The Magazine March 2024

Getting to know you

Posted 16th January 2024

Follow Alison Buttery’s advice of time and patience when building a confident relationship with your new horse


Buying or loaning a new horse is always exciting and exhilarating but, as with any situation that is so emotional, can sometimes be a nerve-wracking experience, with anxious or worried moments. This is the start of a wonderful and rewarding partnership that will only grow stronger over time

Start your journey

When you take on a new horse, it’s a big change for him as well as you – so try to remember that you’re both in the same situation. You’ll already know you need to manage him correctly to enable him to settle into his new routine and environment, but this considered approach applies just as much to you as to him. It’s important to acknowledge and accept that if it all feels a bit uncertain to begin with, that’s okay because it really does take time to get to know your horse – and vice versa.

For you both, it’s a period of discovery and exploration, and how well you’re able to manage your mindset and confidence during this getting-to-know-you phase can set the tone for your future relationship. So, let’s look at some ways to do this.

Lines of communication

When your horse first arrives, you’re simply getting to know each other, what you both like and dislike. You’re settling into new routines and creating those all-important lines of communication and learning what works and what doesn’t.

The important thing is to remember that this process will take as long as it takes – in truth, it’s never-ending. We’re constantly discovering new things about ourselves and our horses, so let go of any pressure or expectations around how quickly or slowly you progress because there’s no need to rush or to have a set time limit.

Top tip

When a horse has moved to a new yard environment, remember he needs time to understand and settle into his new routine and boundaries.

Learn more about building a confident and trusting relationship with your new horse in March Horse&Rider. Get your copy today!

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