Working a horse after moving? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Working a horse after moving?

My friend brought home the horse we went to check out last week. He came off the trailer a little anxious. He had never been in a two horse before, though the shipper said he was excellent in the trailer. We brought him into the barn and he was a bit looky, but not bad. We turned him out for 40 minutes. In that span of time he trotted maybe 30 feet once and also rolled. No bucking, fighting with the neighboring horses, running. Just all around calm. We brought him inside and groomed him. Again a little looky, but fine after a new minutes. The barn was pretty busy as they were feeding and doing turn out. He didn't to anything wrong as the hay cart was passing or horses were coming in and out. Perfect gentlemen. Then I tell my friend that Id like to get on him for a few minutes, she was totally on board with the idea. As she was tacking him up another boarder had to come over and roll her eyes at us and comment about getting on him "so soon".

IMO I'd expect him to get of the trailer and preform anywhere! The ride was only 2 hours. He got time to relax. He wasn't really anxious. Our "ride" was just 15 minutes of walking and 3 laps around the arena in the running walk. Nothing stressful. And it was probably good to keep his gut moving too.

I don't for a second doubt my decision, but do you have a protocol for "new transfers"?
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 12:09 PM
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If it was a horse that was used to traveling and seemed to settle in fine, I'd see no problem going for a ride.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 12:24 PM
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I ride them right away. It's not like the horse is going to get days to settle in beforehand if you go to a show or an event! Behaving themselves and performing in a new and potentially scary place is something I expect a horse to do. Now, if it was an 8 hour ride, I might just do a little groundwork because they're probably tired enough as is. Two hours though? That might simply be the trailer time to a show or an event! I also think riding/working them lightly immediately upon arrival also helps reinforce that even when they're in a new place (especially when they're in a new place) they need to focus, listen, and obey your cues and instructions rather than doing anything goofy.

So, for me, no 'protocol' per say, but offer food, water, let them chill a few minutes while I attend to the inevitable details of a move or put tack, etc away. Then I do a quick grooming and we work a little, maybe 10-30 minutes, just until he settles in and is focused and listening well.
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Last edited by Sharpie; 01-20-2014 at 12:27 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 12:27 PM
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I rode my new horse the day he came. It all depends on the horse, both of my horses are show horses who are used to traveling and having to perform within hours. If he was as calm as you made him sound there was absolutely nothing wrong with it! As a matter of fact it probably gave him time to look around. People will always have little comments to make.

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 12:48 PM
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It does depend on the horse- I did pretty much the same thing as you when my horse was delivered. He's super mellow and settled in really quickly. The first time I rode him in our arena I realized halfway through that he was acting as though he had always been there.

However, before him I brought home a different horse on trial, and she didn't settle in well at all. She was so worked up that when we tried putting her in a stall, she pushed through and bolted down the aisleway and would have run through a kid's birthday party if my friend hadn't jumped in front of her and stopped her. It took her weeks to settle down to the point where the barn staff was willing to go into her stall at all, and this was a horse that was stalled in her previous home, so it's not like she wasn't used to them! I rode her 3 days later, and then only in the round pen as I didn't trust her in the large arena. I can't imagine what it would have been like trying to take this horse to shows O_o
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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He was totally fine. I wouldn't risk my neck if I didn't think he was ok. It peeves me hard when people think their way is the end all be all to horses. I HATE bullying at the barn!!
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 04:27 PM
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generally, when a horse changes owners, I like to give them at least a couple days to settle in. I see it as a sort of courtesy to the horse, who has suddenly been removed from its home, buddies, owners and tack, and it now in an entirely new situation. I know if I swapped places I would hope for the same courtesy.

some horses need much longer than a couple days as well. My BO purchased a 10 year old gelding that was well broke, but had one owner his whole life, and hadn't traveled much. He had a really hard time adjusting, and went from a nice quiet gelding to spooky, touchy, flighty mess. It took a full month and he was back to the same horse he was when purchased.

Also, I don't think shows count. The horse knows its rider and tack, and after a few shows, knows the routine, unlike a horse that has just changed owners/locations.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 04:39 PM
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I ride right away.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 07:28 PM
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I would ride right away too!
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 01:58 AM
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Every horse is different, but yours seemed quite settled so I would have ridden him too.

To ride or not to ride.....What a silly question!
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