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Horse Rehabilitation Tips

Little is known about equine sleep patterns, but they appear to take several forms. About The Author. Related Posts. Dead space. Search Search for:. Weekly Poll:. How often do you wear a helmet while riding your horse? All or most of the time. When required by a trainer, event, or facility. I do not wear a helmet when I ride.

Sleeping Horses - saddleupcolorado

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If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're okay with this. Here, she and two other equine-behavior experts will share their insights--so read on to learn your horse's sleep secrets To Sleep, Perchance to Flee Not every horse falls asleep waiting around at a show, but all horses can sleep standing up. Your horse has a sort of internal hammock-a system of tendons and ligaments called the stay apparatus. This system lets him lock his legs in position so unlike you he can relax his muscles and doze off without keeling over.

Even when he's not sleeping, he uses the stay apparatus to rest muscles and reduce fatigue. Being able to sleep standing up is a great advantage for a prey animal.

Sleep Patterns in Horses

If a mountain lion comes creeping through the underbrush, the horse can be off and running without wasting precious seconds struggling to his feet. Horses plan for a quick getaway in choosing resting places, too. Out in the open, they go for sheltered areas but position themselves to get out fast--butts to the windbreak, heads pointing toward a likely escape route.

The importance of deep sleep

In many cases, even horses in box stalls rest standing toward the back of the stall, facing the door. Down Time Even though they're able to snooze standing, horses apparently need to lie down for rest and sleep at least some of the time. In fact, scientists think horses must lie down to go into deep stages of sleep.

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SWS is characterized by slow, synchronized waves of electrical activity in the brain as recorded by electroencephalography. REM sleep is characterized by jerky eye movements and rapid, disorganized brain waves.

Six Types of Sleep Deprivation in Horses

REM sleep seems to occur mostly when the horse is stretched out flat on his side, rather than resting on his chest. People dream during REM sleep, and it seems that horses do, too. Beneath closed lids, their eyes move rapidly back and forth. Sue McDonnell has even seen some horses move their feet as if "trotting" in their dreams.

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  • Ensuring adequate room for all horses to lie comfortably for at least 30 minutes every day and addressing underlying medical causes for decreased recumbency, such as osteoarthritis OA , improves the quality of life of group-managed horses and minimizes welfare issues. Overweight horses may also find it difficult to lie down and rise from lying down, potentially limiting REM sleep. Be sure to maintain your horses in appropriate body condition. Rufener, I. Bachmann, et al.

    Horses, Peacefully Farting and Snoring

    Space allowance of the littered area affects lying behavior in group-housed horses. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Subscribe to Equinews and get the latest equine nutrition and health news delivered to your inbox.