6 Steps for Relocating Your Horse
By Susan Tinder
Owner: Tolland Falls Ventures
Step 6: Settling In.
Once your horse has arrived at his new home, it is always a good idea to give him a few days off to adjust to his new surroundings. Make sure someone is keeping an eye on him to make sure he is drinking enough water and that he is resting quietly. Usually, the horses are the easy part. To ease your transition, good communication will be your best ally. Make sure that you have given all pertinent information on your horse to the person in charge at the new facility, including feeding instructions, supplements or medications that have been, or need to be, given. Be sure you have included any information on quirks or special behaviors that might be pertinent in caring properly for your horse. Make sure you have given the farm all of your contact and insurance information as well as an alternate person to contact if you can not be reached.
If possible, set up an account with the local veterinarian in advance so that there is no question about financial responsibility in case of an emergency. If the farm doesn't have a formal Advance Medical Directive with instructions for how to handle a serious emergency with your horse in the event that the farm is unable to contact you, you should make sure that you have told the person managing the facility whether your horse is a surgical candidate, or under what circumstance he might be a surgical candidate, and under what conditions you would choose euthanasia.
If you did not need to have a brand inspection from your former location and your new state requires one, the farm manager or your new trainer should be able to direct you through this process. Don't wait on this if your new state requires it because if you go to transport the horse or you go to sell it you will need the Brand Card to do so and sometimes it takes a week or two to get the brand inspection scheduled.
You should discuss your riding and training goals with your new trainer, if you hired one, as quickly as possible after your arrival. During this discussion you should establish a short and long term plan with him or her. Having this discussion on a somewhat formal basis at the start of your relationship will allow you and your horse to progress toward your goals. This conversation should also establish some financial parameters so that you won't be surprised with an unexpected bill and your trainer will have an idea of what your training and show budget will be.
And one final reminder, ongoing open communication with the trainer and the farm manager of any facility is critical for your experience with them to be successful. They may not always give you the answer you want to hear, but your problem will never be addressed if the only people you complain to are the other boarders at the farm. Taking your issue or concern to someone that can do something about it is the only way it will be resolved. Your boarding experience will, in the long run, be a much happier one if you treat your relationship with the farm as a professional one.
Susan can be reached by calling 303-688-8725
or email her at: Manager@TollandFalls.com