Monty Roberts Equus Online University
Horse Training Video Instruction Program

Learn all about Equus • Dually Halter • Shy Boy Mustang • Jumping Horses
• Story of a Horse Whisperer • Riding Horsemanship • Dressage Horses • Willing Partners
• Horse Training • Round Pen Lessons • Performance Horses • Join-Up

← back

Horse Care and Comfort

Moving yards

Hello, I'm not sure this is the right forum so I hope this is ok to ask.
I am moving my horse to a new livery yard on Saturday, it it smaller than our current yard but seems friendlier and more relaxed.  The horses there seem very calm and happy, and I already know the majority of the people there.
He has been at our current yard for most of his life, with a 4 month period at a diffent yard, where he didn't settle at all, was spooky (which he isn't normally), he was rearing (again, not normal), was generally very different to the horse I know and love.
Needless to say I am worrying he won't settle at our new yard. I have been assured he will be kept to his same routine (he likes routine), and I have agreed to a lesson on the day we move him to keep his daily routine as normal.

My question is, is there anything else I can do to help him feel settled and relaxed in his new environment? I should add that he's been there for a couple of visits and seemed ok on those occasions.
Thank you in advance for your help. I'm probably worrying about him more than I should.
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed
Hey cobgirl :)

Horses need routine - it makes them feel safe so when they move somewhere new, they sometimes need a lot of time to adapt to their new surroundings. Also, it's not because he seemed ok on visits that he will be from the first day onward :) I've noticed that it takes horses between one and two weeks to realize that they've moved for good and that's when trouble can start. I had one who went from Jekyll to Hyde after two weeks (but calmed down a month later). Once again, it's just the horse expressing fear for all that's new and frightening to them.

I'd stick to your usual routine with him - go visit him as often as you can and take walks with him to show him the new surroundings. Pay attention to any eventual 'fear spots' and it's a good idea to do groundwork exercices here and there to kep him distracted as well as connected to you.

Some horses adapt within a few months, others take longer. I guess it depends on their nature. I have 3 Swiss Freibergers - very cool, goodnatured horses. Two of them adapted within 2 months while #3 only started to relax and be a willing work partner after 6 months. He's a former sports horse so a lot more sensitive than the other two and he'd been at his previous place for 10 years so I guess this explains that :)

Horses will come around eventually with the right amount of patience and understanding from their humans :) And if your horse is in a place that's comfortable for him and all his needs are met, you shouldn't have too many problems other than the usual stress. Just try not to worry when you're with him as he'll pick up on that and wonder what he should also worry about.

Good luck!
Thank you. My other half is taking a few days off to help me with him too. I have been assured his routine will stay as it is. Hopefully I'll be able to report back with good news.
Now if we could get the weather to settle too.....
Mel - Ramsgate UK
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed
Hi Cobgirl
Hope the change of stables went well? 
I was going to say what you did with taking him to the yard prior to the full move would have been of help. Horses remember everything, so from a small visit to long time periods would be of benefit. 
Update us how you got on? ;D