How do Horses Sleep!
For those recently initiated to horse riding or the “equestrian way” may wonder how these large quadrupeds manage any sleep. My dog Marty has a distinct predilection to sleep whenever he can though he is very particular about his afternoon siesta, the most important part of his day. Horses on the other hand, rarely have such a luxury. If they catch 2-3 hours of sleep, it’s been a good day. However, they do nod off during the day say for 10 minutes at a time and maybe longer in the summer heat of Delhi which makes them drowsier in the afternoons.
How do Horses Sleep?
Horses do like to lie if they can find a comfortable place. Lying down puts a lot of pressure on their internal organs and the stable hands are always wary of a horse who has been lying down for some period. For their comfort we setup their “bedding” with a lot of dry hay laid over thick rubber mats to cushion and ease them into a lying position. The naughtier ones multitask and eat while they prep for sleep only for the stable hands to discover that the bedding has vanished into the horse’s tummy by the morning.
This is sometimes of concern as the coarse hay can cause a stomach-ache for the horse – referred to as colic. You may at times also find horses with their eyes closed and one leg raised in the air. That’s a power nap while resting one leg at a time. We have caught some of the warmest moments between our stabled horses when they are asleep, with their heads bumped together.
Do take a round of your stables when you get the chance to spot a “sleepy joe”.
Till next time...Happy Riding!