This week's blog post comments generated an excellent question
about how horses sleep.
The question was : if the horses are out in the pasture all night long,
how do they get their sleep?
When it comes to animals and their sleeping habits,
most of us think in terms of our dogs and cats...
who tend to sleep more than they are awake.
Dogs and cats... at least mine... sleep all night long,
and take lots of naps during the day as well.
So it is with predators.
And, as dogs and cats are considered predators,
their sleep habits are right in line with their kind.
Horses, on the other hand (prey... not predators), grazers,
sleep only about 3 hours, on average, each 24 hour period.
They have the innate ability to sleep standing up.
They lock their legs, close their eyes, and grab a nap in this manner
when there is nothing better to do.
At some point, during their day/night, they also lay down...
stretched out on their side and sleep for a very short period of time.
Generally they will do this only when they feel safe.
If the herd sleeps at the same time,
at least one of the herd will remain awake to stand guard over the others.
It is only during this period of sleeping on the ground that
a horse enters...