So you have moved your horse to a new home. What’s next?
A change of environment with new surroundings can be very stressful for a horse and may result in health problems. The key to reducing the problems associated with stress arising from this situation is to make your horse as comfortable as possible. You can help your horse adjust to the changes. Here are some ideas that you can use to help your horse adapt to the new environment.
- Your horse needs affection. Reassure him that the new home is a safe place to be in. Pay him plenty of attention by simple gestures such as hugs, kisses, and patting. This will calm your horse down and associate the new environment with feeling good.
- Lead your horse to its new pasture or stall. Make sure there is sufficient water for your horse to drink. On average a horse can consume approximately 20 liters of water per day and even more in warm weather.
- Once you have relocated your horse to the new environment it is advisable to refrain from riding it for the first few days. These first few days should be devoted to giving your horse attention or providing grooming sessions. This creates an opportunity for you to further bond with your horse.
- As mentioned, a good grooming session will make a difference in helping your horse settle down. You can also spend time talking and petting your horse. It is simple matter of giving enough time for your horse to adjust.
- Before night falls ensure that you have prepared your horse’s stable for a comfortable night in the new environment. You could leave some treats or small feed for your horse to munch on. Be careful not to give too much as your horse is already stressed out by the transition and too much feed could lead to an upset stomach or even formation of stomach ulcers. Also check to see that you have left enough water for your horse to drink.
- Change in the feeding regime is an important factor that goes with settling your horse in a new environment. It is important to do it right. When changing your horse’s regular feed any change should be done gradually. Replace a small amount of its usual feed with just as much of the new feed and do this for the first few days. Continue this, with an increase in the percentage of the new feed gradually until your horse is eating entirely a new feed. This gradual change allows bacteria to also adjust to the new feed and minimize instances of colic.
- Another way to get your horse acquainted with the new environment is to paddock your horse during the daytime and leave him overnight to become familiar with the new surroundings.
If you are moving your horse to a new barn take this opportunity to give your horse more attention than usual during the transition which will help create a stronger bond between you and your horse. It takes patience to get your horse to settle into a new home. The excitement of having your horse at your new property could make you expect too much from your horse. It is best not to push your horse too hard instead, be patient and give your horse time to settle in to a normal routine.