View Full Version : How often does your horse lay down?

Dec. 2, 2009, 03:50 PM
Just curious as to how often your horses lay down...

We think our of our guys is feeling NQR and he's been laying down a lot more lately - in the afternoon for a while and then again for an hour or so in the evening. We know he likes his sleep time, but he's been down a lot more recently...

Dec. 2, 2009, 04:30 PM
Some of our horses take regular naps, others take less time napping.
We have a sand pile in their pasture and they use it regularly.

When a horse is acting different, then is when they bear watching.

If your horse is a light napper and is now napping more, it does make you wonder if it means something is not right, or if he is just more relaxed.

Dec. 2, 2009, 04:34 PM
My brother leased a TB down in Florida who routinely took naps, stretched flat on his side. He even would lie down and 'play dead' if he knew you were coming to get him out of the paddock! ("No. I'm dead. Go away. Dead horses don't get ridden. Go away.")

Dec. 2, 2009, 04:35 PM
He sleeps in the stall, he sleeps in the pasture, he sleeps in the run in shed. He even sits up like a dog and watches things. He's a warmblood, when he is not eating, he is sleeping, flat out, no dorsal sleeping for him.

However any changes in sleeping patterns should be watched. When Cloudy lay down and didn't eat dinner over a year ago, the BO called as she knew he was colicking. So watch for changes in sleeping patterns, in eating, and of course in drinking.

Wait, is this the lame horse from the giveaways thread? If so, call the vet.

Lori B
Dec. 2, 2009, 05:03 PM
The frequency of my horse's laying down is a direct function of how muddy her paddock is. :-)

I think there is a bit of variety in this, from horse to horse, but the key (as has been noted here) is that deviation from your horse's own typical behavior is what to watch out for.

Same = good.
Different = bad. (or at least worth watching)

Dec. 2, 2009, 05:12 PM
:My mare seems to do it almost every day, but apparently is doing it late at night or early in the morning as I never SEE her doing it. She just ends up with the telltale mud spots of where her body was against the ground. :lol:

Dec. 2, 2009, 06:05 PM
My horse doesn't lay down much, unless there's a fresh round bale in the field. He likes to nap while eating.

I agree if you sense a change in routine keep an eye on it. I personally would rather be paranoid than wrong.

Dec. 2, 2009, 06:16 PM
My 29-year old TB - NEVER and I mean never lays down. I tell anyone that if they see him lying down to call me asap as I know there is something seriously wrong.

Now my 10-year old TB - she naps daily and at night :D.

Dec. 2, 2009, 06:20 PM
The whole herd of them crashes hard mid morning EVERY day. The ponies crash at 3pm siesta time :lol: Here's Kate and Paco....

Dec. 2, 2009, 06:34 PM
[quote=Lori B;4533678]The frequency of my horse's laying down is a direct function of how muddy her paddock is. :-)

:lol::lol::lol:With Cloudy, it's in direct relation to the amt of manure he can place in strategic places so he can get covered from head to tail.

Dec. 2, 2009, 06:43 PM
I have lazy equine potato chips... just call them a bag o' Lays.

I do late night check 10/11 ish and they are usually all snug as bugs curled up in the shavings. They aren't snoozing for very long but they are all, always down. Between breakfast and lunch is the 'daytime' nap- sometimes spent standing and sometimes flat out in the sand. Donkey sleeps the most but I think he's making up for lost time. Don't get much sleep tied to a fence with a short rope.

They might also take a snooze after lunch hay.

The Mare is the late morning sleeper- sometimes I have to 'wake' her up for breakfast. Which always results in lots of complaining.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Dec. 2, 2009, 07:39 PM
My brother leased a TB down in Florida who routinely took naps, stretched flat on his side. He even would lie down and 'play dead' if he knew you were coming to get him out of the paddock! ("No. I'm dead. Go away. Dead horses don't get ridden. Go away.")

Ted and Bow will snooze like this, nose to nose, in the appropriate weather.

Dec. 2, 2009, 11:36 PM
I have seen Matt laying down twice in the four years I've owned him. Prior to seeing him laying down just this year, the only way I knew he's been down at night is the tail-tell shavings in his tail/stuck to his blanket, and the stains on coat.

My boss' horse takes a regular nap every morning after coming in from the paddock. He gets very cranky if he doesn't get his nap.

Dec. 2, 2009, 11:53 PM
When ever we had a warm sunny day in winter, Trav and Rico would crash out in the sun like they were dead. Rico lays down a lot, but he always has. I don't recall ever seeing Inky lay down, but judging from the amount of manure/pee all over him in the mornings, I can only assume he does.

When they're laid out like corpes snoozing, with no on standing guard, its a good sign that they're feeling very safe and secure.

Desert Topaz
Dec. 3, 2009, 12:35 AM
My mare takes several naps during the day and I know she lays down at night.

