Saturday, September 19, 2015

Everybody's got one.

By Gayle Carline
Author and Horse Mom

Of course, I'm talking about opinions. It's been almost 3 weeks since we've moved to our new stables. I think the move went pretty well. It was a lot of work, and I would have liked to have left with better feelings from the owner of the previous place - we were (and hope still are!) friends, but the last day was filled with tension. 

We got our tack room all organized!

We're still finding our way around the new place. Everyone is very friendly and accommodating, willing to show us where things are, take turns for the turnouts and round pen, etc. I love the arena. The footing is a combination of sand and synthetic that is very soft and springy. Very good on Snoopy's legs.

Speaking of Snoopy, he's not as happy with the new place as I thought he'd be. Where Frostie settled into her stall without complaint (and is already growing to fat-as-a-tick status on the new diet), he has not quite accepted the fact that he's in a new home. He's eating a lot of hay, plus senior feed, but the first week, he paced so much in his stall that he lost significant weight. Any time another horse is taken out of the barn, he screams until they come back, and sometimes, he rushes his stall door so frantically that we close the top, afraid he'll try to jump out.

Frostie loves her in-and-out

This is not normal behavior for him. (Even at shows, he is calm after his first lunge.)

"Where am I?!?!?"

The best we can reason is that he knows he's not at a show, but he can still smell/hear/sense his old home nearby (it's two doors down), so he is confused about just where he is. Some days he acts like he's settling. Then a horse leaves the cross-ties and he screams and rears and generally behaves like a loon. 

This week, we called the vet to try to see what to do. The weight loss isn't good for him, as I'm sure the stress is getting to his stomach. The vet gave him a shot of a hormone designed to relax him within a week, and last for a few months, plus some pills to counteract the excess acid in his stomach. It's only been one day, but he seems to be a little quieter. 

Of course, it could be because his favorite vet, Dr. Brigid Murphy came to visit. She told him that he's going to live here and it's okay because she knows where to find him, and she'll tell Santa where he is. The entire time she's talking to him, she's feeding him apple treats.

I told her I tried to tell him, but he didn't want to listen. Maybe he listened to her. 

Come and visit us at the top of the hill - Hillcrest Equestrian Center!

Have any of you had a horse that just wouldn't settle into their new place? What did you do to ease their anxiety?

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