One of my very best memories of my heart horse - the pinto in the previous post - was the first time I ever found him lying down taking a nap in pasture. Pi tended to do the flat out, scare you half to death napping for hours. It was a beautiful day, 70ish degrees, slight breeze, blue skies, etc. I didn't have the heart to make him get up, so just sat down next to him and leaned against his back and enjoyed the afternoon with him. We sat there for a good half an hour. That's probably one of my 5 best moments of my life ... but I'm a sap.
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
~ Maya Angelou
All of mine will lay flat out. Jula is the one who looks dead and scares people. Jess is the one who will graze anything she can reach before she gets up. They will all stay down and let us come snuggle, which is pretty cool.
One of my boys has an hour long nap completely flat in the mud at least once a day, usually twice. Drivers on the road have stopped in to alert us that he was dead in the pasture, and we have always had to assure them that he is just taking a nap
Rico is a major sunbather. I catch him all the time, laid out like he's dead, in in a sunny spot in the pasture. Especially any time we have a slighly warmer day in winter after a cold snap.
He'll lie there and just slighly open one eye to look at me if I walk up to him with that 'go away, it's my nap time' look and just go right back to sleep. I really need to get a picture of it one of these days.
My gelding loves his naps, and will sleep flat out. BO will go out to check that he's still alive and Henry will pop an eye open and maybe even sit up on his sternum, if he feels like it.
Today I got to the barn and he was lying down in the field. I could tell he wasn't dead because he was lying in what was left of a round bale and he was eating. Of course, this is the same horse who climbs into the water trough if it's hot out...
Mine have a pretty set routine, and specific places in the pasture where they will lay down. They will lie down to sleep either right up close to the house or else under one specific tree out in the pasture, and always between 11am and 1pm every day. If it's the wrong time of day or the wrong spot, i'll go check on them, but that almost never happens. It took some getting used to when I first brought them home, but once I figured out the routine, i'm glad I know. This way i can notice if they're NOT laying down and see if there is something making them nervous.
Hoover likes to stretch out and nap in his paddock. Not many people think he’s dead though, he snores.
Now, coming back from a ride last Saturday morning, he and I passed a gray horse lying near the edge of the soccer field. Not budging, no sound, not BLINKING a wide-open eye, and I was sure I watched long enough to not see its flank rise and fall at all. No reaction whatsoever to another horse being stopped 20 feet away. Legs were in longish grass but I saw what looked like an exposed bone. I wasn’t going to ride a live horse right up to a dead one, but it sure looked dead from 20 feet away. So I texted the Physical Plant head with the bad news, his guys probably wouldn’t want to wait until Monday on this one given the heat here.
Next day I swung by to see if they’d dealt with it. No horse, but also no blood spots, no tire tracks, no drag tracks in the grass, something doesn’t quite add up. I look around – and there’s a bone- gray horse tied about 20 yards away watching me with a curious look on its face…….
I was returning from a trail ride last week anda spotted one of the BM's horses lying flat out in the pasture, with her head cocked up and her lips moving - flapping. I hightailed it over to the BM because I thought the horse was in pain. Nope - she just does that.
My guy doesn't lie down outside but does in his stall.
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Mine do it all the time. My youngest has scared the bajeesus out of BOs/BMs on numerous occasions. The herd comes in from the back field and he's not with them. They go out hunting, and find him completely lateral in the back field. They assume he's dead or something is seriously wrong (he takes a lot to wake up; sometimes I have to boot him in the chest), and when he figures out the herd has left him, he panics, jumps up, and books it back to the barn.
One other will go completely lateral in the sun in the field, but won't get left behind like the youngster. I think I've caught the third laying down sternal in the field maybe a handful of times in the 20 years I've owned him; I don't think I have ever seen him lateral.
Funny story about my old mare Eclipse and her laying down! I had just purchased her and one of the barn workers went out to bring in the horses from the field. She sees Ellie laying down and whistles. Ellie doesn't move, barn worker becomes concerned and goes over thinking "please don't be dead.........OMG" She gets to where my mare is laying and says her name, there's a "groan" from Ellie and barn worker thinks "this is so not good". (all the time Ellie's friend is standing over her screaming!) Barn worker walks around Ellie trying to see what is wrong and has called to the barn for the other girls to come out. Suddenly Ellie decides to try to get up and that's when they realize my mare has 'caste herself' agains a very small mound of dirt! They finally manage to get her mad enough to actually heave herself up, where she promptly looks at them, snorts and trots off! Yeah......not the smartest nut in the bunch!!
Last edited by eclipse; Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM.
Reason: I'm a craptastic speller!!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
I boarded my very old (42) TB mare at a farm that had a big grass paddock adjacent to the road. She would lie down during the day and sun bathe all the time, somtimes even sticking her tounge out. MANY people stopped and would come running down to the barn telling us we had a dead horse in the field. I would call out to her in the field, she would sit up, see that I was just checking on her, and usually flop back down. I guess she liked beauty sleep in her old age.
If you have real oldies like that, one way you can help them a lot is to have a big pile of sand, shavings or even old dried manure that they can use as a "mattress." Because it's soft, even if they're very stiff they can get their legs bent under them when it's time to get up, and even if it takes them a few tries and they flop back down they'll have cushioned ground. My vet recommends this a lot!
All of mine lie down outside- I certainly hope so because most of them live out 24/7/365. Usually there is one sentry standing guard. The only ones I rarely catch napping are the stallions- they jump to their feet in a big hurry if happen to catch them sleeping in their stalls.
My guy and his pasture-buddy are both fans of lengthy, flat-out sunbathing naps. The first time I saw him lying flat out in the pasture, I panicked and went over...he got up, heaved a sigh, and walked off no worse for wear. Now I often find the both of them sprawled out together, enjoying the mid autumn sun. They'll even let me come hang out with them occasionally.
My mare lays down and sleeps usually for 2+ hours every morning, even if her buddy gets up an wanders off she'll usually stay contentedly asleep : ) By contrast, I almost never see my gelding laying down, and the occasional time I do usually occasions a walk out to the field to make sure he's okay!