Horses have an exceptional capability to be able to sleep standing up. But they perform additionally sleep lying dvery own. If you’re a horse, you should have the ability to carry out both.

You are watching: How long can a horse stand

Why don’t horses sit or lie down even while sleeping?A question from Zulfiqar

It"s among the mistakes lots of civilization make about steeds. It’s true they perform have actually an exceptional ability to sleep standing up. But they carry out also sleep lying down. If you’re a steed, you have to be able to do both.

Animal behaviour professional Dr Susan Hazel describes why.


Horses have advanced to be able to run at almost any moment, in instance a predator arrives.Flickr/Cowboy Dave CC BY-ND 2.0

Why should steeds be able to sleep standing up?

Horses initially advanced in open plains. As a prey species (one that various other animals eat), they needed to be able to check out conveniently if one more animal that might eat them (a predator) was surrounding.

Being able to rest or sleep standing up supposed they could gain their remainder, but if they experienced a predator, they could conveniently run away. That’s one of the factors steeds run so quick - to get amethod. The at an early stage equines that ran the fastest were more likely to endure.

Three legs on, one leg off


Horses have the right to rest standing up or lying down.Flickr/Cowboy Dave CC BY-ND 2.0

The many amazing part of equines resting standing up is just how they do it. In equines tright here is a one-of-a-kind plan of muscles and the components that affix muscles and bones together (ligaments and also tendons). This is referred to as the stay apparatus.

The stay apparatus indicates that steeds deserve to stand also on three legs and also remainder the various other leg. They have the right to adjust the leg they rest so every one of their legs acquire a possibility to have a break. A horse deserve to weigh more than 500kg so their legs require a rest!

Even though they deserve to sleep standing up, scientists think equines still should lie down and sleep each day. Your sleep is not the same all night. Everyone goes through different stages of lighter and also deeper sleep, and also equines are the very same.

The deeper stages of sleep are just seen in equines lying down. Both horses and also people need to go via deeper steras of sleep for our brains to occupational correctly.

See more: 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix Starter Location, 2004 Grand Am Starter Change


Tagged in School of Animal and Veterinary, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, Engagement and also Indusattempt

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How perform we feed the world’s flourishing population? How execute we conserve our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high institution students are invited to submit a brief video about among Australia’s huge science difficulties.