So how do horses actually sleep? Do they have a hammock in the stables? Or perhaps they check in to a hotel once or twice a week for bit of shut eye?î
These are all questions that many people wonder but never actually get around to finding out. Well today is your lucky day, as this article is all about horses and sleeping. Read on to discover more…
The first thing that you need to understand is that horses have completely different sleeping habits to us humans. While we like to get down at night for around 7 or 8 hours so we are refreshed for the following day, a horse usually has many short naps throughout the day to stay well rested.
Let’s start by looking at Foals. In the beginning they have many frequent naps throughout the day, and in most cases they enjoy lying down to get their sleep. Once they start to get older then they take less naps throughout the day, and even start to stay standing while taking a nap.
When a horse is mature then virtually all of their sleep occurs when they are in a standing position. In fact, lying down on the floor to go to sleep is actually very uncomfortable for a horse as it puts unnecessary pressure on their internal organs, although they will sometimes be tempted to give their legs a rest if they find somewhere that is super comfy.
Funnily enough, you will often hear a horse snoring while they are asleep, even when in a standing position. This means that if you are trying to get to sleep in earshot of the stables then you might need your ear plugs!
The average time a horse sleeps within in a 24 hour time frame is roughly around 3 to 4 hours. However, this is affected by many different things, such as the weather conditions, the age of the horse, their schedule, and whether they are male or female. Interestingly, the average sleeping session of a horse only lasts for a few minutes, which makes it very hard for humans to catch them napping.
So what about the sleeping position of a horse? As we mentioned earlier horses typically sleep standing up, and in order to do this successfully they have to carry their weight on the two forelegs but only on one of the hind legs.
This is because the other hind leg is relaxing, while the hoof is up on its toes. If you observe a horse closely while it is sleeping then you will notice the head and neck area start to droop down and the ears become very relaxed.
Hopefully, this article has given you some much needed information about how horses sleep. As you can see, they don’t need to be tucked in bed at night like us humans, and they certainly don’t need 8 hours of sleep a night.
Do you have any funny stories of your horse falling to sleep in a strange place? Or perhaps your horse snores so loud that it wakes up the neighbours? Let us know below…