All horses sleep laying down?

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2 years 6 months ago #549524 by Hestia
During x-mas I did end up in a discussion as to if horses always sleep laying down or.

I said that I once had a horse that I only saw lay down once and that was when it had colic and I had to call vet.
This horse did lay down and roll around sometimes but I never saw it just lay down and sleep.
I then gotthe question if I was awake all around the day.
I was out in the paddocks both early and late. Specifically when it was lambing season and neighbours 500 cows where in calfing season. But never saw this horse lay down. Once in a big storm I tried to lead the horse indoor,,but he had parked his bum towards the wind and was standing upp deep asleep.
Someone told me that if this horse never layed down it must have been sick and have bad legs..
(it was like I was told my horse was not well looked after and needed to be taken away)
Even though I told it used to roll and get up.

My question to you horse people,,does all your horses go down and sleep??
Horses that are out all around the year do they lay down every day and sleep?
( I have when I was kid spent my days in stables were horses are indoor all around the year and they are tied up in narrow boxes and >I seldom saw any horse lay down even though I was as early as 5 AM in the stable.

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2 years 6 months ago #549525 by muri
Replied by muri on topic All horses sleep laying down?
Horses can sleep either standing up or lying down. They are able to lock their knee joints so they can stand up while sleeping without collapsing.
I would imagine stabled horses would lie down less than those in paddocks or in feral conditions as most of their needs are being met whereas horses in the wild without rugs and covers will often lie down on the ground for warmth in cold weather, protection from wind etc

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2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #549530 by Stikkibeek
All the horses I have owned would doze standing up, but sleep lying down. Dozing they often would relax one or other of the back legs and drop a hip on the side they were resting. Lying down they usually stay in sitting position with head tucked around resting on shoulder/rib cage I've even heard them snore in this position. They also for a time will lie flat out just the way foals will do when they are still on mothers. They always slept lying down in the loose box. That was the purpose of putting deep straw in the box, or shavings.
Not unlike humans sleeping in their easy chairs in front of the TV, or actually going to bed!

I have to ask. "Do whales sleep in a waterbed, or on the sea bed! :silly: :silly:

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
Last edit: 2 years 6 months ago by Stikkibeek.

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2 years 6 months ago #549532 by charlotte1
I believe horses are most likely to sleep laying down when they are in a group/herd living arrangement. One will "guard" as the others/some sleep. This harks back to when they had to be aware of preditors, also this is why I believe why they have the locking mechanism in their knees that allows them to sleep standing ready to run from danger.

I have 2 ponies and they normally lay down one at a time, most often the elder of the two.

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2 years 6 months ago #549533 by Hestia
My old quarter horse was always standing up.
Some people told me that this was because he was scared of laying down or had so bad legs so he wouldn't be able to get up again.

But he did go down and roll and get up with no problems.
Remember one day when I got out in the paddock with the dogs and they did run around and play and horsie stood there taking a nap. One of the dogs did run under him and the horse did not even care :)

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2 years 5 months ago #549535 by Hawkspur
I read up about horses sleeping a while ago, and found that they need 3 hours of sleep a day, most of which can be on their feet with legs locked, but for good health, they also need half an hour a day of lying down sleep, which they will only take while some other herd member is standing guard.

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