Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?

Jul 4 • Amazing Pets, Animal, Horse • 6569 Views • 1 Comment on Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?

Horse is one the fastest and top most liked pet among the Human. They usually love to run. But why don’t they lie down in relax time? What is the main reason for which they don’t lye down even while they are sleeping? Sleeping is the best pill to cure your body from pain, workload and stress. Even Animals need to sleep to relax their body from work load and peace. But Does not a horse need to be relax, stress fee, peace, and recovery from pain? Do horses sleep standing up? Lets explore this.

Scientific Reason:


Fight-or-Flight instinct

There is a scientific reason behind the horse’s standing sleep gesture. This act is a part of their survival. This may be a reason to be alert in the sleep time. Horse have the well developed fight-or-flight instinct. This instinct help them to defend themselves from attack. When the horses get attacked, they fight like other animals and they being herbivores, and more inclined to flight or run from their predators. The another reason is their body structure. They have the heavy and long bodies which cause them to sleep in the standing position. Horses are prey animals. Normally they don’t like to sleep on the ground. Due to the long and straight back, horses can’t get up quickly, if they lie down. During this time, if the predator attacks, then there is a small chance to survive from the attack. The horses have specialized legs, by which they lock their knees and fall asleep in a standing position without falling.



Biological Reason:

The body of Horse is biologically designed to sleep in a standing position. They have a “stay apparatus”. This is a system of tendons and ligaments that keep the horse in standing position, while the muscles of the horse are able to relax. The stay apparatus is always intact in their front legs. But in their hind legs, they have to rotate their hip and hook one bone over a knob of another bone to put the effect of stay apparatus. This stay apparatus helps to stand the horse for a long time as well as help them to stand comfortably.

When Do The Horse Lie Down:

As we know that horse does not lie down while sleeping as discussed earlier, but one question comes to our mind, Does they ever lie down in their life? If yes, then when? Is it at sleeping time or in day time. Let’s explore.

Horse Lie Down an Sunlight

Horse Lie Down an Sunlight

Sometimes, the horses lying down in the day time. This gives the chances to rest their body, muscles as well as legs. On different sunny days, you can see horses lie down on the ground and soaking the sunshine. In a group of horse, many of the horses lie down on the ground and other horses standing up, guarding the horses and keep eyes on the predators and intruders. depending on the age of horses, they need average 15-20 minutes a day, or 1 or 2 hours in every few days. They don’t need rapid eye moment (REM), which is the deeper period of rest. Rapid Eye Moment (REM) may cause their death because they need to alert in the rest time, while they lie down on the ground. Horses always wait to get their REM sleep until they feel safe. So that the domestic horses have more REM sleep than the wild ones.

This behavior of horse makes different senses for different people. Someone says that it is a curse for Horse to sleep in the standing position and someone says it is the boon for the horse to be alert. What is your opinion? Is it a boon for the horse or a curse? Please put your opinions in the comment box below.


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