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New Horse Owners! Give Your Horse Time to Adjust
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New Horse Owners! Give Your Horse Time to Adjust

So you have a new horse and can't wait to show him off! Please give your horse time to adjust to a new home. If you have a dog, think of how he/she would react if a stranger suddenly tried to tell him/her what to do? Or even worse, took it home! My dogs would freak out. Well, so would my horses and most any horse under the circumstances. I have seen this over and over and can share my own experiences. I know someone that over the last 4 years has gone through no less than 10 horses. They can't understand why the horse was advertised as a good broke horse without any bad habits. Either someone was not telling the truth or the horse had a lameness problem. 

Unless your horse was born on your place, they will go through a period of adjustment and it could take a while. In my experience up to a year or more for them to bond with you. I bought my Chance 4 years ago. I had watched him all summer as a friend put anyone who came to visit on him. He was so willing and gaited and beautiful, I had to have him. So that fall when she said he was for sale, I bought him even though I had never personally rode him. The first ride I spent most of the time circling him because he would not slow down. I wasn't discouraged and just rode him almost daily. It certainly was not what I expected after seeing him go so well all summer. I knew what he was and was willing to give us both time to get to know each other. I even got dumped after one of his huge spooks and he ran away. Lucky my friend blocked him and grabbed his reins. So thats how we started out.

Well, I can cheerfully tell you that I wouldn't sell Chance for any amount. Since that first year we are now a solid team. I trust him completely. He trusts me and will go and do anything I ask of him. We ride long distances and his endurance is amazing. He finished a particularly rough section of 30 miles on the shore to shore ride in 5 hours and was as fresh at the finish as at the beginning. We ride in all kinds of weather and one cold day after a 4 hour ride, I was almost home when I decided to dismount. I had snow boots on and was so cold when I dismounted, that my foot got hung up and I fell on the ground, my foot still in the stirrup.  My wonderful horse stood stock still looking at me. He waited until I got my foot out and got to my feet and we walked home. He is my partner, ready to go and eager to please. 

I can and will write about Smoke later, but we had a similar time adjusting also. So, please give it time! Don't expect too much too soon. It will pay off.

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Leave a Comment

  1. shumes
    shumes
    Great information, Pat. It's so easy to want to show off your new horse and forget that they do need time to adjust. Voted up! If you have a moment could you visit my latest post, and if you like it, vote it up? Thanks! http://www.ofhorse.com/view-post/Equestrian-Essential-Skills-How-to-Take-Your-Horse-s-Vitals
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  2. Rene Wright
    Rene Wright
    Wonderful post. Most folks don't give horses that adjustment period, especially if they're new to the horse world. Voted. I love your writing and stories. :)
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