Moving House

In psychology A-level we studied stress, and more particularly the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. It was developed to measure the effect of life stressors on health, with each stressor being given a value. The top one is obviously the death of a spouse, but I remember being surprised at how high the value of moving house was. Now in my experience, moving house hasn’t been stressful as we moved into our first home from our childhood homes so could do it over a number of weeks and had few belongings. Now I look around and realise it would be quite stressful trying to move all of our belongings to a new house in one day, which frequently happens in estate chains.

I digress. Recently a couple of people have told me that they’re moving out of the area, and moving their horse too. Then I realised that moving region with a horse must rank pretty highly on the Stress Scale. Probably as highly as moving house…

I started making a list in my head of all the things you would need to consider.

  1. Somewhere to keep your horse. You need to consider livery packages, facilities, cost, location…
  2. Farrier. What services do they provide, which areas do they cover and how much do they cost? I think I would make sure my horse was shod just before the move to give me time to do some research.
  3. Vet. The internet is probably the best source for comparing vets and seeing the areas that they cover.
  4.  Feed. Where are the local feed merchants, what do they stock, and what deals do they do? Does the new yard supply forage, or do you have to source it yourself? Where can you store your feed?
  5. Dentist, chiropractor, saddlers and all other regular check ups that you need.
  6. Local hacking routes, people to ride with, nearby competition venues.
  7. Instructors, places to train, local riding clubs.

All of these things would need to be planned in advance, or if not then almost immediately after you have moved; whilst simultaneously settling in to your new job, home and lifestyle. 

Then of course is the physical moving of your horse and all your equipment. Just think of all those rugs, tack, tools, grooming supplies, your own riding gear, first aid kit, feed bins, any unused feed, buckets, boots, bandages, haynets, lunging equipment, whips …

Honestly, I can’t imagine doing it. I think I’d need the trailer to transport Otis, and then another trailer for all of his belongings!

Like people, horses take different amounts of time to adjust to their new surroundings, and whilst some can be naughty when settling in, others can be quiet and depressed with the stress of a new home. I think it’s important to keep some semblance of their old routine; exercise, handler, daily routine etc to help them adjust. Hopefully with a couple of consistencies in their life a horse won’t take long to feel at home at a new yard, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a horse didn’t seem to settle for a couple of months, particularly if they weren’t the most confident and stable horse initially.

Can anyone shed some light on the joys of moving yards and house at the same time and if these life events were as stressful as I envisage.

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4 thoughts on “Moving House

  1. Beth rutterford Mar 4, 2016 / 7:19 am

    Just done it two weeks ago and it’s is stressful. Tried to hVe everything ready for when Roo arrived at her new home. Weirdest thing is meeting the new people and fitting in with there rules and routine. For the first week too me half hour longer to do everything as I was completely out of sink. Horse settled perfectly in a couple of days through

    • therubbercurrycomb Mar 6, 2016 / 8:10 am

      Glad she settled in straight away 🙂 I can imagine that would be another huge stress if they didn’t. You’re right tho, adapting to new routines is something you wouldn’t necessarily consider but it affects everything like your work and weekend time!

  2. sianr1987 Mar 4, 2016 / 8:28 am

    I moved to London from South Wales for 12 months and took my horse… I moved there first and left my horse in the care of my family whilst I found somewhere for her. The new yard had all hay/bedding available and had regular vet/farrier visits so from that respect it was fairly easy. There was so much stuff to bring we borrowed a lorry so we could put everything inside!

    I will have to relocate at some point in the next 12 months for my partners work and I’ve already decided that I’ll be looking for the horses home first and then figuring out a good place for us to live that makes commuting and yard visits straightforward! Priorities 🙂

    • therubbercurrycomb Mar 6, 2016 / 8:08 am

      I’m glad to see you’ve got your priorities sorted 😉
      I think once you get on a yard it can be straightforward getting contacts for farriers etc, it can just be difficult to find the right yard for you from a long way away, especially as a lot if DIY yards don’t necessarily advertise. I think one of my friends was going to join the local riding club Facebook group so they could access local knowledge.

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