Do Montana Dude Horses Ever Take A Nap At The Dude Ranch?

April 20th, 2010 by Debi Naccarto

For those of you who know me and my horses, I can’t stand to see a horse laying flat out in the pasture. Many a time I’ve been known to run out there with my cell phone in hand and ready to press the button to call my vet, only to find that the horse stands up seconds before I get there! Well, thanks to Horse & Rider Magazine, I now have second thoughts before I run out there to disturb them! Here’s an article I read from the March 2010 Issue:

HORSES ‘N ZZZZZZ’s

“While we need about eight hours of sleep a night to be at our best, our equine counterparts sleep just three to four hours a day in short bits at a time. Plus, they spend most of that sleep time standing up. How do they do this? With an internal “stay apparatus” of tendons and ligaments that allows them to lock their front legs while relaxing one hind leg and rotating their hips, so they can snooze without keeling over.

But to get that quality REM sleep, horses must lie down-either stretched out flat on the ground or partially upright with their legs tucked underneath them. And, believe it or not, many researchers report that horses do, in fact, dream. In REM sleep, their eyes move rapidly back and forth, and sometimes they grunt, twitch their ears, and even move their feet. Makes you wonder what dreams those may be, doesn’t it?”

So, next time I see them laying flat out on the ground, I’ll think twice before I rush to wake them out of a deep sleep. RIGHT……….

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