Environmental light is the most important factor affecting the physical and mental health of horses

2022-06-22 0 By

Did you know that ambient light is the most important clue to a horse’s physical and mental health?Like humans, horses need light, not just vision.Special cells behind the horses’ eyes respond to blue wavelengths of light.Since sunlight naturally contains a lot of blue light, this helps regulate the internal rhythms of the entire horse.This system, called the circadian system, controls the activity of almost every cell in the body, ensuring that the horse’s body clock is aligned with the daily cycle of light and dark.Body clock.An organism’s natural internal timing system, a biological mechanism that causes an organism’s body to automatically behave in a certain way at certain times of day.Its function is to keep the movements of the body in sync with the external environment.The body clock is influenced by a number of external factors, mainly light, but also feeding and movement.Circadian rhythms.Circadian rhythms, from the Latin words for “circa” and “dies,” are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, ensuring the body clock is aligned with the daily light and dark cycle.The function of these rhythms is to coordinate internal physiology and behavior, as well as the external environment, to support physical health, behavior patterns and other behaviors.Examples of circadian rhythms include sleep and wake patterns, eating habits, alertness, performance, heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure.Exposure to the wrong light at different times of the day can wreak havoc on an animal’s circadian system, causing it to stall.The consequences of disrupted circadian rhythms are well known in humans, including sleep disturbances, low alertness, impaired performance, immunosuppression, and higher incidence of disease.The key to good health is a strong internal rhythm, driven by constant exposure to biologically effective light.Illumination and light are especially important for horses in captivity.The equine industry has made amazing advances in nutritional science, veterinary medicine and training techniques, but it is only recently that the level or quality of light a horse receives each day, and the crucial and irreplaceable role it plays in ensuring optimal health, condition and behaviour, has not been noticed.