The boxes are packed, the movers are scheduled, and you’re ready to set off on a new adventure in a new place. Whether you’re moving across the country or just across town, it can be an exciting and also nerve-wracking time—especially when you add horses into the mix.
However, moving your horses to a new place doesn’t have to be a completely stressful experience if you do some prep work. Here are some tips to help make the transition easier on both you and your horses.
Hire an Experienced Shipper
If you’re moving long distance and trailering your horse(s) isn’t feasible to do on your own, make sure to do your research before hiring a shipper. Find one who is experienced and comes with references. A good shipper will place priority on your horse’s comfort and safety during a long trip, stopping for water breaks, allowing your horse time to rest, and checking on their wellbeing throughout the trip.
Transition to New Pasture Slowly
Once your horse arrives at the new place, making the transition to new and possibly different grass species will need to be a slow one so as not to disrupt your horse’s delicate gut biome and cause digestive upset. If possible, take hay from your old barn so your horse can continue to eat it at the new place. If that’s not possible, try to keep the type of feed and hay, as well as the feeding routine, similar to what your horse experienced at your last place.
Having a stall or pen set up to house your horse in at first is important. Then, you can slowly increase grazing time if there is pasture. Using a grazing muzzle to limit grass intake can also be helpful, as can giving a probiotic supplement for added gut protection.
Patience is Key
Adjusting to a new place takes time and patience. Your horse may be excitable or nervous at first, but after a few weeks, they should adjust. Try to maintain your normal management routines as much as possible and maybe hold off on riding until you feel like your horse has adjusted.
If you have further tips for horse owners moving to a new place, feel free to share in the comments!
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