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Author Topic: Moving horses....to new places, new owners  (Read 750 times)

KysaSD

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Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« on: January 16, 2018, 11:19:48 am »

I thought I would start a new thread here, and we can just discuss what others have seen in moving horses, how long it took for them to completely settle in, and some of their reactions.

This is thread s about Buster, who is still a sweet little horse, and definitely what we need.  But he is taking longer to settle in, and right now he is more fearful, than social, although he is a horse with both in his personality.

I do think the teeth business slowed him down on settling in.  Right now, I do glimpse the social sweet horse he was a Carrie’s house.  But I also see a horse easily frightened by the noise and vehicles on the highway.  He lives adjacent to a state federal highway, and will just stay there.  This will be good to get him well traffic broke before kids ride him near roads next summer.  Cyd reminds me that it took Savanna several years to adjust to how sound carries on the prairie, and perhaps it will be the same for Buster.  He may have to get used to sound carrying for a much longer distance over the prairie.

When I got Shay, it was fully two years until she completely settled in.  She had been in a racetrack brood mare barn, then a PMU ranch for two years, sent through a very big auction facility in Canada, the. Transported 1500 miles to me.  She was a basket case for the first few months, and not truly settled until two years later.  Molly came off the trailer and was settled in less than a week.  And most of my other horses were somewhere in the middle for time it took to settle in to a new place.  I feel sorry for horses, and other animals.  When people move, even if we don’t like it, we understand and know the reasons why.  But horses go a ride, and everything familiar disappears forever. 
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

johneny

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2018, 12:48:11 pm »

When I rescued Monty he practically opened the trailer himself so he could load up. And at his new home he was in quarantine for several weeks so while he could see lots of horses around him, his only direct contact was with me and the barn help who were bringing him hay, lots of hay (instead of the stale bagels and grain he was living on in his prior home). So I would guess it took him about one pile of hay to get adjusted to his new home.
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John, Southampton NY, TWH

PAWalker

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 02:58:48 pm »

1.   When I moved Suke, Streeter and Rusty with me to So Cal, Suke was good for about a month ------ until he realized this was no vacation and he was t going home.

Even though They were on my property and I was caring for them, TWH Duke had a such a meltdown some of the hair over his eyes turned white.  I was sick and I promised him he would. To spend his last days on that godforsaken & unforgiving desert sand.

Steeter-the-Arab was fine and Ruzty, my other TWH seemed fine as well.

When we retired to TN five years later, Duke was a much more relaxed horse.

TWH Sultan came out of an auction barn and settled right in --- Duke didn't like him, lollol but he settled right in.

TWH Joker came from a great home and was impressed I knew his name.  The Seller had pretty much rescued him out of a bad and neglectful situation and had put a lot of time into rehabbing him.

  I was surprised that he settled right in but he is by nature a very laid back and easy-going horse, as long as he is being treated fairly by humans.   Even though he quickly adjusted to new surroundings, as time has passed (mercy 11+ years now!) he has become even more relaxed and talented - there is no end to his comedy routines:)

Kysa you are in the middle of a horrid winter.  Buster came from a warmer climate and all the smells and sights are completely foreign to him. 

All things that may take him awhile to adjust to if he is a sensitive horse.  Duke was my strong alpha but he was deeply sensitive.  He was not happy to be permanently in the desert on a postage stamp lot for the rest of his life, even though I was there.

I might also think about ulcers with Buster.  They cause angst in a horse:)
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KysaSD

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 03:11:08 pm »

Yes, that is a good point, although Buster has hay 24/7, and gets a bit of alfalfa pellets every day.  Horse keeping is in a way to prevent ulcers, but yes, the stress of being in a different place could certainly bring them on.  I will watch him with that in mind. 

