Everything Horse Magazine August 2021 Issue 44 - Page 32

Is your horse a

Is your horse a

Lark

or

Owl ?

Z

Z Z Z Z

Are we keeping our horses up past their bedtime , or waking them up to early for a morning ride before work ? Here , CEO of HorseHomes . com Liz Newman , explains how investigations and research have uncovered how the horse ’ s chronotype can depict sleeping patterns . Discover the differences between the two types , and how our routines could be effecting the overall welfare and performance of our much loved equine partners here .
Author Bio , Liz Newman
Liz has been working with horses , in one way or another , for 40 years . She is the co-founder and CEO of Horse Homes . com and co-founder and lead consultant at Disrupt Equine . com . For the past 10 years Liz and her team have been researching sleep deprivation , overnight behaviour profiling and circadian rhythms in horses .

Here at Horse Homes , we have been studying overnight behaviour in horses for the past 10 years . We have watched and analysed more than 80,000 hours of video recordings of horses at night in their stalls - including racehorses , sport horses and pleasure horses . One of the areas we have discovered from understanding the overnight behaviour of a horse is the horse ’ s chronotype - Lark or Owl .

Armed with this knowledge , we have been able to create work programmes that are most likely to be ideal for the individual horse to enable him to perform to the best of his ability and to live a happier and more relaxed life . In addition , understanding your horse ’ s chronotype will enable you to understand much more than you probably do about his character and behaviour both in the stable , in the pasture and when ridden .
I have always been fascinated by sleep , possibly due to my own experience of insomnia over the years . When we first began our research , I was trying to discover warning signs of colic . What I found led us to expand our focus and develop a system of profiling individual horses .
All horses have an individual overnight behaviour profile , a routine that hardly changes from one night to the next . When a horse ’ s behaviour changes , it is nearly always due to something being wrong , either physically or mentally .
A horse rarely spends his entire life at the same yard or on the same routine . When a horse moves from one place to another , it usually takes them a few days to adjust to its new life . In most cases , this is a smooth process partly because of the horse ’ s natural herd mentality and somewhat because most horses adapt pretty easily to new situations and experiences if handled correctly
However , this is not always the case , and the reason why the horse has not adjusted can be hard to find . When all the more obvious reasons have been ruled out , discovering your horse ’ s chronotype is an excellent next step .
When you buy a new horse , it will help a lot if you find out your horse ’ s chronotype early on . Then , evaluating his ability and
32 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE : AUGUST 2021