Bringing home a new horse is an exciting time, but it’s also important to be organized so that the horse’s transition is a smooth one.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with these six steps for bringing home a new horse.
Get Vaccination Records
Whenever you transport a horse or bring him into a new barn, you should have the horse’s vaccination records. If your new horse is not up to date on vaccinations, then arrange to have his vaccinations done before he comes to his new home. You will also need a copy of your horse’s Coggins test when bringing him into a new barn.
Find Out About Feed
Before you bring home a new horse, ask his current owner about his feed schedule, amount, and type. It’s important to keep your horse’s feed consistent during his transition, so buy a bag or two of his current feed and ask the owner if you can purchase a few bales of hay from them. Once your horse is home and settled in, you can start the process of gradually transitioning his feed over to a feed of your choice.
Reserve a Stall
If you will be boarding your horse, then be sure to reserve a stall in a boarding barn ahead of time. You may need to put a deposit down. If you own your own barn, then clean out and prepare a stall for your horse so that it’s ready when he arrives.
Arrange for Transportation
Don’t forget to arrange for transportation for your horse in advance. If you have your own horse trailer, then transportation is easy. Otherwise you may need to ask your barn owner if they’re able to trailer your horse, or arrange for transportation with a commercial shipping company.
Buy Essential Supplies
If this new horse is your first horse, then you will need to make sure that you have some essential supplies on hand when the horse arrives. Make sure that you are equipped with a halter and lead rope, a basic equine first-aid kit, stall supplies like feed and water buckets, and a blanket or two if you plan on blanketing the horse.
Moving to a new barn is a big transition for many horses. Some horses are a bit overwhelmed by the process and need some time to settle in. Be sure to give your horse some quiet time alone during his first few days before introducing him to training, riding, and turnout buddies.
With a bit of planning, your horse’s transition into his new home can be a smooth and enjoyable one.