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How long to settle after a barn move?

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  • How long to settle after a barn move?

    My mare got moved this past Monday. I've had her almost 5 years, both former barns, she was there for about 2 years.
    She just seems very upset this time and I feel so sorry for her.I know it takes some time to adjust but the other two moves didn't seem to affect her as much.
    She is out in the day and they haven't put her in with anyone yet. There is a herd situation and full board private turnouts. She will be with one other mare at the end of this week.
    At night she is stalled next to that mare and they both have runs in the back.
    How long do/did your horses need to adjust?

  • #2
    It really does depend, as it sounds you are experiencing.
    I have a rather close relationship with my horse, so when i have moved him in the past i make a point to tell him well ahead of time what's going on, and factor in lots of time spent at the barn.
    When I moved him this past time, we moved 500 miles. I followed the trailer up, and i spent several hours sitting with him in his stall the day he got there.
    Every day i'd come visit for several hours and let him graze.

    Maybe your horse needs to see more of you
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Oh trust me I was there when she got on and off the trailer and I have been there everyday. Today I did sit by her stall in a chair for awhile too.
      I really am trying to reassure her that I'm there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you tried going for walks bareback?
        That always seems to settle my horse, but if your mare isnt used to it, i wouldnt recommend it
        www.destinationconsensusequus.com
        chaque pas est fait ensemble

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        • #5
          I find hand walking helps a nervous horse settle in. If they seem upset, I'll lead them on little 15-20 minute strolls around the property, letting them look around and sniff and maybe graze a little. I find that seems to settle them in more quickly.

          I usually have a bunch of babies so I don't do the bareback riding. I'd probably wind up falling off and making them more upset. If your horse is a solid riding horse that might be a good idea, though.

          As far as time frames go, it just depends. I think it sometimes takes as long as a month before the horse is fully settled in. They should be reasonably comfortable within a few hours to a few days depending on how much they have traveled in the past and whatnot, but I've noticed that a lot of horses seem to be a little more alert for two weeks to a month.
          exploring the relationship between horse and human

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          • #6
            I'm betting she'll settle in once she starts going out with other horses.

            I moved my horses last fall and my mare never settled in at the barn I was at. She went from day turnout/night in the stall, to being out full time (she had been pasture boarded in the past). She just never adjusted, I waited it out for 10 weeks and ended up having to move to another place where she could have a stall.

            We notice she tends to get picked on at this barn, so I wonder if she was getting picked on at the last and never had her stall downtime to have her "me time". We recently remedied the situation by turning her out with the barn owner's elderly mares rather than the boarders herd, and she waltzed right in there like nothing at all.

            Hang in there, I KNOW it's tough. I suffered the whole time my mare did (not to mention we had the coldest, snowiest winter we've had in a LONG time, and she is a cold weeny). My gelding is happy wherever he is, whoever he's with, so at least I never have had to worry about him.

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            • #7
              Amadeus came home last Tuesday and it took him a few days for his personality to really start coming out. He's now been here 9 days and he seems really well settled. He's now out with the mares but likes the stallion best for company. The boys stand together at the fence by the hour with their necks together. He seemed to really mellow after he got out with the other horses and out of solitary confinement. But they're all different and some might take longer.

              Comment


              • #8
                My new horse I got in early April took 2-3 weeks to really settle in. He wasn't "miserable" or overly nervous but after a couple weeks of the new routine and place I could see the tension drop away - he became more relaxed and confident. He came from a place where his main activity was trail riding, and during the first couple weeks I found that when I took him out for trail rides (or hand walks at first) he would give a big sigh of relief and relax a lot, as opposed to when we did work in the ring, where he was obedient but you could see the tension in his face and he was very alert to everything, unsure of what this "ring" thing was all about.

                Other horses I've moved in the past also took about 2 weeks or so to really relax into their new surroundings, schedule and training. With my crabby mare I knew she had settled in when she stopped acting happy to see me, as if I were the only familiar thing in her life!

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                • #9
                  My horses came home last Wednesday, so a little over a week. My oldster, who I've owned for 14 years, is just now really settled in over the past couple of days. The routine and setup is much different though. He knows none of the other horses, he has an stall with dirt paddock attached, and isn't out on a bigger pasture except for limited time right now (because of the grass). As his turnout has gotten extended he's starting to act more like his old self. He was just VERY frantic the first couple of days. The pony is a yearling and was moved for the first time ever and had only "met me" a couple of times before. She moved like an old pro and settled right in! My old horse was screaming and calling and she was just looking around and grazing. So you never really know!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    She was a little better today but they moved the mare next to her when we got back from a short ride. So of course she was searching for her.
                    I will continue to go out most everyday until I think she feels better. Of course it also didn't help that peahens were carrying on like crazy next door.haha
                    She goes out in the same turnout as the other mare Sunday. I personally think she could go out now but not my call. Sigh. I feel bad for her.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We moved our mare in January and it took her some time to settle for some reason. When we bought her and moved her into our barn it took her maybe a minute to settle in, but for some reason it just took longer for her this time around, even though she was at the last place 4-5 months.

                      She did get attached to a gelding, which was a nightmare, so we ended up moving her and things got better immediaterly. She is super friendly with her neighbor mare (when they aren't quarelling over god knows what) but not attached.

                      We had a lot of dancing and nervous pooping in the crossties for about 3 months. The dancing, I finally just had to put my foot down on that one and that was the last time. The nervous pooping stopped within a couple weeks after that.

