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Why Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?

The mystery of your horse's sleep preferences are about to be uncovered!

April 19, 2019

When you look out into your horse’s field sometimes you’ll see them sleeping while they’re standing. This may confused you… shouldn’t they be lying down to catch some Zzzs? You may even wonder if they’re getting the proper type of sleep this way. These are good questions! Time to get to the bottom of your horse’s sleep preferences.

The truth is that horses can sleep standing up and laying down. Actually, in order to achieve a deep sleep your horse does have to be on the ground. Their eyes may appear closed while standing, but you can consider this napping.

So, why do they do this? Horses are prey animals and need to be able to run away if a predator approaches. Even your domestic animal has survival instincts. A horse that’s lying down would have trouble getting away quickly. Time is very valuable in an attack.

That’s why horses prefer herd environments. Within the group, one will remain standing while the others sleep lying down. Their job is to keep watch and alert everyone of danger.

Horses are fascinating creatures. Want to learn more? Check out: 5 Facts Every Horse Owner Must Know!

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