[QUOTE=DarkHorseDream;1040065]I'm just curious on your input on the question, how long can horses safely lay down? Here's is what I have learned from research and people who know what they're talking about who I know personally:
Horses that stay in stalls 24/7 lay down much less often because they're more insecure Not in my experience at all. I bring horses in for the day in summer and all of them, without fail, lie down within half an hour, and will lie down periodically throughout the day.
Horses need to sleep laying down to get REM sleep, they requires 1-2 hours of REM sleep every few days or they'll get sleep deprived
Horses KNOW when to get up, lol.. unless cast, they will stand up before their organs get impacted or their lungs fill with fluids Don't all sentient beings move automatically when a position becomes uncomfortable? I don't believe that a horse knows it should move because of it's lungs filling up, they don't have that kind of awareness, and that would have to be for an extended period of time anyway in which case the horse would be ill, or unable to move (as you say)
Horses at pasture and in herds lay down more often due to the feeling of safety Surely that depends on the situation, whether a horse is comfortable in it's group, by itself, what the pasture is like, where it is, all kinds of factors.
If they're rolling, thrashing, sweating, panting, biting at abs, obviously, something's wrong, most likely colic
My question is how long can they lay. As long as they like, I have seen horses down for an hour or so, usually shorter periods, but I don't hang around for hours at night time so I don't know if mine all crash out for longer.
I have heard paranoid people say 20-30 min or "they'll colic and die". Bear in mind, these same people see a horse laying down and IMMEDIATELY run up and kick the stall door or run at them to scare them and wake them up, Glad I am not a horse in their barn then, I'd be a nervous wreck and worried about ever lying down at all
And claim if a person doens't get them up, they'll forget to stand up and colic and die.. LOL... OK. Bit of misinformation going on there I feel.
But more realistically I know people who say their horses are lazy and will lay 1-2 hours straight on a given day, or on lazy days, and they haven't coliced (how do you spell coliced?)... nor have they even had to see a vet in over a decade. And I READ online that it takes like 6 hours for their lungs to fill up with fluids. So is that time-frame true? I have no idea
And how long does it take for organ damage due to pressure to start becoming a problem?] Again, I have no idea, but now would probably be a good time to try to find out...a quick Google finds this http://www.saveyourhorse.com/morecast.html A quote from the above, referring to cast horses in particular:
[Horses are not designed to spend much time lying down. In the wild, a downed horse is a dead horse. The sheer weight of that large body can cause problems with circulation, just like what happens to us if we spend the night lying on an arm. It falls asleep. The pressure on internal organs makes it difficult to breathe properly after time.
For all that horses are big and strong, they have very delicate digestive systems and respiratory systems. The blood flow to the legs would also be compromised since they would be up in the air and gravity would be at work, pulling the blood back into the core.
While rumor has it that the lungs will fill up with blood, they don't. They do, however, fill with fluid after a couple hours. It's called edema. Edema is swelling resulting from a buildup of fluid in tissue. In the case of pulmonary edema, it's the accumulation of fluid in the lungs.]