How to transition a horse to a new barn... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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How to transition a horse to a new barn...

My new horse (see "oldenburg mare" thread in conformation section) arrives in two weeks. I haven't dealt with this situation, where a horse is shipped alone to a new barn where she will be stall kept as a boarder. Any advice on helping her acclimate to her new life? With your own horses, do you start work right away, or give them a few days of stall rest to get used to the new sights/smells/sounds?
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 01:10 AM
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Will she get turnout?

I generally give two days to a week to get acclimated, but still make sure they get plenty of exercise.

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 01:23 AM
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Depends on the horse-- people take horses to different rodeos- horse shows- trailrides- etcetera and ride right away-- they adapt well-- my opinion.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Individual paddock turnout. It's more for fresh air and over the fence socializing than actual exercise.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 05:31 AM
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Horses hate change, so a new owner, new home, and new herd can be very stressful. We always put new horses in a paddock by themselves for 3-5 days to let them meet everyone across a fence. When you do mix her with a herd, do it in the morning so you have the day to keep an eye on all the fussing and kicking that will happen. Have your betadine and neosporin ready because mares take their pecking order very seriously, but try not to get involved unless it really gets out of hand.

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post #6 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 06:24 AM
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Honestly Paint horse-I have never had an issue moving any of my horses. I guess if you make a big deal of it yourself, they think it is one. Mine always step of the trailer like they have lived there forever, and if it has not been a long trip for them, I will ride or do groundwork the same day. As has been said-horses travel to shows, etc all the time. Not a big deal. Yes, acclimating to a new heard can lead to some trauma with establishing a pecking order, but just expect some scrapes.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 09:42 AM
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It depends how long of a haul she's had. With any horse after a long trailer ride I will give them some time to recover. With anything over 5 hours, I would give her a day. Coming across the country, maybe 2 or 3. She will be tired after a day or two in a trailer.
However, of its only a 4 hour trailer ride, or less, I would even be tempted to ride that evening, or the next morning.
When you show her you're going to have to be able to hop on her at a new place within an hour of arriving.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 09:58 AM
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Mia had an hour ride to our place, and by chance the only other horse we had was a horse (Lilly) who had once shared a corral with Mia for 2 years. When Mia arrived, Lilly was thrilled to see her former corral-mate. Mia? She tried to kill Lilly! It took about a month before we could safely mix Mia & Lilly in the same corral.

Mia needed months to settle. 3-4 months after she arrived, she would still sometimes break into a heavy sweat (lather-level) just standing in a corral.

Trooper was a ranch horse. He arrived after a 15 hour trip. He was OK being ridden the next day.

Those are my two data points. Good luck!
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-18-2013, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-19-2013, 12:05 AM
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Unload horse, make sure they have food, water, and are safely contained. Watch for a little bit to make sure they're eating/drinking/not colicy. After that? Ride or leave them be or do whatever you want, though be thoughtful and consider that they will be tired if it was a long trip. I generally prefer a few days over-the-fence meetings with the new herd if they're to be turned out, if at all possible. Some horses may be worked up or anxious, but remember if you ever want to trailer to a ride or a show, they've got to learn that they're expected to work immediately after stepping off the trailer some time, so IMO now is as good as ever unless there's a good reason (medical or long trailering distance).
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