How Do Horses Sleep – Can They Sleep?

You may have heard that horses only sleep standing up and think when you see a horse down that there is something wrong with it, so how do horses sleep? Is it really true that they only sleep standing up?


Do Horses Sleep Standing Up

Horses are pretty amazing for many reasons. One reason is their ability to sleep standing up. This is something that the horse evolved doing since it is a prey animal.

How Do Horses Sleep Standing Up

Horses have a unique body system called the stay apparatus, which allows them to sleep standing up. The stay apparatus is a sort of hammock of multiple ligaments and tendons that allows the horse to lock his legs.

Where Horses Prefer To Sleep

In the wild, a horse will choose a sheltered area to sleep. This offers some form of extra protection from predators. They will position themselves so that their haunches face into the oncoming wind or rain.

Sometimes very relaxed horses in adjoining paddocks will all lay down to sleep at the same time. This is slightly unusual, but a nice sign as well. These horses are clearly comfortable in their surroundings and safe to do this without a lookout.


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