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Time to Hit the Hay: The Science Behind Your Horse’s Sleep

Time to Hit the Hay: The Science Behind Your Horse’s Sleep

Do horses dream? Does laying down indicate better sleep? Do I need to turn the lights off in the barn so my horse can rest? Learn all about how your horse sleeps:

By Holly Covey, Horse Junkies United: “A horse’s physical body is large and he is a vulnerable animal to predators so nature made some things on the horse a little different for his survival. The most remarkable thing is the resting hind leg sling arrangement with the stifle that the horse can do. This has a purpose. It puts the hind leg in a cocked, ready-to-use position should a sudden emergency arise where the horse must kick an attacker, or run away from danger. When the horse rotates his hip (right, or left) in a standing position, he can put the hind leg in rest by using the ligaments that are arranged in a way that puts the leg at the top of the limb into a “sling”. Thus, he can stand on three legs and rest a fourth. He will relax his topline and his head will extend out from the neck, which lowers to allow comfortable breathing and the ears to be in line with both sides of the body, checking for anything moving near to the sensitive underparts, the flanks or elbows which are closest to vital organs. The lips will relax and sometimes the eyes will nearly close, or eyelids twitch while the lower lip hangs a bit limp. Yet, one sound or movement brings the head up, the eyes wide open and all four legs on the ground ready to dig in and take off.”

Read more here.

How Horses Sleep: practicalhorsemanmag.com/article/eqzzz629-11363

See Also

Power Naps: http://practicalhorsemanmag.com/article/eqpowernap1771

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