I Have Questions...

by - 6/29/2008 11:08:00 AM

I have my little colt, well, not so little. He turned two on May 9th and he is about 15.1 hh. I notice that when he lays down he of course will choose a nice heavily manured area, which I know they choose because it is either warm and/or soft, but that is not what I am concerned about. I see him lay down at times for as long as 45 minutes or so, even when I approach him, he just lays there.

Yesterday DaddyNotaCowboy walked up to him and he didn’t move, he allowed DNaC to just about sit on him. When he lies down, his momma almost never leaves his side when he sleeps. When he’s about to get up, he will begin to get up, raise his head… then kerplunk, his head drops to the ground again and he seems to go back to sleep for like 2 or 3 minutes, then he does that again and again or he will actually get up and shake and shimmy to get the dust off.

Here Toby is after he finally got up, he just had to come and see what I was doing. He has 2 beautiful blue eyes... see ...

Now my questions

1) Is it normal for a young horse to lie down for so long?

2) Is it normal for him to be so groggy that he can’t get up at first try?

3) How often does a young horse sleep like this?

4) When does a horse get to where they do not lie down very often to sleep?

Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!!

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  1. My filly Gabbrielle is 3 this year. Last year when she was 2 she laid down a lot and let me sit on her. She seemed to sleep laying down more often than she did when she was a yearling. It was funny because my two adult horses began laying down with her. However, this year I haven't seen her lay down at all. I think there is just a period between 2 and 3 years old when that behavior is prevalent. If your horse doesn't have any other signs of health problems such as a runny nose, loss of appetite, or sweating, he's probably okay.

  2. What a handsome boy! You know, when it comes to sleeping, I think that horses are a lot like people: they are all diferent! I have known horses who lay down for hours--they almost seem more like a big, lazy, housecat!!--and I have known horses who infrequently lay down. The horse that I used to have, would lay down for up to an hour, and then sit up, groan, and lay back down. I had him from age 6 months to 16 years old (he passed away), and he always did that. Sometimes I wonder if their place in the "herd" makes a difference too. The alpha horse usually seems to stand guard,while the underlings sleep (lol!). Maybe your little--big!--guy, just feels really comfortable with his surroundings. He knows that he is safe and protected? Who knows? Hope this helps ease your mind:)

  3. I am not an expert, but I will be checking back to see what others say. My guess is younger horses need more rest and sleep, maybe because they are growing? Kind of like kids? Hmmm.....
    My horse is not on my property, but lately I witnessed him laying down for the first time in the year and a half I have known him! He is 14. It was just so weird to see him laying there. Of course my first instinct is to think that there was something wrong! But I just happened to catch him doing something he probably only does for less than an hour a day, and I happened to see it. I know he lays down because he is dirty and has shavings from his shed in his tail, LOL!

  4. Well I never have had a yearling, so I don't know about that. But our 26 year old horse has always sunned for hours at a time (we have had him since he was 8). Our 9 year old Bay horse loves to lay in the old hay and even when I walk up to him, he is flat out asleep! He will raise his head when I start talking to him-like what do you want?! My mare will sun for small amounts of time, and will never lay flat out. Our roan horse hardly ever lays down. So I think it truly is a individual horse thing, just like with people. As long as he is healthy and showing no other signs. But I agree even knowing each of there habits-it still makes my stomach turn when I see one of them laying down!

  5. I am so thankful to all of you for stopping by and sharing your input.
    He is a very healthy boy. I guess the concern comes from me being home more often and really being able to watch his habits more.
    When I worked in the big town, which was when he was age 3 months to 19 months, I would leave at 6am and return at 6pm, so the only real time spent was feeding time and short times on the weekend. Then we had foster children and time was limited again.
    Now I am so happy that I get one to 2 full days off and I get to be with the horses and watch them more. Hence the questions.

    Again thank you all!

  6. He's a very pretty boy. I'm sorry I can't help you out though...I was three the last time I had a horse.

  7. I have no clue, but when you find out for sure, let us know.

  8. the gelding i used to have would lay flat out, looking quite dead, and i would call his name - nothing! the other horses would at least twitch an ear or tail or something... but not Renegade. so i would get frantic, call louder as i am runnning to him - still nothing! in fact several times i had to touch him to get him to respond, and then i startled him so bad he sprang to his feet which startled me! he's the only one we've had that did that, so i'd have to agree, it's an individual thing...


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