Advice on taking a young horse somewhere new
I am soon going to take my 3 yr old who has never been anywhere beside where she was born and raised, to the arena and shows. Any advice on keeping her calm/activities to get her used to her surroundings? If she is behaving herself should I ride her the first time she is there, or wait until the 2nd or third time I take her? How much could overwhelm her? Would showing her in the 3rd show of the year (after taking her to the other 2 shows) be too soon? How do you handle this situation with your young horses?
Just being curious :-)
I just made sure he could see at least one other horse he knew. Other than that, I left him alone to adjust and he did great even when he was left all alone. I'm on my phone, so I'm making this a lot shorter than I'd like.
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I think we are going to start by trailering her over there with one of her pastures mates :)
The first several outings you take her to tie her to your trailer with a quick release knot and let her absorb the activity going on around her. Also in case of an emergency carry a sharp rope cutting knife with you. Taking a pasture mate along is a good idea. The things that will most likely unsettle her are: the noise of announcer's loud speaker, other new horses, people coming and going leading horses, flags and banners flapping in the breeze, trucks and trailers coming and going with whinning horses aboard and all the other sights and sounds going on. Let her "tell" you when she is desensitized to the activity.
I was thinking about doing the same thing when my filly turns 3. Went to the rodeo last night and with all that commotion she would benefit from that exposure. So next year a friend of mine is going to help me and we will bring her along to get used to the sounds and sites. I'm not worried as if there is any problems I will just load her into the trailer to calm down. Or take her away from the commotion and go where its less noise. Guess we'll just wing it.
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When my horse was a 2 year old, I took him to an open show to just get used to all the fuss and experience it all. That was his first time off the farm since I got him as a yearling. I left him tied to the trailer for a while, then lunged... and lunged... and lunged. Then just walked and jogged around the place a bit. If your horse doesn't settle in after a little bit, get her mind busy. If my guy was getting nervous, I'd give him a job; make him do something to get his mind focused on something else.
Once that first time is out of the way, the second show is no big deal. I showed my guy at the next show.
Our first few trips off the farm are to the park for a nice trail ride. Low key, no expectations.
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