Do horses get jet-lag? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Question Do horses get jet-lag?

I always wonder this. I hear of people hauling horses to Michigan from California and stuff like that.
I know humans feel jet-lag with big time zone differences, but do horses?
If they do, is it obvious, and is there anything you can do to help them?

Especially with the Olympics when they haul overseas. Bleh!

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post #2 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 12:33 PM
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Just a guess, but I think the answer is it's a schedule change for the horse.....sleeping at different times....eating at different times....etc...

Never flown with a horse so my opinion isn't based on experience......

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 12:35 PM
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I would think so too!

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 12:47 PM
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I am sure that they do to an extent. Granted, horses do not sleep for many hours so sleep isn't so important and typically, if they are in the trailer they are munching so its not like they get off hungry. The constant work of balancing would get tiring or just plain old, if anything.

We live in Michigan and sent a yearling colt to Colorado with a hauler. The people who bought him said that he literally fell off from the trailer and laid down for a few minutes. Poor little tyke, he was so tired of standing and balancing.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 02:01 PM
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They wouldn't get jet lag from being hauled in a trailer, any more than you'd get it from driving. And really, the two time zone difference between Michigan & California isn't enough to notice on a plane trip, let alone driving.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 03:07 PM
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I'm not sure if cross country flights cause jet lag, but they do seem to be tired after a flight of that distance. I attribute it, at least in part, to having to stand still for so long.

But from, say, the U.S. to parts of Europe or Asia, I figure in and plan for some jet lag in addition to physical tiredness.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
They wouldn't get jet lag from being hauled in a trailer, any more than you'd get it from driving. And really, the two time zone difference between Michigan & California isn't enough to notice on a plane trip, let alone driving.
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I don't know about horses, but I definitely disagree that people don't feel a difference going from EST to PST. Those trips absolutely level me when I have to do them for work, and the only way I can function professionally is to stay on east coast time. If you don't feel that way, count yourself very lucky!! :)

Last edited by egrogan; 01-12-2013 at 04:03 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-12-2013, 04:42 PM
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They get tired, same as we do, and show the effects. Some more than others.

They are more tired, more irritable in some cases, and lay down longer once unloaded.

And hauling too long can cause stress founder too.

When you couple that with some shows that go on for hours, and the lights are never turned off in the barns while at the show so that horses never get to really rest, that too adds to being over tired, if not actually jet lag.

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