March 15, 2012

Sleeping Like Dogs

It is amazing the new (little) things you notice when you are forced to slow down and enjoy your horse's company.

Yesterday morning we were greeted with a couple inches of snow. However, it quickly melted, the sunshine working it's magic and turning the day into a fine afternoon. Mid-day I headed to the barn to meet HR for her weekly ride on Rose. It was a delight after the long winter to feel the need to roll down the jeep's windows and let some clean cool air fill the car. I arrived at the barn about 15 minutes before HR was to get there, so I was delighted to see Rose, Roxy and Molly all sleeping together on a giant pile of hay. Rose is often sleeping when I arrive at this time, but I've never seen all three of them sleeping together. I grabbed Rose's halter and walked down to the mares.

Lately Rose has allowed me to approach her and pet her a bit before she jumps up from her nap. Yesterday she must have been particularly enjoying the snooze in the sun, or she's just really comfortable with me now when she sleeps, as she seemed to not mind me at all and definitely wanted to stay put. I decided to sit on her for a while whist she snoozed. I laughed to myself that I was "riding" my horse, sort of. Being eight months pregnant I'm not as care free about sitting on a sleeping horse as I used to be. My reflexes and balance are defiantly slow, uncoordinated, and just plain off these days. Carefully, I perched myself on her back with two feet firmly on the ground and ready to hop up if needed. It turned out that that was a good way to approach it. As I sat on her scratching her wither and processing my own D vitamin, Rose became more sleepy than when I arrived. All of a sudden I felt her shift her weight and stretch out her neck. I jumped up just in time for her to roll flat on her side and fall into a deep sleep. I walked about ten feet to the nearby fence rail and took a seat. A few minutes later Roxy also rolled on her side for some REM sleep. Then it happened. Roxy snores!

I've never heard or seen a horse snore, so I pulled out my phone and found the video camera to capture this momentous occasion. Then I started noticing that both Rose and Roxy were twitching their ears, noses, and a rather familiar way. I couldn't help but think of my dog when he whimpers and runs in his sleep! Since I've never had a horse on my own property, I've rarely seen them in the REM phase and I've never noticed that they sleep like dogs before.

Without further adieu here is some video of the mare's sleeping like dogs:

When I turned my phone off, I realized that about 30 minutes had gone by and HR hadn't arrived. "Too bad I" thought, "she would have enjoyed this". A quick text confirmed that she'd forgotten our lesson due to Spring Break plans. "No big deal" I thought, given that Rose was still passed out and at this point it was foolish to disturb her. The idiom "let sleeping dogs lie" never seemed so applicable before.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. Awe, they ate so cute. I have never seen Pippi sleep. I have only seen her down a few times. To bad you didn't have a lesson but awesome that your horse trusts you to come over while she sleeps.

  2. That is too cute! So glad you got a video of them dreaming :)

  3. That is so awesome that all three were comfortable to nap while you were sitting there!!! Awesome video too. :D



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