I always tell others, horses don't know why they moved and it is very stressful for some.  Give them months and even years to adjust.
I do HATE when someone turns around and resells a horse in a few weeks because the horse "wasn't as advertised".  Buster my be nervous and timid now, but he IS the horse Carrie thought him to be.  Moving has just bothered him, and we will work through everything that is bothering him. 
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NoBite

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 03:32:42 pm »

I've always been told and believed it takes a full year, four seasons, for a horse to adjust to a new place. That has been the case with the horses we've brought here. Right now we have Smokey, a TWH that I bought the first of April. He is low man in a three man pack and although he knows his stall and such, he still has some issues with settling in around dinner time. One of the horses, Bandit (#2 in rank) seems to find it necessary to continually remind Smokey of his place. Anyway, I really do think it takes that long for most horses to settle. I know from rescuing dogs, it can take them longer than you might imagine to fully settle in and show you their true self.
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stablemind

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 03:54:09 pm »

We brought Rusty Lady home from KY in late summer. She seemed to settle right in. One night that fall, a thunderstorm blew in. Naturally, Rusty had been through severe storms in KY, yet this one really rocked her boat. She dug a trench, racing up and down the fence line and was drenched in sweat by the time it started raining. I went out after it passed and she was still breathing hard and trembling. Her reaction didn't make sense to me until I got to thinking...this storm came from a different direction from what she was used to, and it probably carried the strange scent of Lake Erie.

Another thought about Buster - he's barely past being a teenager. IME, horses at this age sometimes struggle with where they should fit into the pecking order. We had a young gelding that tried to be alpha, even though alpha wasn't his nature. Buster may seem to be established in the current pecking order, but maybe not in his own mind. Maybe he's being grudgingly submissive or maybe he's dominating others out of insecurity. And maybe testing the humans is part of sorting this out.
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KysaSD

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 06:56:41 am »

Good point, Cyd.  I had forgotten the age thing....6.5 year old gelding, teenage boy and just as much brain capacity, or not!
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Iceangel

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 07:00:22 am »

Yes I got Kolbeinn in September and in December I brought him to a barn with an indoor for a gal to do a half lease with me on him. I hated to do it but here he will be ridden all winter and he is also with 7 other Icelandics so I don't think its hurting him to much.  But I do think they need at least a year to adjust. I do feel bad, plus now he has another person he will be bonding with other than me.
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gallatingal

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 12:59:32 pm »

Shiloh AKA Eldorado was sold to absolutely the most wonderful person I could find in the world, she is loving, gentle, dedicated knowledgeable and takes dressage lessons on him, and it took him a full year to adjust to his new home.  During that year he ended up with ulcers just from all the worry. Besides being in a new home he was alone with another horse who was passive, so he ended up having to be the leader which he found very stressful, and sometimes he was left alone in the field when she went to ride the other horse. There were times that first year I wasn't sure they would make it. Finally he has turned back into the mellow fella that I knew him to be, so it takes some longer than others.
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KysaSD

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 01:04:37 pm »

Wind...It dawned on me today, a day with not so much wind, that Buster was much more his calm and friendly self.  Talked to the seller, and no, not much wind in her arena unless a big storm comes through.  (Not far from you, Nelda.)

It took Savanna 2 years to get used to how far sound carries on the prairie after growing up in the woods.  Buster may have to take a while to get used wind most of the time.
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loneelk

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 01:55:51 pm »

In general, I think it takes a year, more or less.  Our two current horses settled in pretty quickly.  Gunner first, and his main issue still is "stranger danger".  Even tho he's comfortable in his environment, when our neighbor has occasionally had a horse or two kept temporarily in his pens, it always seems to take Gunner at least a few days to settle down.  Chase settled down almost immediately. 
Skeeter never did really adapt to being so close to the interstate--he was here for 5 years, and re-homed to his breeder in her new place in east Texas, not quite 3 years ago--and by her reports he has settled in beautifully with her "zoo"--several horses, a small herd of cattle, & assorted rescue critters.  He was foaled and mostly grew up in a 2 acre secluded paddock, and I think the traffic/noises were just too much for him. 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:26:53 pm by loneelk »
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Winona

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 06:43:34 pm »

A couple of times I used a product called Calmer which really took the edge off. I used it on 2 different horses settling in and it worked quick.
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Opal

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 09:31:08 am »

Well, having bought and sold a lot of horses, I think there is just no way to judge how long it takes.  Reno took over a year, and sometimes you can still see signs of his previous life.  Not sure that in his case its not just him having bad memories of the previous home (where he was very abused, starved, beaten). 

