Moving home will cause both you and your horse to leave the comfort zone, so for sure it will be 'stretchful', but it doesn't have to be stressful.
It just requires planning and here are a few things I learned from my experience in moving from the Netherlands to Portugal.
So let's wrap up the 'Moving to Portugal' series with the checklist with 3️⃣8️⃣ items on how to move a horse to a new home.
And I hope that - for those who will move their horses in the (near) future - it will help you and your horse to have your transition as close to comfortable as possible.
Now in this checklist, I divided the entire transition - from the old to the new home - into 6 phases:
- Early preparation
- Getting ready for transport
- Stress-free loading
- Traveling to your new location
- Arrival at the new home
- Reduce risks in the first week
- Settling down
In September, we all have been settling down in Portugal:
We have been busy with unpacking all the boxes and furnishing of all rooms.
But the horses have been acting like real grasshoppers 😉.
On the final day of traveling, we loaded the horse's early in the morning, before sunrise.
This way, we would be sure to arrive at our new house before sunset, so the horses would be able to get to know their new home during daylight.
Now already in July, we prepared an 'arrival' paddock in the garden behind the house, with a temporary fence.
And we scanned all three fields for poisonous plants, such as ragwort.
We also created two options for unloading, because we had the feeling, that the truck wouldn't be able to pass the gate...
On day 3, we moved with Maestro (23 y/o), Romanesque (19 y/o), Toronto (17 y/o), El Blanco (16 y/o) and Prince Elmelund (12 y/o) from France to Spain.
The horses were fit and relaxed and ready to go.
It was interesting to see them becoming 'used' to the truck over the days, where getting on the truck became a 'no-brainer'.
Now on the first day, some of my horses needed a bit more time to figure out what this truck was all about.
So they wanted to inspect the tailgate with their eyes, ears, nose, and feet:
This is the third blog post in the series of 'Moving To Portugal', and just in case you missed the first two episodes, here they are:
► Turning Dreams Into Reality: Why Portugal? >>
► Day 1: Start in the Netherlands >>
Now, some readers of my former blog post asked me:
- Why slant load in the 'opposite' direction?
- Why the diagonal loading faces more to the back?
- Why the horse's heads are to the right sight of the truck (if you look from behind)?
This has three reasons: