How to Settle a Horse Into New Surroundings

So you horse has arrived home, and now you want to make him or her feel welcome and relaxed at home.


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    L.O.V.E. your horse! Give him or her a good amount of attention by means of hugs, kisses and pats.
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    Bring the horse into its new stall or pasture. Ensure there is sufficient water in the stall or paddock as horses can drink upwards of 20 liters (5.3 US gal) of water a day, more when it is warmer.
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    Let your new horses settle in This means no riding or work over the first few days. This time should be spent giving lots of attention and giving good quality grooming sessions. This gives you the opportunity to bond with your horse.
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    Bond with your horse by grooming as stated above, as well as just walking up to him or her and talking to it or giving it a pat. Go to its paddock with a book and read, or listen to some music or draw. This will give your horse time to adjust to you and he or she will become interested in what you are doing and he may even want to join in.
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    Prepare for the night by giving your horse some biscuits of hay or a scoop of grain or a small mixed feed. Don't give too much as he or she will already be stressed by the transition, a big feed can cause an upset in their gut. Ensure there is plenty of water for the night check any rugs or boots you may have on your horse. It may be a good idea to use stable boots (similar to float boots) during the night if the horse is a bit tense being in a place. Alternatively, paddock the horse during the daytime and leave him or her there overnight. Ensure the horse is paddocked during daylight so he or she can see become familiar with its surroundings.


  • Take your horse on a walk around the property and let him sniff new things. That way, the horse does not feel uneasy about his surroundings.
  • If you have a dog, put it on a leash and monitor the sessions to ensure the dog won't be aggressive to the horse and so the horse is familiar with the dog. If the horse isn't used to dogs it may spook.
  • Have patience: don't do everything you were looking forward to do with your horse when it arrives, don't push your horse! Give it time to adjust to you, your family, your pets, the new surroundings, its new home and its new horse friends or lack of.
  • Feed the horse to your routine. Not his! Breakfast is breakfast and dinner is at dinner, not when he or she whinnies and wants food.


  • Don't leave a horse's water container empty.
  • Don't feed the horse a lot of food the first few days.
  • If your dog shows aggression towards the horse, take it away.

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Categories: Horse Care