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  • Writer's pictureDale Rudin

When Should You Start Working with Your New Rescue

It's so exciting to have your rescue arrive. There are so many possibilities ahead. You can't wait to build a bond and see what the two of you can accomplish together.

Give It Time

Your new horse is in a strange environment. There's also a good chance that there is abuse or trauma in her past. Not to mention, the stress of traveling.

Often times rescue horses have not been fed well and in addition to health issues may feel lousy.

First Things First

Before anything else happens, make sure your new family member has everything to feel safe, comfortable, and well.

That may mean isolating them from other animals yet making sure they can see that they're not alone. Being introduced to other horses when you're not at your best can be very stressful. It may also be best to keep horses separated to make sure that the new guy doesn't have a contagious illness.

Settling In

Once you're new horses needs have been met, it could take weeks if not months for her to be ready to connect and learn. It all depends on her physical and emotional state and how well she responds to her new environment.

Simple and Successful

That doesn't mean you need to completely ignore your rescue. You can use everyday activities to build a foundation of trust and understanding.

At first that may look like being in her space without moving toward her or making eye contact. That will help her learn that your presence is not a threat.

In time you may want to introduce the clicker, and use it when she makes eye contact or moves towards you - clicking the behavior and then placing some food in a dish to give her space to feel rewarded without any pressure.


Your new friend maybe super confident, relaxed, and eager to connect. That's fabulous! Remember that this is still a new experience for her and for you. Taking it slow and keeping it successful for everyone is always your best path.

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