It’s inevitable that at some point you and your horse may need to move yards. Whether it’s for personal reasons or to have more facilities, it can sometimes be a bit of an unsettling time for both you and your horse. We have a couple of top tips to help make your move as smooth and to keep your horse as happy as possible.
Most yards tend to have a quarantine period, or some time where your horse is kept in away from the other horses. This is usually in case they have any unknown infections they could potentially pass on to the others. Obviously during this time, it can be boring for your horse to be stuck between four walls, so we’d recommend investing in a couple of boredom busters to help keep your horse occupied during the day. Treat balls or hanging things such as turnips or licks to the stable ceiling can help to keep their minds busy. Obviously as well it’s important to give them regular leg stretches. If you’re allowed to use the school or go for a little hack, then this would give you a good opportunity to allow your horse to take in their new surroundings. If not, then we’re sure they would thank you for walking them out for a bite of grass (away from the other horses of course!).
This may seem like we’re stating the obvious but being organised and packing all your things up in the right way will help to take the pressure off you in the long run. Try boxing winter/summer rugs away with clear labels, so that you know exactly what can go into storage at your new yard. Having other boxes with your grooming supplies or other items clearly labelled can help you know what needs to go where when you arrive. It’s also worth having your horses stable set up and ready for them once they arrive. Having fresh hay, water and a nice big cosy bed waiting for them should help them feel at home in no time. If you need to as well, it’s worth registering your horse with a new vet, farrier, dentist and physio before you move so that you know you’re sorted for when they need treatment.
Even if your horse has a quarantine period, it’s best to still try and stick to a good routine – horses are creatures of habit after all. Continue feeding and riding at the usual times - essentially act as if nothing has changed! Horses can sense if you’re tip toeing around them and it is likely to put them on edge too, so by you remaining calm and relaxed it should help put them at ease.
It can be a little bit overwhelming being a newbie on the yard especially if all the other liveries are already friends! The best way to get stuck into a new yard is to chat to all the other liveries and put yourself out there to go and say hello, introduce yourself and ask about them and their horse. Even if you’d rather keep yourself to yourself at livery yards, it’s always nice to have a buddy to go for a hack with. If you don’t know the area well this could be a good talking point – ask them if they fancy coming with you for a hack so they can show you all the good bridleways. That way you’re getting to know everyone and the area at the same time.
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