Cuervo.. well Cuervo is Cuervo.  He thinks life is a party, and doesn't seem to give a crap about too much as long as dinner shows up on time.  The only thing he's done is paced the fence a little when the MARES got moved to a different pasture (he can still see them about 15 feet away, they just can't touch noses over the fence anymore.  And that episode lasted maybe 10 minutes :)  He's a pretty even tempered guy as long as he gets petted and someone mentions how pretty he is  :P

Guns is the speed racking colt I bought from the Kirby's in Alabama.  I wasn't sure what he would do since he had been born there and had never been more than a pasture away from his mother.  He was totally nonchalant, including the trailer ride back to Ohio.  He has bloomed here, even with the very cold winter we've had so far.

I agree with Kysa though, people get a new horse/dog/whatever and immediately expect the pet to completely be in sync with the new household.  Sometimes it takes awhile for them to settle in.  I think some animals are just more sensitive to things than others.
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ponymare

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 10:39:06 am »

When we first got Princess, we  had no other horses. She was much more hyper by herself than she had been in her herd.  I went out looking for her one early morning to feed her when she didn't come when she was called.  I heard this strange noise (it had been awhile since I had horses) that sounded, to me like the blast of an 18 wheeler!  She was in the far edge of the pasture, looking off intently into the darkness and blowing and snorting like some mythical creature. I'll never forget how magical and wild she looked, pacing her turf and sounding an alarm.  When Lady was introduced into the mix, Princess became the low pony (literally) on the totem pole and bowed to Lady's reign. She returned to the stolid, calm pony we first met.

When Lady was sold we bought Ginger, and those two girls (Ginger and Princess) got on well.  Ginger was relaxed and at ease from day one, though never an overly affectionate girl. She accepted loving from the boys calmly and never bullied but was always in charge. She was Sunny's mom.

Sunny is the jokester of the crew and loves to be near people, if just to satisfy his boundless curiosity.  He is always the low man on the totem pole.  Princess treated him like an irritating little brother, as he came back time after time to be put in his place.

After we sold Ginger (which I regret to this day) Rico moved here to our place in MS from FL and he had no problem settling in. He was above Sunny (because everyone always is) but below Princess. He was a sweet boy at 3 and kept his head down but his options open!  He moved BACK to FL a few years later to a new home and became a lady's heart horse.

Meanwhile Sunny still continued to irritate Princess.    ;D

When Gabe came along, he moved from a group of mares who barely let him eat, so he was VERY pleased to have a nice, quiet pasture and only ONE mare to boss him. He tried to always manage to be where she was not.  But, he STILL very quickly became the boss of Sunny. Sigh.  This worked pretty well until he lost the sight in one eye, which had to be removed. After that, he couldn't always see her coming and he would blunder into all kinds of things trying to get away from her.  Since he had become a high dollar horse after all his problems, and we weren't riding Princess much, we decided to give her to someone who could enjoy her and release Gabe from her tyranny.

Gabe very quickly forgot ever being bossed and became the bossee. He makes sure that Sunny always knows who is in charge.  Sunny still manages to irritate him on purpose, but they mostly play fight like brothers tussling around. 

I guess we have been very lucky that all of them seemed to adjust quickly.  Princess even settled down pretty quickly to being a single horse, but was still glad, I think, to have mean ol' Lady come to boss her around. That didn't keep her from swimming under the electric fence to the other side of the pond occasionally. ;)
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KysaSD

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Re: Moving horses....to new places, new owners
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 03:12:25 pm »

I decided my comments on Busters thread made more sense here.

And Kysa’s observations on personality and moving horses.  Fearful horses have the hardest time.

I have two horses that transitioned easily and swiftly.  Molly and Carmel, two horses that are low key social only horses.
Savanna, Jodi, and Belle all took longer, and they are social/fearful mix, which is also what I would assess Buster at.

The longest transition was Shay...fully two years.  She was a fearful/aloof mix, but she also had some negative human handling in her near background.  She was purchased at a meat auction, after having been at a PMU ranch for several years.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!
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