We’ve all heard the term “take your shoes off and stay a while”. What does that mean in regards to horses? Well, we live in a world of instant gratification. We want something we usually have the means to make it happen right away. Not with horses. Horses are on their own time. If you don’t have patience they will teach you otherwise and usually the hard way.
The lesson here is about settling a new horse into the barn. There’s a process. Yes letting them relax in their stall a few days with turn out to stretch and roll and play is all well and good but there’s more to it. Horses will be most comfortable where they spend the most time. In their stalls but when you let them stick to that too long then want to go outside they are herd bound and barn sour. We get frustrated but why? We created this monster. You can avoid all of this by bringing the horse around the barn after two days of acclimation. Let them graze away from the barn, scratch and love on them. Talk to them. Be the buddy they seek comfort from. Once you establish this you’ll never have herd bound or barn sour problems!
Be patient, make short visits around the barn in the beginning to avoid overwhelming the animal. The goal is comfort and relaxation. No force. No fear. In a week you’ll see a huge difference in the horse, your relationship with the horse and the horses confidence in his surroundings. Now you can start working them. They are ready and they are thankful you took the time.