Moving to a new home can be stressful for a horse. They like familiar surroundings, which can make big changes tricky at times. Luckily, there's a lot you can do to help your horse feel safe during a move, and knowing how to settle your horse into a new stable with some tips can make the transition much easier.
Make sure their new home is prepared for them
Make sure everything's clean to start with, including all the equipment, rugs, grooming kits etc to help prevent spreading any diseases. Then bed down the stable and make sure they have a comfy place to rest and, if you can, try and use the same bedding from their previous home to give some familiarity to their new stable.
Settle your horse into their new home gradually
The closer you can stick to their original routine, the better. It will help them settle in much faster if there's a sense of familiarity, especially with feeding and turnout. If you are introducing changes in routine with the move, try and do this gradually, if possible, for example, if your new stable has automatic water dispensers, they may not want to use these at first. Make sure you keep an eye on anything they're nervous about.
It may help when you first move in your horse to walk them around on a loose rope and let them investigate as they wish. This will help them get to know the new surroundings, smells, and sounds of the new stable when they can go at their own pace.
Stick to their routine and give them time
It may take a little while for your horse to really get used to the new environment. Make sure not to do anything to extreme with them, such as intense exercise, meeting new horses, or treatments. Give them at least two weeks to settle in first.
Make sure to give them a bit of extra attention as they adjust. They'll need extra attention and comforting as a big change can bring extra stress. Grooming your horse can be a good way to calm and relax your horse while giving you a chance to spend some time with them too.
Every horse will adjust at different rates. Some might adjust straight away and seem completely unphased, whereas some will take a lot of time and patience. If they're really startled by the change and stressed, you may want to talk to your vet. Make sure to keep an eye out for any other signs of ill-health as they settle in.
Some horses may seem like they'll never settle in but give it time. Even the most nervous horse will eventually settle down and get used to its new home with some patience and reassurance. Pay attention to their behaviour as extra stress can increase the chance of certain illnesses. Just make sure you give them a routine and lots of love during their adjustment period.
Are you looking to build a new home for your horse?
We create bespoke equestrian buildings to meet every need of our customers. At Jon William Stables, we'll take care of everything from planning permissions to making sure the lights flick on when you're ready to move in. Let's create your dream stable together, get in touch with us today at 01380 850965 or fill out our contact form.