What is Equine Iridology

By Ellen Collinson, Dip.Ir., M.G.N.I. Equine Iridologist & Herbalist

Iridology is a centuries old scientific study/analysis of patterns and structures in the iris. A fantastic  non invasive and painless method enabling a trained person to recognise root causes of temperament, behavioural, health or performance issues. In the present we can see inherited and congenital strengths and weaknesses, pathological changes to the fibres of the Iris; conditions and inherited weaknesses, site of over activity, irritation, inflammation, degeneration of tissues and organs and toxic accumulation. The likelihood of conditions / problems manifesting before they develop into more serious cases or diseases. Old injuries, scarring, accidents, traumas, which could trigger future problems can also be seen. The organs we commonly see affected are the liver and kidneys due to modern regime and feed. If the liver or kidneys are malfunctioning this hugely affects the function of the other organs and can lead to a huge scenario of issues like indigestion, loss of appetite, or eating well but not gaining weight,, not absorbing nutrients efficiently, diabetes, cholesterol problems, hormone imbalances affecting mares, stallions and breeding and also muscle efficiency / tying up, behavioural problems, mood swings, and many more variations and scenarios.

The iris is divided into certain areas, like the face of a clock. Genetic markings passed from parents to offspring give an overall blueprint of the constitution, and can point out weaknesses often several years before symptoms or discomfort become apparent. The iris is made up of connective tissue containing approximately 28,0000 nerve endings, all of which are connected to the brain, the brain receives continual information regarding the organs and then records this information in the iris markings. 

Many illnesses are simply symptoms of an organ malfunction, iridology can reveal the root cause of the illness so that the right treatment is easier and more effective. Professional iridologists agree that acute, sub-acute, chronic and degenerative conditions of the body are all reflected in the iris. 

Although iridology is a recognised tool of diagnosis on humans, it is not widely known or practised on horses. However, there was a man called Syd Mercer who lived in England and used to diagnose through the eye. He was taught by a veterinarian called Stephenson during the first world war, after the war Mercer helped a lot of horses to win races, including Barona to win two Scottish Nationals and Rheingold to win the Arc de Triomphe. 

Good eye

Conventional X-rays or blood tests, scopes and scans only show up a break/fracture, disease/virus; they will not show up an organ that is merely weak, under stress or malfunctioning.

Bad eye

Apart from discovering what is wrong with your horse or pony, Iridology can be of assistance in the buying and or training of high performance horses, i.e. racing or eventing or endurance riding, as you would be able to tell which horses had old injuries, or had inherited temperament issues or an inherited or genetic weakness. This information can not be detected by a conventional veterinary examination, which can only tell you if the horse is sound in wind, heart and limb, on the day.

For example, inherited kidney weakness is one of the main things that will show up clearly in the eye and horses who have this weakness are prone to tying up and also the “sore back” or “cold back” syndrome.

The digestive ring will indicate whether the system is toxic, acidic, extended or whether there are ulcers and will also show up parasitic problems. It has been demonstrated that there is a direct relationship between parts of the colon and a corresponding reflex area of the body: in other words if the nerve wreath is pointing to a particular area, i.e., the liver, it will indicate the first signs that the liver is starting to come under stress. Any horse showing a problem in the digestive ring will be prone to other complaints and be unable to do their job properly.

Read a couple of examples of testimonials

Four years ago when Faith my friend and Iridologist saved my life, I began researching Equine Iridology.  It was non existent in the states.  Since then there are at least checking 100 Equine Iridologist in the states, all on the other side of the Mississippi.  Most of them trained by a woman in California who created her own charts etc. and no where near the background and education you carry,  there are also many fly by night courses that have suddenly popped up.

I am sure there may be some starting to pop up, but as far as I know I am the only (almost) Equine Iridologist on the East Coast.  I have a great deal of Education in human anatomy and biology, but of course turning it to the Eques world.  My next step as well as continuing to study Iridology is to become certified or licensed as an Equine Compounding Herbalist, to continue studying Equine anatomy and physiology.  To eventually teach, to really teach.  I guess my long trip around the mountain to get to the point…with my being the only Equine Iridologist (almost) this side of the states, there is room and need for a truly and highly educated Ellen Collinson here.  I most certainly desire to be a continued student of Ellen Collinson, to in years to come to teach others to continue on the legacy you have started.  I have done my homework!  I have done the research.  This was my shot and chance, and I studied and researched for a long time.  Money was in very, very short supply, and I had to be careful.  You are the best in the world, and that is why I went with studying under you, the real deal.  The equine world needs you to continue on.  If I am really lucky, before I leave this world, I might reach to a tiny percentage of the level you have attained.  You are the Equine worlds Dr. Jensen.

