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Horses laying down in the field

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  • Horses laying down in the field

    How many of you have horses who routinely will lay down in the field?

    I used to have one who did a great impression of a dead horse, and I'd have to warn people at boarding barns that this wasn't unusual for him. But I haven't had another one like him until my new horse. Now that the horses are home, and I can see them from my front window, I find myself regularly going out to check that he's OK when I see him down, legs neatly curled under him. Mostly on sunny days, in the tall grass, and he always seems fine. But it scares me every time. I suppose I'll get used to it, but curious as to how many other people have "ground sleepers".
    Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

  • #2
    All horses lie down regularly, we just don't see it as often when they aren't at home. I've had everything from the "flat out for hours" types to the ones you rarely catch but see signs like leaves in their mane that they have been down. They need to sleep lying down regularly for their health.
    If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
    ~ Maya Angelou


    • #3
      I have eight that get turned out together. Throughout the day one or more of them are lying down. One is always standing quite close by until the others get up. The sentry!
      Kanoe Godby
      See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


      • #4
        My gelding routinely lays down in the field, if only for a sun nap on a nice day. He regularly sleeps laying down most of the night, adn sometimes when I get there in the morning and it's still dark, I see him laying down as my headlights swoop over the field as I turn in the driveway.

        My mare has issues with sleep deprivation from a combination of things, but one being because doesn't lay down much, at all. I know she does not lay down in her stall if kept in overnight because of the lack of ANY sawdust on her body. She had ulcers, and I'm sure that contributed to her sleep deprivation at that time (she was pretty much always in pain for at least two years...thanks Dr vet who insisted it was not ulcers and she continued to be uncomfortable!) Anyways, she also has hock arthritis, and I think either laying down is painful, or getting back up in painful, so she doesn't lay down at all.

        I also think because she can be a worrier, that she just doesn't feel comfortable laying down, even with my gelding there as her herd protector. She stands guard over him while he sleeps.
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


        • #5
          I have one that will lie flat out in the middle of the field in the hot summer sun for long naps. I routinely think he's dead.

          My other one lies down often, but usually remains upright rather than stretched out flat on his side.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson


          • #6
            One of my favorite pictures ever (public link):

            If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
            ~ Maya Angelou


            • #7
              All three of mine lay down, but JJ's the champion of laying flat out and sleeping for hours.
              Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


              • #8
                I've got one lying in the sun as we speak. She never used to do this until I made this discovery: I'd had a concrete block run-in built in her paddock and there was some leftover masonry sand. I'd been planning to have it carted off but the first thing my mare did when I turned her out in there was lie down in that sand pile. She enjoys the sand so much I had another load brought in for her added lounging pleasure. It is now a daily ritual for her. Here she is.
                Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                • #9
                  the park police horses at the local facility do this regularly--and usually all at once. they're a local landmark: "head west on norwood and then left at the field of dead horses."
                  Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


                  • #10
                    Usually just the pony and donkey:

                    But sometimes all three!


                    • #11
                      All of mine do at one time or another - & I'm another person who automatically gets a nagging worry & has to go out there & check. Of course once they see me they feel a need to get up. They probably hate me for bothering them & wish I'd just leave them alone to do their own thing already - lol!


                      • #12
                        Mine take turns but my 2 year old is the king of long naps. He's so lazy he'll lay down and eat a circle of grass around his napping spot before he bothers to get up. Growing is tough work!


                        • #13
                          Lucky doesn't lie down much outside (though the first thing he did entering his new stall, which Dad had lovingly cleaned out and bedded with the last old bags of shavings, was lie down and roll in the stall!) He's the most indoor horse I've ever met. OTOH, my brother leased one in Florida (big bay TB) who would do such a convincing impression of a dead horse I'm surprised they didn't routinely have vultures hanging out in the paddock, certain the end was nigh. The barn got really used to concerned passers-by stopping to let them know about the 'sick horse.' The worst part was sometimes he wasn't sleeping, sometimes he'd see you coming and flop over. "Nope. I'm dead. Can't work today. Come back tomorrow. I'm dead."
                          Author Page
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                          Steampunk Sweethearts


                          • #14
                            Flat out naps are very popular at my place. My pony naps multiple times per day.

                            I love it when I am home and I look out and see all three horses napping. They are obviously content.


                            • #15
                              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.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                                I've got one lying in the sun as we speak. She never used to do this until I made this discovery: I'd had a concrete block run-in built in her paddock and there was some leftover masonry sand. I'd been planning to have it carted off but the first thing my mare did when I turned her out in there was lie down in that sand pile. She enjoys the sand so much I had another load brought in for her added lounging pleasure. It is now a daily ritual for her. Here she is.
                                And who wouldn't enjoy napping in the sun on their own personal "beach"?
                                "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                                • #17
                                  My horse lies down to sleep regularly, probably every day. And we frequently have an entire paddock of "dead horses" (except for the sentry) at the barn where I board.


                                  • #18
                                    Mine will lay down upright and graze! Scared us pretty good the first few times we saw her do it.
                                    Last edited by shiningwizard255; Nov. 14, 2012, 01:22 PM. Reason: clarified she'll lay down upright to graze, not on her side
                                    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


                                    • #19
                                      None of our three ever lay down outside. Except for the one who colicks often...it's our signal to start the walking and call the vet.

                                      Ours are in their stalls for 12-14 hours over night and almost all mornings are covered in shavings. So, my guess is they get enough sack time during the night.
                                      Ride like you mean it.


                                      • #20
                                        Every horse I've owned has allowed me to see it sleeping, but a couple of the current ones are at the point where if they see me while they're down they stay there and wait for me to scratch around their ears. My TB spends more time flat out than any horse I have known - I refer to it as part of his energy conservation efforts so he can have more other times.
                                        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.