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Why Some Horses "Change" After You Buy Them


Zoey when we first brought her home. Zoey a couple months after we bought her.

Other than drugging horses to make them calmer before you sell them, or giving a pain killer to mask lameness, a horse switching homes can go through some normal emotional and physical changes. It is stressful for horses to leave a familiar place and ending up in a strange new place can cause horses to go off feed and water. Horses are so aware and dependent on a herd that or geographical area that they can feel lost until they can rejoin a new herd, or bond with their new owner. Their are also differences in feed, water and routine which can make it hard for a horse to adjust to its new home. Horses also need to build up nessacary bacteria in there guts to help them digest new things, so they might have stomach problems at first.

A new horse also might test you if you are at a different level or have different cues for riding. They do this so they can see what the new rules under that saddle are and so they know what they can and can't get away with.

One of the more positive things about when a horse goes to a new home is an improvement in health especially when the horse was rescued from a bad situation. A horse that was weak and silky may become a problem as it grows strong and healthy with its new found energy. With the right handling and training the horse can become an excellent find.


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