Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
So you think you know horses?</p> Do you love horses? Whether you live to ride, love to pet, or like to cheer on your favorite at the races, you'll get the inside track on all things equine in this must-read compendium. From breeding and behavior to medical tips and trivia, plus historical and contemporary facts, it's all here to give you more horse sense. 'America's Favorite Vet' Dr. Marty Becker and his wife, Teresa, team up with award-winning writer and horsewoman Audrey Pavia and syndicated columnist Gina Spadafori to answer everything you'd ever want to know about horses--and more!</p> <p>How long does it take for a baby horse to learn how to stand? What's the difference between a pony and a horse? Why can't a horse just wear a cast on a broken leg? How much horsepower does a horse really have? How do directors get horses to fall down in movies? Do horseshoes really bring good luck? Why do horses walk and poop at the same time? Does a horse know if he has won a race? Is it true horses can't throw up? Are horses good swimmers? Do horses have good memories?</p> <p>While no one will ever be able to fully explain the mutual love, trust, and devotion between humans and horses, this book will bring you one step closer. Giddy up!</p>
$12.95 prolam 1-2008 (db)
Excerpt provided by Syndetics
<anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">Why do horses sleep standing up? In the wild, when startled or alarmed, animals survive through the fight-or-flight response. This is the same response that kicks in when someone jumps out from the dark and scares you: do you throw up your hands to fight, or do you engage your feet and take flight? Humans, who have been called the ultimate predators, often fight. Horses, who are in almost all situations prey (except for fights between horses), take flight.By natural selection, horses who could sleep standing up, wake up, and run away from predators faster were the ones more likely to survive and pass on their genes. Put another way: when you're a large herbivore, and a carnivore with a rumbling stomach looks your way, you're better off if you can move at a moment's notice.So that's why horses sleep standing up, but how do they do it? The answer is called a 'stay apparatus,' which is a unique adaptation of the musculoskeletal system of the horse that allows the animal to lock limbs in position so that very little muscle function is required to remain standing.In the front legs, this is relatively easy, since these limbs naturally rest in a straight, load-bearing position. The hind legs presented a bigger challenge, however, and for them, horses have over time developed a combination of ligament and joint adaptations that allow them to lock two principle joints, the stifle and the hock, in a fixed and immovable position.When enjoying a short nap, the horse will lock one hind limb in this fixed position. The weight of the hind end is resting on the locked limb while the other hind limb is in a flexed and resting position.The stay apparatus is a nifty adaptation, but one small problem remains. Like humans, horses have both shallow sleep and a deeper period of rest known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Horses need about fifteen minutes of REM sleep each day, and they can get that only while lying down. Good thing they don't need much REM sleep, because a horse who lies down for long periods of time has difficulty getting blood supply to the large muscles of the legs, which makes getting up difficult. The bigger the horse, the bigger the problem, which is why some horses (particularly the large draft horses) have a very difficult time recovering from lengthy periods under anesthesia.Whether they are in the wild or in a domestic setting, a horse must feel safe before lying down to enjoy a few minutes of deep sleep. A horse would die without eventually getting deep sleep. There may be a delay of many hours, even days, but eventually a horse feels safe enough to go prone, go to the REM zone, and catch some deep z's. In a traditional herd setting, horses enjoy the protection of their herd during the time of deep sleep. Often one horse will stand and nap while the others lay down for a deep sleep.Different horses require different amounts of deep sleep. Babies need more sleep than adults; fortunately, their mothers will protect them while Excerpted from Why Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?: 101 of the Most Perplexing Questions Answered about Equine Enigmas, Medical Mysteries, and Befuddling Behaviors by Marty Becker, Audrey Pavia, Gina Spadafori, Teresa Becker, Marty Becker, D.V.M. All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon>
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Many people are aware that horses sleep standing up (which makes it easier to flee from danger), But how many know that they must spend some time sleeping lying down in order to have REM sleep? This is one of the topics of the 101 questions answered in this readable compendium of equine facts, the third volume in the publisher's pet series, after Why Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet? and Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?, also coauthored by Good Morning America veterinary contributor Becker and Gina Spadafori. The other coauthors are former Horse Illustrated editor Audrey Pavia (Horses for Dummies) and writer Teresa Becker (Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul). While Ian Whitelaw and Julie Whitaker's The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge is more comprehensive, the price of this modest volume makes it affordable for even the smallest library. Recommended for small to medium-sized public libraries.-Patsy Gray, Huntsville P.L., AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.