We can all tell much from horses’ eyes - horse owners often refer to an "honest eye" or "piggy eyes", and we can all see fear showing in a horse or pony's eye.
Equine Iridology takes this even further. Iridology, or iris analysis, is the study of the colour and fibre structure of the horse's iris. Many people believe that the eyes are the "windows to the soul" and that they reveal health issues and can be used as an indicator that a horse or pony will have a tendency to inherit certain health conditions.
Iridologists claim that every part of the body is mapped out, like a blueprint, on well defined areas of the iris and that analysing the structure, marks and discolourations of the eye can reveal the conditions of every organ and each part of the horse's body.
The eye is examined using a torch and magnifying glass. The iridologist looks for marks, spots and colours in the iris which may indicate a possible problem.
These health problems may be shown as over or under activity in a specific organ or area of the body rather than a specific disease. An example would be that an underactive pancreas could indicate diabetes or a tendancy towards diabetes.
This could be a useful tool in helping to diagnose or pinpoint the cause of discomfort in a horse - as a horse cannot communicate to us where or why it is feeling ill or appearing unwell.
Opinion of the benefits of equine iridology amongst vets is divided. Some are skeptical - others are happy to work alongside an equine iridologist at the horse owner's request.