Friday, March 19, 2010

Appaloosa, as rarely seen

Yesterday afternoon, Bucky looked out the window and saw both horses relaxing in the sun. He slipped out the door to take a few pictures.

Horses don't lie down much.  They can lock their legs and sleep standing up, but they still need to get off their feet for a space of time.  And why not lie down in the sun on the warm ground?  

They might only spend an hour out of 24 like this, and even less laid right out with their heads down.  It kind of freaks me out when they flatten out.  They look dead.  I'm looking for the rise of the ribcage and the twitch of an ear to show me they're just sleeping. 

I am always struck by how different they look like this.  Phoenix reminds me of a beached sea mammal.  Copper looks like a kitten with her legs all tucked under her chest. 

This is an extremely vulnerable position for a horse to be in.  Instinct tells them not to be this way, just in case a mountain lion comes along looking for a nice big hooved snack.  A lot of horses won't let you get this close to them when they're lying down.  These two are ridiculously tame, but Bucky still thought it was really cool to get this close to them before they decided they ought to get up and shake it off.

Later he did a little picture fixing and drew a big red heart around their heads for me.


Rocky Mountain Yankee said...

I always thought they looked like beached whales when they lay flat out. I'm with you though, always watching for the ribcage or ear twitch just to make sure.

lopinon4 said...

I think it's cool that they're BOTH down. Usually, one is left in charge to stand guard and be a watchdog. They must feel VERY comfortable in their environment ~ kudos to you for your role in creating that!

pseudosu said...

Ha-- way to go bucky! Good shots. I love seeing them like that. Might make a good sculpture someday (?)
Our neighbor's horse used to sack out flat ALL the TIME. At least twice a week someone would roar into their driveway and tell them their horse was dead in the pasture. "Nope, just sleeping-- again."

Astaryth said...

I know what you mean about worrying when they stretch out. My mind always darts to Colic, or some other problem since they don't lay down much. My Boo is a big problem because I have had him since he was born, he doesn't have that instinctive -must jump up, approaching human could mean danger- thing. In fact, the other evening when I went out to check on them he was lying down. I walked over and he rolled up onto his chest, but just sat and looked at me. I clucked. He looked. I walked around him. He watched me. I petted him. He accepted it without offering to get up. I offer his nighttime carrot. He takes it, chews, swallows, looks to see if I have another... Finally I nudged him. He STILL just looked at me. I finally nudged him with my boot -HARD. He finally sighed and stood up, turned around, looked at me, and if he could talk I am sure he would have said "What!?!? I'm UP. Happy NOW?" LOL! Sidenote: he only does this with me. With other people he would have gotten up when they approached. I think he just likes to worry me ;)