Most horses need to be relocated at some point in their lives. While this can be a stressful experience, there are some ways you can help your horse settle. From giving them time off work to ensuring they have access to the right forage, these 10 actions can promote a peaceful transition for your equine companion.

Top tips for moving yard

Before you rush in and transport your horse to their new digs, consider the following:

  1. Arrange transport in advance, leave plenty of time for loading and unloading.
  2. Turn your horse out on arrival, and maximise their turnout time.
  3. Monitor their reactions – watch for changes in their behaviour that could indicate anxiety.
  4. Monitor their vital signs.
  5. Maintain a familiar feeding regime and routine.
  6. Find them friendly neighbours.
  7. Enrich their environment with a deep bed, if stabled, and an ad-lib choice of forages.
  8. Introduce new horses gradually.
  9. Give them a holiday from work, at least two weeks off to let them adjust to his new surroundings.
  10. Be aware of your body language – if you’re feeling nervous in your new surroundings your horse could pick up on this.

New horse?

If your horse is new to you, or in unfamiliar surroundings, keep him company whenever you can to develop trust.

The following tips can help you spend more time together:

  • Take the opportunity to catch up on all the things you’ve been meaning to do at the yard, like cleaning your tack, and just spend time being there – like reading a book in their stable. They’ll appreciate you being around and it will go a long way to establishing a good relationship.
  • Spend time grooming them and finding their favourite itchy spots.
  • Grooming around the base of their neck and withers with your fingers or a plastic curry comb simulates mutual grooming, lowers the heart rate and helps them relax.

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