I Need My Beauty Sleep

Curly takes her mid-day nap.

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!

2 thoughts on “I Need My Beauty Sleep

  1. I have a herd of 15 and invariably in nicer weather somebody . . . or a BUNCH of somebody’s will be lights out and down for the count. Certainly as any horse owner, I’ll do a double take just to make sure their posture tells me, “relax dad, just taking a nap, no worries’.

    I live on a fairly high-traffic county road and there have been on occasion a concerned citizen who has stopped or called (I have my emergency numbers posted on my front door) to ensure all is well. The most intriguing caller I had was a gentleman who knocked on my door and introduced himself as a veterinarian and with self-assured wisdom informed me I had a horse colicing in my front field. Quite naturally I took him at his word and rushed out to the front field where I was confronted with a sight all horse owners experience at one time or another . . . . my boy Derringer, a 2yr old Trakehner stud colt, having a . . . . d-r-e-a-m!! Whew!! So now, here’s this vet standing at the edge of the fence asking if there is anything he can do. Not wanting to offend I casually replied “Have you seen this a lot?” to which he replied “Oh no, I specialize in feline surgery, but I just bought an Arabian and have read up quite a bit on horse behavior.”

    It was a “No, but I slept at a Holiday Inn last night” moment, although I must say he was very gracious as I explained, the little I have learned, of facial expressiveness between pleasure and pain . . . and I do believe right then Derringer giggled.

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