, and he was even willing to investigate one of the white sandbags holding it down, and he sniffed the back of the sign - as I held my breath, praying that he didn't move it and scare himself


      I dunno... I guess if this persists (as in, it's not just due to the decreased temperatures after our long hot summer) I'll talk to my vet and see what he thinks.

      Or maybe I'll clicker-train him to pick up his left front foot when he sees an "E" and his right front foot when he sees an "O", and move the letters farther & farther away from him
      Attached Files
      Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
      "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

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      • #4
        But then he'd have to rear when he saw that sign . . . Has both an "E" and an "O"!
        Click here before you buy.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
          But then he'd have to rear when he saw that sign . . . Has both an "E" and an "O"!

          Good point!

          We certainly don't want that.

          Maybe go with Z and Q instead...
          Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
          "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

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