Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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Kara W.
Happy New Year from Me Cassie and the rest of the family! I started the year off right by taking a ride in the pasture on Cassie this morning after the horses had some breakfast :) She was great! And I can't wait to see what the rest of 2013 brings us :)
Happy New Year to you, Cassie and the rest of your gang Kara! 

Here is a really nice note and some great pics from Kara: 

"I have jumped up to 7 teen girls that now come out to the barn to ride. I'm going to link all the pics in Cassie's forum but Iorek, Miss, and Cassie have all found girls to help love on them a bit.  Here are some pics of all of us just hanging out at the barn. 
I can not begin to tell everyone how much these girls have done for me in the past couple of months. Having them all come out has made me feel complete in so many ways. These are now the little sisters I didn't have growing up. (I have two younger brothers). 
If anyone ever has the opportunity to share your lives with teens that sometimes just need a horse hug please do it!. You would not believe the how good it will make you feel to bring horses into their lives :)"

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Kara W.
Ok one more pic.
The girls wanted so bad to come out to the barn yesterday they met me out there at 7:30am. :)
It was freezing but they all seemed to have had a great time :)

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That's great! 
What an amazing thing for the girls and horses and everyone! 
Jenni O.
Where were you when I was a teenager??? Looks like everyone is having a great time. Good for you for doing this for the girls.

Kara, have you considered getting involved in something like Big Brothers, Big Sisters? Just an idea since you really seem to enjoy sharing your horse with the teens. 

That last picture is awesome!  They're all great but that last one really makes me smile!
mel d
Your posts just make me smile...horses and girls together...as it should be :)
Kara W.
One of my girls that comes out got to spend some 1x1 time with Cassie last night. Everyone else was busy so it was just the 2 of us and all 6 horses. So we played some games with Cassie.
I showed Ashlee how I got Eli to "bow" for a treat.
Well she decided she was going to teach Cassie. :)
I'm very proud to say both of them did WONDERFUL :)

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How cool is that?!!!  :) 

Kara W.
Went out to the barn last night to enjoy some horsey time :)
Since it was still kinda cold I jumped up on Cassie bareback to warm up a bit...
Well I was at it we worked out our using only leg queues to turn and I must say she is getting pretty darn good at it :) Shes almost got a pivot on a back leg down as well.
Well after we worked on that for about 15 min I decided it was time to see if Cassie could ride double.
Stood like a rock for the 2nd rider to get on and never once questioned what we were doing :).
Just had to share another proud mom moment :)


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Kara W.
Finally got sometime outside yesterday in the day light :) Julie P. made the horses all rytem beads and Cassie got to try hers on. Cassie and I just did some light ground work while I gave one of my other girls a riding lesson on Eli. I figured that was a good way to mulitask :P
Enjoy some of the new pics. Cassie is finally starting to cuddle with me at times. It has taken a very long time for her to be comfortable with me around her face a lot. She still jumps if I move to quickly by her face but she is getting much much better with me being close. She doesn't so much mind haltering and putting the bridle on but if you move fast she def lets you know she is very uncomfortable about it. 
Little by little she is getting better :)

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Nice pictures and update! In the photos she sure looks comfortable with you.   
That second photo...I want in on that hug!  That looks like such a nice warm hug in so many ways.  Great pics!!!  I love the new bling!!! 
I am with Karen..grin...love that hug! 
Jenni O.
I love the photos!  And the rythm beads are beautiful.  I like the second pic where she looks like she is snuggling her head in your arms.

And because I am kind of fascinated by bits--is that considered a gag bit, because it can rotate on the ring?  Anyone know?  Or do you know what it's actually called? 

Also, just throwing this out there because it's something I have been reading a little about lately, but have you thought about trying clicker training with Cassie to get her more used to her head being touched?  (Sorry if it's been brought up before.)
It is a gag bit on Eli. He is very light mouthed with this bit and I can use finger tips when I ride him. I love that I can ride with soft hands... with lighter bits he tends to really pushes through them and tends to ignore you when you ask him things and he will push into the bit really bad. I put this on him and I hardly have to touch him. So it works :)
I never even thought of doing clicker training with Cassie.... Anyone have any suggestions about how that works?
John B.
Great pics Kara, your smile says it all :-)

Why is it I can be so happy on the inside with my horse but on the outside I look like 1963 pickup truck that just drove across the desert.  Hence why I like being on the other side of the camera.
Jenni O.
John, you're funny!  I love old pickup trucks.  You're not old and dusty, just...rustic.  Or timeless.  Or a classic.  That's it!  Yeah, that's it.  ;)

Kara, I would just Google clicker training for horses and see what you get.  I'm a little more familiar with how it works for dogs, but haven't tried it yet.
Kara W.

