celerony-img3.jpg  Horse celerony-img3.jpg

The horse's daily life

How does the horse divide its time?

If domestication provides comfort and security to the horse which, for example, no longer needs to find its own food, it also brings its share of negative consequences. Indeed, this life in contact with Man is considerably impacted…


In its natural state, the horse rarely stays more than 3:30 without eating. It grazes, while being mobile, more than 60% of his time.

The horse is herbivorous, its diet is varied: grass, but also leaves, berries, moss, bark ...

The male has 40 teeth, the female generally 36. The incisors allow the horse to practice very short grazing.


Horses live on a vital area where they find everything they need: congeners, water, food, shelters ... It can be shared with other families: it is therefore not a territorial animal.

4 to 8% of the day is devoted to travel, mostly in stride and in single file, between the different areas of interest.

The horse shapes its environment and creates tracks by always following the same paths.


Rest, standing or lying down, occupies 20 to 30% of the day of the horse. It comes in several cycles of 30 to 60 minutes, in particular because of its large mass which causes long-term crushing of the internal organs. REM sleep, the period when the horse sleeps deeply and dreams develop, can only occur when the horse is lying down.


The horse consecrates 4 to 8% of his day monitoring its environment. If a suspicious element is spotted, it signals it to the group by an alert posture and the emission of audible signals.

The stallion spends more time observing than the mares: he watches for possible dangers and the arrival of potential competitors.


And the rest ?

The remaining time is devoted to social behavior, reproduction and so-called maintenance behavior:
urinate, defecate, scratch, roll, drink, etc.


Texts by Déborah Bardou and Hélène Roche, ethologists - Photos Hélène Roche