In today's Guest Blog Post, Tianna Sinclair shares with us her experience of welcoming a new horse into her family.
My name is Tianna and I recently got a new horse called Pimms.
Pimms is aged 9 and is a 15.2hh Irish cob. It took a while to get used to each other and it was about five months before I even felt like she knew I was her owner. When I first got Pimms, we kept her at a riding stables so she was out four times a day roughly and she was a big favourite at the yard. If I was brushing her or something in her stable, someone would come over and give her a cuddle and it just felt like she wasn’t mine.
Our other horse was already at a different yard as he colicked without turnout. Due to the fact that we felt it was unfair to Pimms for her to be ridden four hours a day regularly, and that we wanted our horses to be in the same place, we moved Pimms to the other yard, the yard we are at now.
Only then did she start to recognise us and it took another month for her to know our voices. I think the hard thing for me and Pimms was that when we got her she was thrust into it all straight away. When I had had her for just over a month, we went to pony camp. While I had been away before that, the riding school had taken her to a show. I had also taken her to a few shows. My point is we made the mistake of not letting her settle in first and get used to her new surroundings. Because she never spooks or runs off, she was also considered a school mistress, which obviously didn’t help. She isn’t a school mistress and she can be very strong when she wants.
I think that when you get a new horse, it is easy to forget that they don’t understand why they’ve been moved or why their old owner never visits them. Before pushing them to do shows and camps, it’s important to spend time bonding with them. Make them feel safe and loved.
In my opinion, there are certain things that tell you when you and your horse have bonded. For example, coming to you in the field, or looking over their stable door when they hear your voice, stamping their foot or kicking the door when you give another horse your attention.
Now our bond is strong, I’m looking forward to seeing how both me and Pimms grow and improve together.
Tianna & Pimms
A little note from Suzanne: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us Tianna! I'm sure many readers will be able to relate to this. It is comforting to know that it does take time to bond with, and get to know, a new horse - it doesn't always happen straight away.