Horses are excellent companions. They can improve your life by offering a new way to explore the world and a bond that will never break. Whether you’re an avid rider with a stable of your own or are just beginning to dip your toe into horse ownership, you’ll be able to understand just how valuable and inspiring these animals can be.
However, they are quite delicate creatures; although they can pull heavy loads and ride for hours on end, they don’t handle change very well. If you’re planning on moving into a new home, you need to ensure that your horse’s move goes as smoothly as possible.
Get The Vet Stamp Of Approval
As with all moves, the sooner you prepare, the better the transition will be. Most important on your horse relocation checklist is a veterinary appointment; before you even consider loading your large four-legged friend into a trailer, you need to make sure he’s healthy. There are signs you may notice that something is off — for example, posture is often the first sign that your horse is injured — but only a professional can make sure they aren’t suffering from any other illnesses, such as equine infectious anemia. It’s also a good idea to make sure your horse is up-to-date on its five core vaccinations: tetanus, Eastern/Western equine encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE), West Nile virus, and rabies.
Physical And Mental Stress
If you’ve ever moved before, you know that the process can be incredibly taxing. Now, imagine what it would be like if you had no concept of what was going on. Stress can severely compromise a horse’s immune system, so it’s vital that you do all you can to make the experience bearable. If your horse isn’t accustomed to travel, it’s recommended that you feed him in the trailer, go for short trips around the block, and practice the process ahead of time to make the day of departure that much easier.
Getting Him Settled
New environments can be unsettling in the best of cases. Since many horses struggle with major changes, it’s extremely important that you focus on routine; this will reassure your horse that, although they’re in a new place, this is still home and will be treated like home. Keep the feeding and turnout schedule as close to the original one as possible, and let him get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of his stall for a few hours; he’ll be ready to explore the property in no time!
There are dozens of things to think about when planning a move. From the number and types of moving materials (always add an extra 25% more than you think you’ll need) to the shifting of utilities, the process is quite demanding. Add a horse into the mix, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Hopefully, these tips will help keep your equine pal happy and healthy for the entire journey.