I swear I do more than feed her apples...? 😂😂
I like to let a horse just relax for the first few days they are in my care. I think it makes a big difference in their comfort levels if they get time to just learn the stable routine without me pushing any expectations into them regarding performance or training (other than basic handling). So since I have brought Dharma home, even though we are both familiar with each other from being partners thirteen years ago, I also know she has never lived at the place we live now. She only knows 2 of the other horses. So I’m just brushing her twice a day, picking her feet, waiting for the heat wave to thoroughly wash her mane and tail, and just focusing on those husbandry chores that will get us to remember how our partnership used to work, and how we fit into each other’s lives now that we are both in our late 20s. And of course, lots of carrots and apples help “feed” our love!
Of course, taking this time also gives me a chance to do all the healthcare I like to do before integrating her fully into the herd. Dharma has been dewormed, she gets her temperature taken daily, and all this brushing and cleaning also helps me keep a close eye on her skin and coat, her hooves and her eyes. While she is separate, I can monitor her poop while she transitions onto her new feeding schedule. The healthy of all my horses is super important to me—making sure any new addition is happy and healthy before introducing them to the rest helps protect both the horses I already have and the one I’ve just reclaimed.
For those of you that keep your horses in a barn or have multiples at your own facility, how do you integrate a new horsey into the group?