Where From Here... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-16-2010, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Where From Here...

So we moved the horses yesterday from my mom's little hobby farm to a large boarding facility. We took 4 of our 5, I left my retired mare at my mom's farm to save a little money and have something to do when I go visit...in any case, being at a new place, average how long does it take a horse to settle in? A week? A month? I know I have to be patient and let her accept things at first, but new surroundings or not, you're NOT allowed to run me over because the swaying tree blew in your general direction.

Eve is 3 years old now but still very much a baby mentality. She's a VERY immature 3 year old and her focus can't be kept solid longer than an hour at this point. Now with the new environments, we just worked on ground work and lunging and it was like pulling teeth from a chicken to get her to look at me, nevermind focus on me. The ranch doesn't have a roundpen at the moment since they're at the tail end of renovations and putting in new paddocks and things, but I have access to the indoor arena. We were in there today and that's probably part of why I had issues with her today since she's never been in an arena before...

So far my plan is to give her a week to absorb everything new and stick to ground work and grooming. After that I'll do more lunging in the arena and start some light rides again...I don't think I'll be hitting the trails on her for at least a month, possibly longer.

Snagged a couple pictures from the move, enjoy!





Practicing her awkward stance

Look at pony's moves!

That's all for now, just looking for opinions on how long to wait before pushing her again and having expectations. Obviously I haven't let it all go, but wondering how long the integration period is typically so I have a general idea...thanks!

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-16-2010, 09:25 PM
Green Broke
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Getting a horse adjusted to a new environment will depend on the horse, some handle it better then others. How long to wait to push her and how long to have expectations are two very different concepts! Personally if I were switching barns my horses would be lucky to get more then a day or two before working (whether "working" meant jumping a course or listening to me while I lunge). Particularly b/c I want my horses to be able to trailer to a new place and know that they need to get to work. When you go to a show, you don't get a week to acclimate to a new place. You saddle up and ride! However, with a immature 3 y/o that hasn't seen much of the world, I'd keep my expectations low! There will probably be spooks and sillyness but once the saddle goes on, my horses need to understand that it's time to get down to business.

I was at a show with a baby who was terrified of a bright trash can. I was trying to get the horse to get close to it to inspect it and a trainer I was schooling with said, "he doesn't have to touch it, he just has to be able to work past it". That's probably the mindset I'd have with your horse. He doesn't have to be comfortable around the waving tree right now, but he has to be able to walk past it without bowling you over!

Cute horse BTW!!
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-16-2010, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL
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Ice is so used to being moved around it took him 5 minutes off the trailer to say hi to everyone and start grazing. He was not overly concerned with his surroundings. However, his "honeymoon" period for the facility still lasted for 3-4 months.

It depends entirely on the horse, and how well they've been desensitized to being moved and to new things. Also their confidence level has a lot to do with it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-17-2010, 10:37 AM
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The more they work the quicker they will adjust to the surroundings. Keep a routine and don't put up with anything you wouldn't anywhere else.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-17-2010, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
The more they work the quicker they will adjust to the surroundings. Keep a routine and don't put up with anything you wouldn't anywhere else.
I agree to an extent. I would just be a little more accepting of nervousness and spookiness as it is a new place. That does NOT mean I'd let them walk all over me. Just that if my horse spooked at something, I'd take a second to "introduce" the object whereas I don't do that in a familiar place. Also, I wouldn't jump right into new work. I'd work on things we already learned for the first few days before trying to throw something new at them.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-20-2010, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Sorry it's been almost a week since I'm able to reply, but I come bearing good news and new pictures! I took most of your advice - I'm being patient when she's genuinely scared of something but firm if she's just being silly and not "wanting" to do something. Pushing her a little harder to get past her silly moments and taking 5 minute time outs to get her used to different things. The back door on the arena was THE scariest thing ever...after today she's happy to walk past it. Every time she spooked at it, we trotted past 3 times without her even looking at it. She figured it out fast if she just goes past, it's less work. I hand walked her down a trail on a loose lead rope and she was blowing and just being dancy so instead of getting after her, I just let her and half way through she settled and was fine. Getting the hang of knowing when to do what...

These pictures are from her second ride in the arena, had 2 rides since then and she's only getting better! Sorry for the quality...yay arena lighting!







Been doing ALOT of serpentines and one rein stops, working on getting her listening to the bit instead of following the wall. Her whoa has gone all to cr@p though...just blatantly walking through it so we went back to her one rein stops and she's slowly getting it back. We also did our first canter in the arena today and it was MAGICAL! She picked up the right leads both times, full lap and a half each way and called it a day. Very proud of how she did today...Moki and the kid were there with Jynx and pony for the first bit, but when they left Eve lost her brain for about 5 minutes but I brought her back and she did awesome!

And a couple closing pictures of Eve and Jynx!





Thank you all for your advice!

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-20-2010, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Perth Australia
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Kevin said exactly what i was going to =)

when ever i get a new horse or move a horse, i go out there everyday for a week and get them out and do some sort of work with them. the more they see of the property the better.

This is a Swan Song
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-21-2010, 01:51 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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I agree with Kevin on this one; does that mean you 'have' to do all new things, necessarily? No, but atleast getting out there and doing something helps your horse understand that where they are at is 'okay' and they will be expected to behave well no matter what the surroundings are. It sounds like she is adjusting just fine though, so good job!

As always you as a handler are the one who sets the tone and attitude...if you're nervous or "think" your horse is going to react in a new situation or are content to allow a horse to react just because 'it's a new place', geuss what? He probably will...treat your horse the same as you would where he was before, and he will 'get over' his new surroundings much much quicker and easier!!!

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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