What Do Horses Do At Night | Are they sleeping ? Zzzz Facts About Your Horses

Sep 09, 2023 | Super Equestrian


What Do Horses Do At Night | Are they sleeping ? Zzzz Facts About Your Horses

Suppose, you have just finished your warm and delicious meal at night and after that, you are about to get ready for sleep, out of curiosity a sudden thought comes to your mind 

"What are my horses doing now? Are they sleeping or grazing?" You are wondering if you should visit your horses this late at night.

Well, horses usually sleep at night whether lying down or standing up. Also they spend their night doing other activities such as roaming outside in the pasture or grazing for a while. Then do a little stretching before going for a deep sleep.  

Horses are highly social animals and have a natural instinct for graze. They graze for most of the day and are active throughout the night. They have a strong herding instinct and want to be with other horses. Besides, horses have a tendency to roam freely outside and explore nature.

But if we talk about the night activity of horses in general then it can be different based on wild and domestic horses. Basically, domestic horses are housed in stables or pastures. 

They are provided with food , water and necessary shelter. On the other hand, wild horses may roam and graze outside during the night time searching for food and water, and they may also rest in herds as well.

The duration and pattern of sleep might vary according to the age, health, and surroundings of the individual horse. So, as a horse keeper, it is essential to examine your horses at night to understand their behavior and needs for providing proper care and safety to ensure their well-being. 

Therefore, in this blog, we have discussed horses sleeping habits, nighttime activity and proper night care. So without further delay let's light the lamp and see what the horses are up to at twilight!

The Sleeping Habits of Horses

Every living creature has unique sleeping patterns and habits according to their adaptation to specific surroundings and the way of life. 

For example, humans and cats sleep for an extended period of time while others, such as ants, spend their whole day and night working continuously. Some creatures like bats spend their whole day sleeping and become active at night. How fascinating! Then, what about our fellow equine ? 

Obviously, horses are no exception to the uniqueness of sleep. Compared to other living beings, horses' sleeping habits are unique. They sleep less than other animals or humans. Horses lie down to sleep for short periods of time, on average about 3 to 4 hours per day in several naps during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. 

These domestic mammals generally sleep in stable or sometimes in open pastures. Because wide and open grassy fields allow horses to roam around freely and take a short nap while grazing. 

But on the other hand, being in a stable provides horses protective shelter from hazardous climate, reserved food and water. So you can say that it is ideal for horses to sleep in a stable during night time. 

Some of you may be wondering if horses sleep standing up or lying down. Well, our prodigious horse can sleep in both ways. As they are known for being light slumberers, they have the unique ability to sleep while standing position. 

Because it allows them to respond quickly if they sense any potential danger in their surroundings. Aside from that, horses can also sleep lying down for a few times a day in order to get a long and restful slumber. 

Horses Nighttime Activities in the Wild

Horses are not only active during day time, but also at night. Horses that stay in pastures spend most of their night time foraging for food and grazing in the wild. 

As they are highly social and herding mammals, horses sleep in turns while others stay awake to watch for protection from other predators. Since they do these nighttime activities, they are classified as nocturnal animals.

Aside from that, wild horses also intertwined with other nighttime activities such as socializing, having some fun and grooming one another as well. If you want to learn about horse grooming you can visit this page why do horses groom each other. 

Horses are highly sensitive to sensing unfamiliar presence or potential threats in their surroundings. Therefore, they become more vigilant and active during the night time. And as a prey animal, they need to respond quickly to any perceived threat such as other predators. As a result they sleep for a short time while standing up.

This sensitivity aids horses' survival in the wild, but it may also make them apprehensive or timid of unfamiliar people and objects.

Horses Nighttime Activities in Captivity

Stable or captive horses that spend their night sleeping or resting in their cubicle or paddocks. These horses are quite diurnal creatures because they spent their day time outside roaming around and grazing. But when it is time to take a long and restful nap, they head straight to their stable to spend the night. 

Captive horses are basically provided with a large, spacious and clean stable.  Including adequate bedding, accessing water, reserving food for night hunger and most importantly a protective shelter from the outside danger. Some horses are provided with extra facilities like air-cooling systems, lights and even earplugs which may help them to have a peaceful environment while sleeping. However, captive horses' nighttime activity may vary according to their routine, requirement and circumstances. 

Wild horses, on the other hand, spend their cold and scary nights under the sky in wide wood. Instead of having a deep and restful sleep, they roam around foraging for food, water and stay alert to avoid sudden attacks. What a pathetic night for wild horses !  

So, it is important to provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment to our equine companion. Because it will help horses develop their sleep patterns, maintain a healthy body, improve mental health and better prepare for the next day's activities.

Proper Nighttime Care for Horses

A proper nighttime care for horses involves safe and suitable paddocks or stables that is comfortable and peaceful for them to sleep and rest in. There are some steps that will aid you to provide proper care for horses at night.

  • Ensuring adequate food, water and bedding: Horses have a tendency of grazing outside to suppress their hunger. But sometimes it becomes unsafe for them to roam around in pastures at night. So, make sure that your horses have a proper access to clean water, sufficient forage and adequate bedding inside the stable. 
  • Protecting horses from elements: Protecting horses from elements is important for their health and well-being. Such as providing a solid shelter, blanketing for cold weather, and windbreaks for reducing the wind chill. 
  • Maintaining a safe, secure sleeping environment: Finally, maintain a safe, secure and peaceful environment for horses while sleeping. Make sure they are left with minimal disturbance, for example air system, light or other noises should be kept in low to create a calm sleeping ambience for horses. 

If you follow these steps, you can provide horses with a safe, secure sleeping environment and it will promote their health and well-being.

Conclusion

In short, examining what horses do at night is important for providing proper care and promoting the overall health and well-being of the animals. It is crucial to understand your horse's needs, activity and behavior. And as a horse keeper it is our responsibility to take proper nighttime care as well as  day care.

“Horse night time activity” sounds pretty amusing! So if you have any thoughts or experience about what they do at night, please share them with us in the comment section!

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