It’s moving day! You’re packing up your horse and hitting the road for his new stable. He probably won’t be as excited as you for this big moment. Moving can actually be quite stressful for a horse. By planning ahead you can make this new adventure a positive experience. You can get him settled into his new barn without worrying about his health or any behavioral changes.
- Find ideal accommodations: Consider your horse’s previous stable… Was he turned out most of the day? Was he with a large or small herd? Did the stable manager blanket or put a fly mask on him? It might be wise to keep his new accommodations similar to his old, at least for a few weeks and gradually switch over. You might get a cranky horse if he goes from 24/7 turnout to stabled all the time.
- Large moves require extra attention: If you’re moving a far distance, consider the temperature difference, hay availability, and landscape.
- Know your horse: Speak with the new barn manager ahead of time to discuss things. It’s good to know if your horse is dominant or passive in the field, so he can be placed accordingly. Also, check to see who will be handling him and whether they’re are experienced. If he has quirks, voice them before you drop him off.
- Bring plenty of supplies: Make sure you have enough grain and hay to gradually switch him over. Ask your old barn if you can have some to last a week or two. You might even consider filling up a five gallon container of water, if you have a picky horse.
- Slow and steady: Don’t throw your horse out with the entire herd right out of the trailer. You’ll want to introduce him slowly over the few days to weeks. At first, it would be best to put him in a small paddock near the herd or a stall next to a future pasture mate. You should also avoid strenuous riding for a few days.
Moving can be stressful, but not if you plan ahead. Take the first few weeks to help get him settled into his new home. You can use the opportunity to meet other boarders. Good luck on your adventure!