Buying a new horse comes with excitement, but it features a fair share of challenges too. A new horse may experience a hard time adapting to the new environment and grazing with a new group. Here are approaches that a new owner can employ to help the horse transition to an unfamiliar environment well and live with new friends.
Preparations to Make before Bringing the Horse Home
Factors that every horse owner must prioritize include vaccinating the rest of the barn mates to avoid any illnesses. Testing the animals and inspecting them for sicknesses is also a fundamental aspect. When stressed, horses become vulnerable to infections, so vaccinating them before introducing a new one is appropriate. Similarly, the newcomer may have undetected contagions, exposing the others.
You’ll also want to inquire from the previous owner about the horse’s usual food ratio and types. Before bringing your new horse home, it is advisable to have whatever kind of food the horse is used to consuming available. If the horse is used to different foods than you’d typically provide for your animals, start introducing the newcomer to the diet gradually.
Horses require sufficient drinking water, so adding a new one to the herd means increasing the amount of water. It is not unusual for a horse to avoid taking unfamiliar water, so you’ll want to pay extra attention to hydration. Inspect any signs of dehydration as the newcomer continues to adjust to the new environment.
Helping the Newcomer to Settle
You’ll need to prepare a safe place to house the horse, prioritizing cleanliness. As the newcomer may try escaping, a properly erected fence is essential. However, avoid using barbed wire, as this can harm the horse.
The newcomer needs to see other horses around, so choosing a stall that allows this is ideal. Keeping the horse in an outdoor environment makes him comfortable and allows for quick adjustment.
Introducing the Horse to the Rest of the Herd
When the newcomer has settled, they need to start interacting with other horses. Move the horses to separate adjacent paddocks where they can see each other. After several days of observing each other, you can remove the paddock to allow them to graze together.
While adding a new horse to the flock can be challenging, proper approaches make the process less stressful. Following these steps will allow your new horse to adjust to its new home gradually.