When a Horse Has a Night Mare
Most often horses sleep standing up. Sometimes they get off their feet and sleep lying down on their bellies. I swear that I’ve ridden some horses that were sleeping while I was riding them. The least common position while sleeping is lying on their side. It seems that my horse reserves this for his deepest sleep. Each time I’ve seen my horse in this position I know he will be dreaming.
The first time I saw this I was in a panic. If you’ve ever seen a dog or a cat dream you can see their legs flexing like they are running. This is the same for a horse, but with a horse is looks more spastic. I was worried my horse was having a seizure.
As I slept the other night while at the horse camp I was awakened by the sounds of a horse in distress. I grabbed a flashlight and my horse was on his side convulsing. It looked like he was dreaming, but in the back of my mind I wondered if he was showing sings of advanced colic, a disorder where their intestines get tied in a knot. I looked him over well and it appeared to be a dream, but as I was walking away he woke up and stood up in a panic. He was being very vocal and prancing around his stall. He tried breaking through the chain gate of his enclosure. As he pranced around he stopped once to poop and he even took a bite of his hay. It was then I knew he didn’t have colic so I left him to calm himself down.
Moments after I went back to bed I could hear him munching along with our other horse. I guess me being out there with a flash light was like being visited by a space alien. No wonder he was upset.
It is interesting to think that all animals dream. There are cow dreams, elephant dreams and even whale dreams. I wish them all sweet dreams.