Your the best, as I said I did my homework!  Not only that, but I can tell you are kind, and your first love is to help horses, and help their people help their horses.  Greed is not at the core of your heart, but love.

Veryl Williams

Bridget astonishes the dentist!!
Bridget Bersford Wright has come up trumps again, she went to see a dressage horse about 3 weeks ago and in her own words. “I told the owner several things including that he had a tooth problem on the right hand side”.

Two weeks later she rang me to say, “Do you remember telling me about the tooth problem? She then said that the dentist had been about 3 weeks previous to my visit, but the horse was being a bit funny to the bit. So she called the dentist back out again. The Dentist found that the horse had broken a tooth, on the right hand side, and that there was a pointy bit of tooth that was causing a problem. The dentist sorted it out. When the owner told the dentist what I had said, the dentist said, “How the hell can anyone tell the horse has a bad tooth just by looking in his eyes?” She took my number, but I haven’t heard from her yet!!

Bridget Beresford Wright
When Taylor Denness, 14 years old scored her first elementary win with 72.41% on her 6 year old 16.2 Negro gelding Amaro O.

“We discovered, thanks to Bridget Beresford Wright, who came an gave an Iridology assessment on ‘Timmy’ that he suffered from a sugar intolerance, so on Bridget’s advice about the ‘oat diet’ we have started to feed him straights. Today, for the first time at a show he had energy without being uncontrollable, now when he drops the contact I can use my legs without feeling he will explode”

Mary Henley-Smith
I was introduced to Iridology by one of Ellen’s trained and qualified Iridologists in 2008 when I was rehabilitating ex-racehorses and re-training them for another career in life. I was instantly fascinated by how much this subject could tell me about the horses in my care and knew that I immediately needed to find out more, I contacted Ellen Collinson and enrolled on the course. The course is very well structured and teaches you step by step how to understand what is there showing in the horses eye, and reveals how much you can find out about your horse in order to help to heal and rehabilitate the animal, and avoid future problems. It still amazes me now how incredibly consistent and accurate the information can be and it helps me every day with these horses in my job to prepare them mentally and physically for a different job in life. Due to my busy schedule it took me a year to finish the course. It was a great learning curve and it is now helping me to give these horses and others a much better chance at living a healthy and fulfilling career. Some go on to be dressage horses, some long distance/pleasure rides, some event horses and many just very pleasurable hacks but all leave here very healthy as a result of what I can discover through the Iridology and I often wonder where I would be if I had not had the privilege of being introduced to such a worth while and fascinating subject. It is totally non-intrusive and one of the best diagnostic tools I have ever discovered. It helps me every day to do my job here better.

Mary Henley-Smith BHSII & BHS.SM
Yard Manager at
Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre

Dear Ellen,
I feel I must email you with regard to your work on my mare Dolly. The mare had been put on the back burner for over a year due to injury and I must admit I was somewhat in denial of whether she ever would be any kind of a riding horse again, but fate brought you to me and after your findings by what appeared to me a very unusual way of diagnosis (iridology) and the fact that you prefered not to know the horses history I can honestly say for me was mind blowing, not only did you locate the sight of injury but also where a secondary condition was manifesting and was compounding the initial problem, you assured me that although the injury would never go there was actually no damage to the joint, which as you now know was my major concern. You as you may recall advised some osteopathic work on the secondary back condition and assured me that Dolly was in fact otherwise very well, This and this is where I thank you most, gave me the confidence to face the fact that Dolly would never be certifiably sound but that she could still make a perfectly good hack/fun horse. So just to let you know for your records the osteopath came and confirmed that the stifle joint was actually fine although would always be somewhat compromised by the actual injury. She also found and confirmed the secondary back condition that through her manipulations and my continued suppling excersises has given me back my riding horse and one that I am confident to push. So thanks again Ellen and I am happy to promote your work to anyone, especially to those of us that live in rural France and have little or no access to modern diagnostic tools short of travelling the hundreds of kilometres to the nearest horse hospital. All that information by looking in a horse’s eye, I for one am impressed.

Yours Karen Osborne
Fressanges 87160 Arnac La Poste