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stacy l 05-20-2007 09:28 PM

New Mother - Need Help
Hi everyone, (I'm new to here)

I know nothing about horses but I am about to adopt a 10 yr. old Shire gelding. His previous owner was an elderly man who died and he is now at a lady's home who cannot keep him due to her being allergic to horses and the horse seems to be very depressed and lethargic. My vet asked if we could adopt him. We just started recently to acquire a few dairy cows and we have 4 adopted dogs and numerous cats, chickens, goat etc. I guess we have the perfect space (40 acres of prime pasture) and big heart, I have a soft spot for all animals.

I am very excited because I always wanted a large horse (percheron, clydesdale, etc) I never heard of shires until now and I have been trying to learn everything I can before his arrival in 2 weeks. (we need to get the proper flooring in our barn for him).

I would appreciate help from anyone on what should be on my checklist of initial necessities (grooming, feed requirements, shoeing, saddles), Since I am new to horses, I have no clue. I would appreciate good reference information to get started. I do not have a great paying job and I am also going to college at night, so, I need to make the best economical choices (Saddles, etc.) but I do not want to sacrifice quality for what is the best for the horse. I feel like a new expectant mother, wanting to make sure I have the blankets, treats, comfortable environment.

Any help on good websites or sources to purchase the bare necessities at reasonable prices.

Thanks in advance,


Lila 05-21-2007 04:35 PM

Hi, I am new here too and you might want to repost this in the forum on "general/other issues" or something because I bet you will get great advice. Here is what I would do. I would find a horse knowledge person who oculd help me in the beginning to walk me thorugh the process. You might ask at the local feed store if they could recommend someone, or call a local boarding barn and see what trainers they have.

I would be thinking about a) my place, (his new digs). are they "horseproofed"? no sharp things sticking out, no holes to put his feet through.I would walk the fence line to check. I use electric tape (white) because my horses are beavers and will chew wood. I will not use barbed wire. I have had my guys out with no shelter, in stalls with a run,a nd with a loafing shed and I prefer the latter (I think they don't care much about shelter except inthe winter to avoid the wind), but the loafing shed gives me a dry place to feed them,

b) the feed. What does he currently eat? You could ask for advice at the feedstore or call the vet. Lots of debate about it but I give mine daily dewormer (strongid) and sandclear the first seven days of the month but people have lots of opinions here and your vet is the best place to start. He may just get several flakes of grass hay a day and be fine. And then you could call around and see who is selling hay, how much per ton (that's how we do it) can they deliver and stack, etc. Not a big deal at all but when they are living at your house you have to plan it, He may be on straight turn out and not need any hay in the summer.

c) I would get a vet check, not to change yoru mind but just to make sure he doens't have any interesting issues that need addressing. His teeth may need to be floated, etc. Ask your vet for a vaccination schedule, teeth floating schedule etc. ALso ask your vet about a basic "horsey first aid kit" and have her give you the basics of how to use it.

d) "accessories" - which is why a local horse person is really helpful. A water bucket (you can get really fancy and get a stock tank with an electric heater for winter or just a plain ole bucket you wil be chipping ice out of), feedbuckets, halters, leadlines, a hoof pick, curry combs and brushes. you can get these at feed stores, farm and ranch stores, garage sales, etc. I'd get all used tack, and get your horse friend to show you how to put in the bit, etc.

e) get the name of a farrier who will take care of his feet and get you on a schedule.

Horses are SO MUCH FUN to have, you are right they are like kids (somes more complicated!) but totally worth it!

Good luck and have fun!

stacy l 05-25-2007 10:52 PM

Thank you for your great advice! I really appreciate the time you spent to reply back. I now have the big guy. His foster mom gave me some supplies, but since he was a rescue, she wasn't too knowledgeable about horses but shared whatever helpful info. she could. The horse is very laid back, my 4 dogs did not seem to bother him (which I was really surprised w/my overbearing border collie). I have had people who have experience with horses tell me what wisdom they have, but no one has experience with large draft horses.

I am very excited about my new family member, I will have to take the time to get him used to the new surroundings. Can't wait to learn how to ride him.

Thanks again for all your help.

Lila 05-26-2007 12:06 PM

have a lot of fun with him! He is a lucky guy to have hit the jackpot with someone who cares as much as you do! :D

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