Moving your horse to a new yard can be tricky for both the horse and the owner.
There can be several reasons as to why you need to move your horse to a new yard, whether it’s because you’ve moved to a new house, because there is a space at a yard closer to your home, or because it’s just no longer suitable to your needs.
I have had to move Beano to a new yard a few times now, for different reasons, and there are a few things I've learned along.
Here are my 5 tips for settling your horse into a new yard:
Try to stick to a routine
Most horses thrive on a routine, so when you move yards it will help to try to keep to their routine as much as possible. This means that your horse won’t have to cope with adjusting to a new routine at the same time as they’re adjusting to new surroundings, sounds, smells and, of course, other horses.
Introduce changes slowly
If you're going to be changing their routine, introduce those changes gradually so that your horse doesn’t become overwhelmed. For example, if you’re changing your horse’s routine from being stabled to being out in the fields, make sure you slowly introduce the change in routine.
Allow them time to settle
Every horse is different and a yard move can be a big deal to the owner and the horse, so allow your horse time to settle. Some horses will settle in straight away, others might need a few days, or even weeks.
I’m lucky that Beano settles quite quickly but any time we’ve moved yards I’ve always given him a day off, followed by a gentle lunge the next day so that he can process the change before I expect him to do any substantial work.
Remember to be patient with your horse f they're a little on edge when you first arrive. You might find your usually easy going horse is on their toes for a few days after the move, but they’ll soon settle down once they get into the swing of things.
But don't be afraid to crack on
In the same breath though, don't tiptoe around your horse.
Your horse will pick up on it if you're nervous, so to a certain extent try to just crack on as you would at your old yard to show your horse that everything is still ok.
The best way to get stuck in at a new yard is to get involved. It can be intimidating when you first arrive and can see everyone else getting on really well. But don't be afraid to ask for help, or to organise riding with someone - it's a great way to get to know the other liveries and the local area at the same time.