Settling to a new barn can be stressful for your horse to and can consequently cause the development of digestive problems. Here are tips on how you can help your horse adapt to the new environment quickly and help it avoid digestive problems.
The first thing you need to ensure when moving to a new barn is to allow your horse to settle into a familiar routine. It helps if the turnout and feeding schedule is similar to the one that it is used to. Upon the arrival at the new barn, you need to place it in a stall with hay and clean water and allow it to observe the sights, smell, and sounds in the new environment. Once it has settled down, you may take it for a walk or allow it to graze in the property if it so desires.
When choosing pasture mates, a responsible horse owner should also take into account the horse’s temperament. Horses that are at the low spot on the herd hierarchy should go together in the pasture, where they won’t be bullied by the more dominant horses. Before allowing your horse to be placed together with a crowd of strange horses, you may need to take it out to the field for a walk. This is to show it where the boundaries, the water troughs, and the like are. After you have done this you can then start introducing it to other horses. At this point, it is be best to leave your horse alone and let it be a horse. Generally, there will be sniffing on each other, squealing, and even pulling each other’s faces to work out which is the more dominant one and which one is at the bottom of the ranks. Although you may watch them anxiously from afar, bare in mind that this is a perfectly normal thing for horses to do. You should then be able to identify the best suitable match as your horse’s pasture mates.
If the new barn provides a different feed than what the horse is used to eating, it is important that you introduce the new feed slowly. For instance, you need to replace a small amount of the regular feed with an equal portion of the new type of feed for the first few days. After which, you may need to increase the amount of the new feed and continue this for about a week. This gradual introduction will help the normal gut flora adjust to the new feed and reduce the risk of developing colic. If you are concerned about bouts of colic or if your horse has had this experience before, you may need to consult your vet, who might recommend the use of probiotics for horses to help restore the balance of the gut flora. Be sure to also provide enough water for your horse.
Relocating to a new barn is a great opportunity to bond with your horse, as it needs you to help it adjust to the new environment. Help it during the transition, especially with the feeding routines, to avoid health problems from developing. To combat digestion problems, you may also give it equine probiotics, and there is no other affordable source than Abler.