Moving strategy - 1st thing or late in the day?


Active Member
Aug 15, 2005
So I'm starting to think about how to move Kali at the end of this month. I'm borrowing an Equitrek, and know that he travels beautifully in those, so that's not an issue - I'm now starting to think about how to handle moving day.

Option 1: Early morning: dope him up (Sedalin) and turn him out for a short time at existing yard while I load up lorry with what's left of his stuff. Bring him in, load him and on arrival at new yard turn him straight out (in field adjoining his new/prospective field mates). Upside: he gets a chance to stretch his legs, blow off some steam and meet his new friends before going in his new box for the night. Downside: more opportunity to prat about and hurt himself, also field is a decent walk away from where we'd park the lorry (see more opportunity to prat about).

Option 2: Mid-morning: turn him out for a few hours, bring in and lunge, administer dope, bathe, graze in hand and then load and move. At new yard either straight in box or out for a short time (w/ horses next door). Upside: very tired should = more relaed. Downside: hmmmm . . . not sure.

He is quite an insecure boy and can get quite wound up . . . he arrived at our current yard and settled really quickly but that was because he was able to come off the lorry and graze in hand in a confined space in full view of the fields, stables, school, etc. so he could see and take in loads about his new home. New yard is set up quite differently and if we arrive during the day odds are good that there will be no horses on the yard (all will be turned out) - but if we arrive later, they will all be in - and he won't be able to see any horses from the yard (unless they're in). What would you do?



Learning all the time
Jul 18, 2005
North west
I always opt for an early move, simply as it gives more daylight to settle in and aquaint with new surroundings. That said its summer so longer nights make this a less of a problem - however it gives you more time to spend with him if you choose to to make sure he is settled. Im not sure adminning dope after lunging is a good idea - he will have adrenaline running through him already perhaps reducing sedalins effectivness - its only effective if he is already calm.

Can you leave him out over night so he is tired in the morning, bring him in at say 7am, give him a hay net and sedalin while you load up and move him at about 9 or 10? should reduce traffic too


Active Member
Dec 11, 2009
North East Linconshire
I`d say move him early too. Just to give you more time so nothing is "rushed" .... you then have the "we have all the time in the world" attitude, rather than times getting on we need to get a move on. As PFB says, gives you lots of time in the new place to see him settle :)


Active Member
Oct 16, 2006
The Cotswolds
Why do you need to dope him? Seems a bit excessive if he travells well, unless there is a medical reason?

Henry has always been moved either late morning or early afternoon, basically I chuck him straight out in the field and spend a few hours doing stuff around the yard and keeping an eye on him (and administering pony nuts if needed, best way to calm him down :D)

When I took Henry to dressage in May, I bought him in from the field in the early afternoon (nothing usual we could have been going for a hack), nothing out of the ordinary, no lorry or anything parked on the yard, just me. Henry spent half an hour box walking and poo-ing, the ONLY trigger for that behaviour was my adrenaline, I gave him to the driver to load and he pottered up like an angel and started eating his haynet like he'd never been a problem traveller (he hadn't travelled for 18 months and he used to get very stressed and sweaty travelling). So what I'm saying is that maybe you should ensure YOU are the calm one, get someone else to load him and just meet them there?


New Member
Oct 29, 2007
Brighton, East Sussex
Why does he need sedalin? Is it because he is a bit stressy?

I would also opt for the morning. You can take your time and then if there is a problem with whatever you don't have to worry as you have time.

Could you take him out for a really long hack the evening before so he is nicely tired out in the morning? That's what i would do with Izzy.

I agree with the suggestion of someone else loading him if you are a bit stressed. When we took my friends horse to the vet I loaded him as she was a bit nervous and didn't want to give him any vibes to make him nervous and it worked well.


Active Member
Aug 15, 2005
Hmmmmm - thanks all - alot to think about. Re doping him (and I could just give him NAF Magic Paste to take the edge off - doesn't have to be sedalin) he loads and travels fine (is quiet and relaxed while in transit) but can come off the lorry somewhat "loaded for bear" and rather stressy/excited. Hope that makes sense. I love the idea of someone else loading/unloading him and I may ask my trainer (who will be helping me) if she will do this for me - just so I don't pass along any vibes.

I'm not too worried about giving him a calmer once he's finished lunging - he usually ends up nice and relaxed and tired and I figured he could have it once he'd walked off so that it could take effect while he had a bath - I hope that made sense?

I also like the idea of tiring him out the evening before - makes sense - in which case just giving him some calmer, booting him up (brushing boots) to turn him out for a while to chill and then walking him straight onto the lorry is probably the thing to do. Then he can come straight off the lorry at the other end and go straight out for a leg stretch/play.

Beginning to get very excited about the move . . . they're building a solarium at the new yard and have put in planning permission for a new outdoor school nearer the stables (the one they've got is enormous but a fair distance from the main yard and isn't currently lit). They're installing a dedicated wash-down area, a dedicated area for the farrier (covered - hurrah), and a place for us liveries to sit outside and have tea (or something stronger)/enjoy the sunshine - in addition to an indoor sitting area with fridge/kettle, etc. in the "office." YM (also my trainer) is already planning clinics (she's gotten in touch with Mary King to see if she'll come) and some pony club activities. Oh - and every stable except one is now spoken for (out of 18) - they'll take possession of another 6 in September. It'd going to be fun!



Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2009
First thing in the morning I would. Wouldn't bother to bath or fuss around, just feed him and load him. Then he will have the whole day to adjust without getting upset by preparation.


Active Member
Oct 16, 2006
The Cotswolds
I wouldn't dope for that? Especially not if he's good to travel, it can be dangerous. Henry is very similar in those situations so I arrange for him to go out in the field when we move or go on jaunts, unless there is a medical reason for a horse not to have a hooley ( and IMO it does them good every now and then) I really would not dope for moving home.


New Member
Jan 31, 2003
Visit site
I wouldn't dope for moving either - doping can be distressing for horses, even though they seem sleepy on the surface, and that added to new surroundings would be horrible, in my opinion.


New Member
Jul 14, 2007
I wouldn't dope him either, I would be prepared for him to come off the box in a bit of a rush, let him have a look round including his new stable and then take him round the new yard in hand for a look and see then turn him out
in his new field to meet his new Neighbours.

I would definately be doing this in the morning, think it would be all a bit
much to bring him off the box late afternoon when all the Horses may be
in the Yard/Stables being seen to by their Owners:wink: I would prefer to get him there early so that I can spend the day there helping him
settle in.

IF he travels well etc., I certainly wouldn't give him anything before, however if he was really REALLY on his toes and unsettled after all the
above I may think about giving him a little calmer then, but I would see how he goes and how it all develops first, he may suprise you yet
Last edited:


New Member
Jan 20, 2010
Norfolk and good
I went to a talk this evening and thought of you when they were talking about a calmer and mentioned it had been reviewed by people who had trouble loading horses and keepong them calm.

Its called zylkene, its given two days before and on the day. They do calmers for humans, dogs and cats.
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