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                      • #12
                        I think it's really important to get them back into their regular work routine as soon as possible and make everything seem normal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My mare needed 6 weeks to settle in at my current barn. She paced the fence line most of the day until she finally started grazing. Although we went into our regular work routine immediately, it was a big adjustment for her.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gracie View Post
                            My mare needed 6 weeks to settle in at my current barn. She paced the fence line most of the day until she finally started grazing. Although we went into our regular work routine immediately, it was a big adjustment for her.
                            Agreed. My mare has moved quite a few times, and it takes her a longggg time to settle in. You'd think after being to a handful of barns in just a few years she'd get used to it.

                            However, the barn I'm at now she settled in faster than usual. It's also the quietest and smallest barn I've ever been to, there's really NOTHING going on during the day except for some lawn mowing. I think having THAT quiet of an atmosphere did help.
                            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by atr View Post
                              I think it's really important to get them back into their regular work routine as soon as possible and make everything seem normal.
                              This.

                              People who coddle their horses, IMHO, make the situation worse. Expect the horse to adjust. Do you never go to shows or trail rides? If you go to a show, do you lead around and/or wait days? Ride around bareback? Maybe it's my no-nonsense cowboy boyfriend rubbing off on me, but I expect my horse to behave fairly normally when we go somewhere new.

                              I just moved my mare from his old barn to a boarding facility I've boarded at before. He moved his mare, my mare's buddy, to another facility all together. I turned Pink out when we got there, she trotted around the paddock a couple times, then went to grazing. The next day, I rode. Granted, I let her lookie lookie in the arena by walking her around once, but this is also something I did at the other arena too, and once I was on there was no more staring outside the arena at 1. the guy on a riding mower dragging a mower (Er?) next to the arena, 2. the kid on the bike w/ training wheels 20 feet from the arena, 3. the lady weeding with another kid over there, 4. the lady walking her two dogs over there, etc.
                              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                This.

                                People who coddle their horses, IMHO, make the situation worse. Expect the horse to adjust.
                                Ditto. I had to spy in hiding on my horse to listen to him (too much whinnying was REALLY taking a toll on his COPD) but the best thing I did for him was just tell him to deal with it and walk away. He was screaming and going crazy with me visible, but settled down quickly when he couldn't see me and expect me to baby him and pay attention. Granted, he has a teeny paddock attached to his barn so he wasn't ever locked up, but he was still very upset that he wasn't loose to see the other horse. He finally got over it. He used to be turned out with another horse, but we had to euth him so he was by himself. There was no option to put him with another horse so I threw him some food and left him to deal with it. Maybe that's just my horse's personality but he seemed to adjust the best when we just did the norm... feed breakfast like normal, turn out, bring in for dinner and grooming, then say goodnight. Any time I try to comfort him by spending extra time there he just gets more and more worked up.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I've moved my mare a number of times. As long as she has hay in front of her, she'll settle in in about 15 minutes..

                                  Could you let her loose in the ring for a bit just to wander around and look at the surroundings on her own?
                                  MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                                  http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It's taken my horse a good six months to adjust to our move. Her management is the same as before - all day turnout in a group, in at night in a stall. She is turned out with others, and enjoys that. And we do the same work we did before (though its much harder for her to concentrate now). She's not 'misbehaving' per se, she's just not *relaxed*. It's like she's on her tiptoes all the time. She does what she's asked, but you can tell it's harder for her. She's a fairly straightforward horse - not much for nonsense, so I was really surprised that she needed so much time.

                                    Honestly though, have you ever known a friend to have a fear of some kind? Maybe a phobia of heights, or a fear of the dentist or something? Did EXPECTING her to get over it do you (or her) any good? Did it cure her of her fears? I doubt it.

                                    Take the time it takes with your horse, and don't feel forced into someone else's time frame. Good luck.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Annagirl, sounds like you are doing as much as you can, just continue to support her during this change. btw, if she had a big buddy or a person she liked at the old place, this might account for her being different this time.

                                      She will need time to adjust to the new routine, new people, food and other horses. The run sounds nice if this is different than the old place-setup.

                                      I coddle my horse and talk to them too before a more, the whys, the place, the changes. I don't want to deal with a colic from the stress. Afterall, they are the ones that are living at the new place 24/7, not their person. They see and know what goes on and what does not... it takes them time to adjust and trust their new place....

                                      Originally posted by dmalbone View Post
                                      Ditto. I had to spy in hiding on my horse to listen to him (too much whinnying was REALLY taking a toll on his COPD) but the best thing I did for him was just tell him to deal with it and walk away. He was screaming and going crazy with me visible, but settled down quickly when he couldn't see me and expect me to baby him and pay attention. Granted, he has a teeny paddock attached to his barn so he wasn't ever locked up, but he was still very upset that he wasn't loose to see the other horse. He finally got over it. He used to be turned out with another horse, but we had to euth him so he was by himself. There was no option to put him with another horse so I threw him some food and left him to deal with it. Maybe that's just my horse's personality but he seemed to adjust the best when we just did the norm... feed breakfast like normal, turn out, bring in for dinner and grooming, then say goodnight. Any time I try to comfort him by spending extra time there he just gets more and more worked up.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I am in the camp that they shouldn't be coddled too much. Our horses get shipped around quite a bit, and most take it all in stride. Yesterday, we took one of our horses to our new farm (where we will be moving into for real in July. This one is laid up and this just made sense). He spooked at the sun spot in his new stall, snorted a few times, then tucked into his hay while looking around. He's seems to have settled in fairly well, despite being one of only 3 horses on 40 acres and missing his buddies, but, he's dealing and seems happy and content.

                                        I DO really think a lot depends on the barn and the way the place is run. I never seem to have horses that take weeks or months to settle in my barn. For the most part, they all seem pretty content within a week. I try to get them out with buddies within a day or two, and try to pick buddies that I think they'll like. I don't ever have much pacing or fretting. In fact, I've had numerous new clients remark about how HAPPY their horses seem to be with us. That makes me happy and assures me that I must be doing something right.
                                        Amanda

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