First day at the barn
Hi everyone -- I'm hoping you could help me with this.. because I don't know the right route to go.
My new horse is being shipped to me this Saturday (24th). The total haul will be about 4 hours long from MA to NJ. My barn automatically puts the horse in quarantine for a week or so just to make sure that no possible illnesses can be passed around from my guy to any other horse. (He's gotten all of his shots and coggins and health certificate completed, and passed) That's completely fine with me.
My question however, is what is the best way to introduce your new horse to your new environment? Is it best for the horse to come in, and put him right in his stall to relax? Give him a bath? Lunge? Ride? I want to make sure his transition goes smoothly and don't want to stress him out.
The last horse I had was over 10 years ago.. and quite frankly.. I don't remember how that process went lol. Anyway.. all help or suggestions would be fantastic.
I usually let my horses get comfortable in their new environment for about a week before I ride. I will put them in their field and/or stall, get used to the barns "routines", maybe lunge them in the rings to get used to that area as well.
Congrats on your new horse!
I'd leave him for a day or two maybe in the stall/yard or whatever his "safe place". I'd feed and groom him there.
Then I'd start handwalking him around the property if possible, getting him used to the sights and sounds. If he is calm riding is okay, or some basic groundwork. I wouldn't jump into heavy lunging or bathing yet. Mostly I just put a new horse with other horses, there was a thread on here a while back about introducing horses to each other. I don't think having them meet over a fence does any good (or any bad really) - they still will need to work out their herd dynamics when they meet.
I would see how he is. I do not spend days allowing them to adjust. After all, horses go to shows all the time and step off and go to work. If he comes off the trailer calm-I probably would groom him and walk around the property at least.
Remember-he will be anxious if you are. If you are calm and act like it is just another day-that is most likely how he will act.
Good luck, congrats-and WE NEED PICTURES!
Keep in mind that the other boarders may get nervous seeing a "quarantined" horse out of his designated area. That week will give your new horse plenty of time to settle in and observe all the goings-on of his new place!
Personally? I ride right away. Get them in a routine and let them figure it out. I don't baby them for a week. I show (when I can afford to haha) so I need my mount to be ok with change/new environments.
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I guess there really is no right or wrong.. I've had the same thought as some of you. Horses often travel from one place to another to show, get off, and get right to work. There's not much of a difference for him traveling 4 hours vs. going to a local show.
I think I may let him rest a little bit when he arrives. I'll walk him around, and may just rinse him off/lightly groom him if it's really hot out. I'll continue to do very light work with him, and maybe do a little lunging on that Sunday. As much as I'm dying to just jump in and ride, I want him to be comfortable and relaxed.
We used to buy horses from sales and they would be ridden the same day or early the next day as you have a limited time under the warranty to send them back if they aren't what they're supposed to be
We travel horses to shows and expect them to compete
3 of my horses came to the US from the UK, spent a month in quarantine, were then transported here to their new home - no sign of any stress and we rode them the next day
You new horse will settle better if you are calm and relaxed around him, treat him as normally as possible
Whenever I have moved my horse I found it worked much better to treat her as if she was going to a show (something normal and predictable to her). So I'd get up early, braid her, groom her nice, arrive at new place, school her like crazy then tie her to the float with hay. Come back half an hour later and turn her out.
This always made her heaps more relaxed about a new home because the routine was one she was accustomed too.
Pretty much agree. I made sure the stall was 100% ready prior to the horse arriving (Or in my case before we went to pick him up). I walked him off the trailer, got his shipping dud off and since he wasn't sweating or hot, just put him in his stall with some fresh hay. Our barn has a two week quarantine requirement so no turnout. Horses are allowed limited turnout time in either of our small indoor arenas but always with owner present, so, for the first couple of days after he arrived that is what I did. I rode on Day 3 more to get the "first ride on new horse at home" jitters over with. after that it was regular routine and even more so once he got shoes all around and was no longer tenderfooted.
In our barn's case we had summer camp going on and I was concerned how he would react to the change in activity level. He came from a very quiet barn but had no issues adapting to the kids running around and making a lot of racket. In fact he reveled in it and is a people horse..he loves kids.
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