Of Horse

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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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  1. 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
  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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