Just from local observation (I drive by a whole bunch of ranches) horses lay down a heck of a lot more in the winter. I may never see them down in the summer, but this time of year there's always someone stretched out sunning themselves.

Dec. 3, 2009, 01:06 AM
Our horses take their regular naps all the time.
If one were to change habits, we would be worrying and watching it, just in case.

Here, two days ago, the 29 year old paint, that got the best spot with the pillow and the 19 year old, taking their morning nap:


Dec. 3, 2009, 01:11 AM
Red s down all the time, she just loves laying in the sun, or rolling around, she takes at least daily naps.

Dec. 3, 2009, 01:18 AM
I had a colt who I swear laid down more then he stood up. Everytime we went to his stall he would be down. He liked to eat his hay laying down too, unless we put it in a haynet. I have a filly who likes to lay but not nothing like the stud colt.

Dec. 3, 2009, 01:30 AM
I have owned my horse for 15 yrs. I have seen him nap 2 times. However, he always sleeps on his side every night when nobody is aroudn because he is covered in shavings and has manure stains. He does it secretly.

Dec. 3, 2009, 08:00 AM
I hope the OP's horse is still fine, if a little sleepier than normal for him.
Any news?:)

Dec. 3, 2009, 11:08 AM
Mine depends on the weather. When it's warm/hot, they do their flat-out snoozing in the early morning hours between midnight and sunrise. When it's cool/cold, they take their snoozes in late morning sun. Some of them will do after-dark naps in the cold, some won't.

Rain and or wind curtails extended snooze time. Sometimes, when the weather is about to change for the worse, I'll see the whole bunch laying down at an "odd" time.

Generally speaking, if a horse gives a full body shake upon rising, he's feeling fit as a fiddle. If he only shakes his head or doesn't even do that, something may be amiss. Especially if he lays down again fairly shortly thereafter. (Caveat: this observation comes from outdoor horses; I don't know if feeling-fine stalled horses will shake every time they rise or not.)

Dec. 3, 2009, 12:29 PM
Sometimes I look into my horse's stall and wonder if I have a horse or a bump on a log. If I sit with him while he is down for his nap, he will put his head in my lap, flop backwards, and go straight to sleep, complete with snoring. Apparently he is going green and trying to be energy-efficient.

Hope the OP's horse is just hibernating a bit. :)

Dec. 3, 2009, 12:40 PM
Mine take regular naps - day and night. If the weather has been crappy for several days, they will all go flat out when the sun comes out and sleep more and for longer.

Hope your guys change is nothing more than I feel lazy

Dec. 3, 2009, 12:51 PM
I've only caught my older guy laying down a handful of times in the 11 years I've had him. All were in his stall. My welsh pony LOVES to lay down in her stall, she has shavings on her most mornings but I never actually catch her in the act. She doesn't lay down outside either. My newer old guy that I've had since this summer I haven't seen lay down at all, other than to roll. But he has had shavings on him once or twice so I assume he does lay down occasionally in the stall.

Last winter I was free leasing a horse that would lay flat out in the pasture and nap every single day, without fail. It freaked me out a little the first time, but it was just how he was.:)

Dec. 3, 2009, 01:25 PM
Fog lays down every night due to evidence on his gray body, but I have only actually seen him lying down once in the 16 years I have own him and he was very sick at the time.

Sport likes to take naps. He was a race horse and when he came to us he came with a routine afternoon nap. To the point that if he was turned out he thought he should come into his stall so that he could nap. If the barn is quiet in the afternoon you will see him curled up in his stall snoozing away if he is inside. He has got over insisting he needs to come in for his nap.

I think anything that varies from their norm should be watched. With Fog I knew that when I found him lying down he was not well as this was so unusual for him. Sport I would have a harder time gauging as he does take naps.

Dapple Dawn Farm
Dec. 3, 2009, 03:43 PM
My guy is just the opposite, in 2 years I've never seen him lying down...

Galadriël Fëfalas
Dec. 4, 2009, 04:58 PM
I've had my horse for 7 months and I've seen him laying down (curled up rather than flat out) twice. He lays down a lot tho as his rugs are always covered in poo :D

Dressage Art
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:46 PM
My mare lays down most of the times at night. but not in strange places, like shows and not at the barns

Crosswinds Rescue
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:08 PM
As a rescue whose horses live in pasture 24/7, we usually take laying down as a GREAT sign that they have settled down into a routine, so -- I wonder if the change in your boy is due to a change in his situation? perhaps he's got a new pasture buddy who stands guard? or a bully has moved off? ...or?...

It's a celebrated time here when a newcomer is laying down, esp during morning siesta time. It means the herd has accepted him/her, and she feels safe here. And it's a REALLY big deal when the newcomer is the one standing guard so that her highness, the great and almighty Tessa (clydesdale benevolent dictator, ruler of all she surveys), may nap....:lol: