Helping My Horse Adjust to His New Home

If you’ve read my latest blog post, you know that I recently made the decision to move Cash home (to my parents). I got busy with the rescue horses on the Saturday that I had planned to move to him, so Cash didn’t leave the boarding facility until around 6 PM. He loaded pretty well into my new trailer, only refusing once. This is a major accomplishment for us! The new 3 horse slant also helped…he hates the 2 horse straight load that I used to borrow. 

My dad and my youngest brother both accompanied me to help load the last of my things. I’m fortunate to have had their help because it definitely made the trip a little quicker! After loading the horse last, I said my goodbyes to the wonderful people that helped care for Cash the last five months. I also said goodbye to all the dogs –  I loved having them around when I was visiting Cash!

Once we arrived home, I unloaded Cash and took him to his new stall. I had already put down plenty of sawdust, but waited to fill the water until he was there so that it was fresh. Cash was immediately intrigued with the steer. It’s not like he hasn’t seen a cow before. I personally think he was so drawn to him because that was the only other animal he could find. Itty Bit was not sure about Cash, running in and out of his stall to look at him. Cash would whinny and call for the cow each time, not wanting to be alone. Although I was right at his side, I understand the need for animal companionship. It was hard to watch his distress. 

The second day I spent most of the day with Cash. I headed over around 8 AM to get him breakfast and sat quietly with him while he ate. I went back home for a couple hours to get laundry and housework done, but returned around 3 PM to spend time cleaning his stall and monitoring his first interactions with the steer in the pasture. Cash has not had a lot of grazing time yet, so I took extra caution and only allowed him 20 minutes of pasture time. He immediately dropped his head to inhale as much green grass as he could upon entering. Though he and the steer still aren’t so sure about each other, they stayed close while grazing. 

I love seeing Cash bond with Itty Bit, but I know that will soon come to an end as well. Itty Bit will be going to the butcher in June. My dad has not decided how soon he will get another calf, so I’m not sure how Cash will do completely on his own. I’ve decided not to waste energy on worrying and that we will cross that bridge when we get to it. 

I started taking Cash on short walks around the property. The first couple walks he was overly alert, constantly scanning the environment and walking at a faster pace than usual. Each day I’ve watched him become more comfortable with his surroundings. The cow often cries for Cash to come back, so I talk to Cash throughout our walk to hold his attention. 

Just yesterday I decided he was ready for his first ride. Cash needs to get back into his routine, and his daily ride is a part of that! I opted to wear my helmet because I was unsure of how he may react to triggers during our ride. I am not a fan of lunging, so after brushing and picking hooves I saddled up and hopped on. Cash did SO well! He was light on the bit and responsive to leg and seat cues. He started to visibly relax shortly into our ride. I decided not to push and only ride in the areas we’ve already covered during our walks. I think those walks really prepared Cash. Each ride I hope to venture a little farther. 

Although the first two days were a little rough, Cash is adjusting more and more each day. I’m trying to keep his routine similar and stick to it. Enjoy some beautiful pictures from our first ride on the property! Stick around to hear more about Cash’s adventures and see more of our countryside.

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