Horses rest either standing or lying on the ground, and up to 30% of horse’s time budget can be spent resting. Rest in horses is generally a social and socially facilitated enterprise (see Group Rest), when one horse rests, others group members rest. Typically, in close proximity to other group members (Tyler, 1972; Feist & McCullough, 1976; Kimura, 1998; Sigurjonsdottir, 2003; Heitor et al, 2006), either in tight groups, or alternately, in groups of one or two pairs (Feist & McCullough, 1976).
However, foals were observed to rest together even though their mother’s were from different bands (Tyler, 1972).
Tyler (1972) observed seasonally different mean resting times in the New Forest ponies in her study. In winter daylight hours, adult ponies were observed to have 2-3 resting bouts lasting a mean length of about 40 minutes. Foals rested a little bit longer, about 44 minutes (Tyler, 1972). In summer, the length of resting bouts increased.
Not only did resting bouts increase in duration during the summer months, but New Forest ponies sought shelter in ‘shades’ (Tyler, 1972) for up to 5 hours.