How do horses sleep: standing or lying?
It is believed that horses can do without sleep, and if they sleep, then only standing. Is it true?
Horses can doze while standing
Do horses sleep?
Naturally, horses sleep, like any other living thing. Unable to get enough sleep, the horse will begin to get nervous and hurt, and there’s not much good in it.
How many horses sleep? Scientists estimate that horses sleep about 4 hours a day, that is, much less than we do. Apparently, the myth is connected with this, that the horse is able to do without sleep. At the same time, horses sleep in “fits and starts”, dividing the sleep into parts for 20 to 30 minutes.
Since horses are animal victims that may be attacked at any time, they need to be vigilant all the time. After all, while a horse wakes up and rises from a lying position, a predator can attack, and a lying horse is completely defenseless. And before falling asleep, the horse must be sure that it is safe. The psychology of these animals has not changed over the past centuries, although cougars or wolves rarely walk around stables.
As a rule, mostly horses sleep early in the morning (at 2-4 a.m.) or prefer afternoon rest. They can fall asleep at another time, if they feel safe.
A horse can only get enough sleep if he has the opportunity to lie down
How do horses sleep: lying or standing?
There is a myth that horses sleep only while standing. This is not true.
Yes, the horse can rest while standing, as it has the unique ability to “snap” the elbow and knee ligaments and joints.And they can even doze while standing. But deep sleep is only possible in a supine position.
If the horse is uncomfortable in the stable or in the pasture, it loses the opportunity to get enough sleep. And this is a psychological and physical overload. You will also feel bad, not having the opportunity to sleep. With a lack of sleep, the horse becomes nervous, irritable and can become ill. Therefore, it is imperative to monitor both the psychological comfort of the horse (create a sense of security) and provide enough space for sleep. For example, if a horse sleeps in a stall, it should be large enough so that it can lie on its side and stretch its legs.
Horses need a dry, clean place to sleep. Therefore, if there is no shelter in the pasture, and the weather is rainy, they will also not be able to sleep.
In the herd, horses usually feel much calmer, therefore they often lie down not alone, but in the company of relatives. At the same time, someone necessarily remains "on guard", protecting the sleep of others.