Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?

Horses are famous for their beauty, courage and speed, and strength. There are more than 200 breeds of horses (belongs to different parts of the world). Their species is called Equus caballus, and all breeds are part of it. (whether they look so different or not). One interesting fact about horses is that they can sleep while standing without falling. Most horses take naps or rest in a standing position.

Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?

Horse can sleep while lying down

However, it does not mean that they can’t sleep while lying down. Horses prefer to sleep in a lying position only in such surroundings where they feel safe and secure. When they sleep while standing position, they can also remain attentive towards their surroundings. In the case of any predator, they can quickly run to save their lives. That is the intention behind their sleep while standing up.

Stay apparatus

Horses also assign duty to other fellow horses, alternatively to watch for predators while others take rest. But the question is how they keep their balance while sleeping in a standing position?

The answer is “stay apparatus.” Horses use this technique. In this technique, horses put their weight on any three legs while keeping the fourth leg in resting mode. They can change the portion ( which is in the rest mode) so that each leg gets a chance to take a rest while sleeping in a standing position. Similarly, they can lock their joints and legs during sleep. So, they can maintain a balance even in sleep.

Stages of sleep

Like humans, hoses also go through different stages during sleep. (lighter to the deeper location). Mostly horses have a deeper set of sleep while lying down.


Horses can sleep both in standing and lying positions. To keep themselves protective, most of the time, they prefer to sleep in a standing position by locking their joints and legs to avoid falls. (with ligaments and tendons)