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Allowing a horse to settle in to a new environment

Well after a huge move (40 horses in total) we have all settled in nicely to our temporary place. So I thought it would be a perfect topic to start off our blog again! I hear of people getting a horse home after purchasing it or moving to a new property and the horse seems totally different. This is a very normal response from the horse, and each horse will be different in how they handle the move. I always allow the horse to have a few days at a minimum to settle to the new surroundings before I start asking anything much of them. The reason for this is that you have just taken them to an unfamiliar place and away from their herd, two things that scream YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER to a horse. Before the can settle they have to feel at ease and know that they are safe. If you have a horse that has had extensive exposure to new surroundings and experiences this won't take long and they may be settled in a matter of an hour or two. But for those that haven't had this training it will take a bit of time. When I deem that they have settled and are ready for work I still take it slowly with them. I will take them to their work areas and just give them a light lunge for a few days until they realise that this is new area is safe. And then when I start working them under saddle I just start off with really easy things that the horse already knows, not putting too much pressure on them. After a few days of easy work where they have now relaxed into a new routine you can then start to ask for more things of your horse. Always give them the chance to get to know the new environment and get to know you before you start to put too much pressure on them. But make sure you don't allow them to be dominant, not putting pressure on and allowing the horse to walk all over you are very different from each other. I hope this helps many of you that have had issues with this and that it will help you and your horse in the future :)

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