Congratulations Cheshire! I still remember getting my first horse nearly 30 years ago. I've learned a few things since then.
When I bring in a new horse, I give them a day or two to settle in. On the second day I'll hand walk them under tack and just bring them around the farm with me much the same way you would walk a dog. The point is to not only acclimate the horse to the farm but to start building a bond with me.
As for not having a stall, my horses have stalls but never use them. My barn has a very large "common" area in the front that they can access from the paddock. They get to the pasture from the paddock and can come and go as they please. Right now it is ~55 degrees, a heck of a rain storm and winds gusting up to 40 mph yet they are out in the pasture becasue that is where they prefer to be. I have not stalled a horse in over 20 years unless there was a medical reason to do so. When I lived in PA I would see my horses with a foot of snow on their backs and loving it.
Gidji - that is precisely what we will be doing. :) Leading her everywhere...getting to know her, letting her know us (I keep on saying "us" because technically she will be both my own and my mother's horse...horses can bond to two people at once, right? Lol) All I know is that I will be spending as much time as possible with her before I get shipped out of state...
...stands to reason that after 18 years of being so horsecrazy it was nearly painful at times, we happen to buy one right before I leave for college. Oh well...guess this means I'll just have to come home like...every weekend...
This morning I bought her some brushes, a hoofpick, a bucket for the grooming supplies, an aubergine halter and a neat matching lead, and a brand new aubergine/mahogany blanket. I guess dark purple is her colour. We just need a lunge line and tack...Wandering through that feed store, picking stuff out for her...I felt like I was 12 again! Feeling better about her owner...she is having a hard time letting Lilly go, she just needs to be reassured we will be a good family. After explaining things this morning she appears to be more calm and confident about the situation, which is good.
Pictures coming soon!!