Sadie meets a horse
Sadie, a 12-week-old female Blue Heeler puppy, meets Uno, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding. We kept this young puppy on a leash for safety and fed her when near the horse. We allowed her to choose where to be and fed in position when she backed up. Reliable Uno rarely burns an extra calorie in the crossties, so he is a good choice for puppy introductions. That said, watch for stamping, snorting, and shuddering — all the things horses do that make them horses. The sudden noise and movement is often enough to surprise even the most confident puppy. There is no need to coddle or pick up the youngster, but an encouraging voice conveys partnership and helps the puppy habituate. Off-leash exercises will further socialize the puppy to barn life and make it a place she has fun (that just happens to be populated with horses).