Did you know horses unlike humans do not need a period of solid unbroken sleep. They obtain needed sleep from short period of rest.
Horses are able to sleep both standing and lying down. They're able to doze and enter light sleep while standing, an adaptation from life as a prey animal in the wild which might need to flee predators at a moment's notice. The "stay apparatus" of the forelegs and "check apparatus" (functions of the leg tendons and ligaments) of the hind legs allows them to rest and relax without falling down.
Horses may spend anywhere between 4 to 15 hours a day in standing rest and from a few minutes to several hours lying down. But not all this time is the horse actually asleep. Total sleep time on average is about 2.5 hours in a 24 hour period most of this occurring in short periods of about 15 minutes each.
Horses need to lie down occasionally and prefer soft ground for a nap. Horses must lie down to achieve REM (Rapid - Eye - Movement) deep sleep. They only have to lie down for an hour or two every few days to meet their minimum REM sleep requirement. However, if a horse is never allowed to lie down it will become sleep deprived.
As a pasture animal the horse prefers soft but firm ground, so it makes sense to provide flooring that emulates this in the stable. After all what we're trying to achieve is as natural an environment as possible for our beloved steed to ensure he is comfortable and well rested.
Horse Comfort Stable Mats also know as Mayo mats
At Horse and More we've been researching stable mats and we've installed some fabulous EVA Horse Comfort mattresses in our stables. I really like my horses to be cosy so they get plenty of rest whether standing or lying down.
Horse Comfort stable mats are not made from rubber, which is heavy and provides a cold, hard surface for horses to stand or lie on. They're made from EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate), a closed cell foam, which is much softer and lighter than rubber due to the high air content. So they're easy to fit and once fitted easy to move around. "Closed cell" means that the mats are non-absorbent, cleanable and odour free. And most importantly, insulating and really comfortable for your horse to stand or lie on.
Horse Comfort mats are top of the range. They use reinforcing fillers in the manufacturing process, which creates a stable lightweight mat. Inert fillers used in some cheaper copies result in a more unstable heavier product so the mat wears quicker.
These mats are great for all horses, and especially for laminitics or horses recovering from injury. At Norris's Farm we're using them to make life more comfortable for our three horses and just as importantly, easier for us. Find our more about the ultra comfortable 44mm Horse Comfort Mattress or the 24mm Horse Comfort Premium Stable Mat which is the perfect balance of durability, comfort and value. For those on a budget consider the Horse Comfort Economy Stable Mat. Or ring us to discuss and order your FREE sample!