The Eyes Have It: Blue Eyes in Horses

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

You are looking at a horse you might purchase and you love every aspect of him… except his blue eyes! You remember the things that people from your barn said about horses with blue eyes. Do they feel weak in bright sunlight. Do they get more disease? Will the horse become blind before 10 years?

All these troubling questions can be answered easily. Horses have blue eyes that are as bright as those with brown eyes. Blue eyes are not weaker and develop disease less frequently than brown eyes. They are also no more likely to cease functioning than brown eyes. This color variation does not increase the risk of eye problems in horses with two or more blue eyes.

Blue Eyes in Horses

Some breeds of horses have more eye problems than others, but there is no correlation with their eyes color. There is a link between certain eye abnormalities and function in some Appaloosas, Rocky Mountain horses, Quarter horses, and others, especially those with HERDA.

Eye disease can occur in any horse regardless of their eye color. If your horse is squinting or showing signs like bleeding, discharge or swelling around the eyes, consult a veterinarian immediately. Sunburn can be an issue for horses with light-colored or white skin. Use a mask, a pet safe sunscreen, or a human-grade lip balm that has a high SPF rating.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!