On sunny days — even in the snow — I frequently find the horses sleeping mid-day. But Curly was different. I’ve never seen a horse lie with its head stretched out in the snow! Her owner tells me that Curly naps every day; even when she’s at a horse show she’ll lie down and take a snooze.
As prey animals, horses evolved with the ability to sleep standing up. They have the ability to lock their legs which allows them stay upright. However, that doesn’t mean that they only sleep on their feet. When horses are comfortable and relaxed in their environments, they will lie down to sleep. Some lie flat out on their sides; others lie with their legs tucked underneath them. Some horses will sleep prone for several hours, barely even twitching. In fact, when that happens people frequently stop at the barn and tell us that we have a dead horse in the field!
Curly must feel very comfortable because she never even flinched when I took her picture. In fact, she was very irritated with me for waking her up!