Horses Do Not Sleep Standing Up ! Let’s clear up a common misunderstanding about horses: they do not sleep standing up. They snooze standing up. There’s a big difference. Horses, like humans and, in fact, all land mammals, require deep sleep for proper mental and physical functioning. But for a prey species like the horse, whose existence in the wild depends on its ability to outrun predators, deep sleep can be a serious threat to personal safety. So how do horses get enough sleep?
Article Source: http://www.petmd.com/ by Dr. Anna O’Brien
For starters, horses doze a lot. On any given day, drive past a pasture of horses and count how many are grazing and how many are just standing there, heads down, lower lips drooping. Those are your snoozers, standing up.
Horses are able to get some light shut-eye without lying down by way of a really cool aspect specific to equine anatomy called the stay apparatus. When a horse is standing at rest, he is able to lock his kneecap with ligaments and tendons keeping the joints in alignment. With these soft tissues locking the bones together, no extra exertion from muscle use is required. This allows the horse to actually rest while standing.
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