I have a clicker that I used with my dog when we started his puppy training...
I'll have to see what I can find. Thank you for the suggestion.

Right now I'm just focusing on making it a pleasant experience when I'm by her face. She gets treats when she is done doing her "job" for the night...
Mostly I just try to move a little slower and then when I do get to her face I just pet her really nicely.
She just really really doesn't like it when you move fast by her face.

I think I know what happened in the past to her...
She tends to be nippy when you saddle and mount her. I think in stead of just putting the elbow up and letting her run into it somebody repeatedly whacked her in the face.
She gets crabby ears when you are standing outside her stall door too.
She will try to bite other horses walking by her stall. Now I know she is the "boss" mare in the pasture. She has become buddies with up my Gelding Eli who is the "Leader" of the herd  and they get along GREAT. She isn't mean, but she does let the other horses know if she doesn't like something.

When they are in the stalls she has bit at the wall between her and Miss. We moved her to the end stall so she would only have one horse on one side of her instead of her thinking she had to tell two horses what to do all the time. Miss doesn't even bat an eye at Cassie... In fact I've seen her bite the wall back.

She does put her ears back at pretty much anyone who is in the barn, but only on if you are standing on the outside of her stall... If you go in her stall to pet her or with a halter, she will stand and just wait for you to do what you are doing. I can clean her stall with her in it without a problem, and the girls play with her all the time.

I'm just going to keep staying calm and moving slow for now until she starts to figure out we are not gonna just haul off and whack her. I mean there are times when she puts her ears back she immediately backs up in her stall throwing her head up in the air like she is just expecting to get hit...

I know its going to take a while for her to adjust to this... don't get me wrong either she is getting MUCH better then she was when she first came to the barn...

I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has any of these problems. And what do you do to help correct them? To me it seems like she is insecure and when you are actually with her she is fine and counts on you to lead her, but when you are not she doesn't really know what to think.

Sorry I rambled on there a bit... but any suggestions anyone has would be helpful. Thanks guys!
Jenni O.


Look what I found, and I wasn't even looking!   Hope it's helpful, I haven't gone through the whole thing yet.

How does she react if you were to rub her neck and then just move over her ears to her face, rather than directly approach her face?

Kara W.
She is perfectly fine if you start from her neck and go to her face. She will let you touch everypart of her head without a problem. It's really just when you approch quickly with raised hands that she reacts.
If I'm standing next to her and raise my hand she is perfect.
John B.
Kara, how does Cassie act when out in the pasture and you approach her?  Does she show any type of aggression or ears pinned?  Reason I ask is I have seen a few other horses in the past that just seem to be very protective of their stalls (pin their ears, make a bite motion) when another horse or person walks by but show none of that when in a pasture.  I don't know if it is due to them being nervous or protective being in a no escape area or what to be honest.

As long as you are getting respect when in the stall and handling that is the mane thing.  One friend's mare always did it when in her stall, she lived till 30, was treated like gold but just always did it when in her stall.  Kind of like this is my area and I am saying stay away.  But when you entered the stall she was fine.  It would annoy me so I would stand outside her stall and not back down, just stand there, she would get tired of it and settle down but it still did not correct her when I would walk by the next time.

I think if you keep up with desensitizing stuff you will find that Cassie gets over the jumpy-ness with movements by her face.  Clint Anderson - Rick Gore have some good stuff you can find on the web and on YouTube.

Best of luck
Kara W.
She puts her ears back in the pasture but never acts upon anything.
If she sees me coming with a halter she will walk a way with her ears back  for a bit but eventually gets sick of walking away and stands calmly while I put the halter on and respects my space very well.
Kara W.
I spoke with a friend of mine this past weekend who has agreed to come help teach ME how to work with Cassie this coming spring :) Cassie is doing WONDERFUL with my girls riding bareback and I've actually now taught a few of them how to turn using leg queues and neck raining :) My goal this next summer is to learn different queues to use to see what else I can do with her. I really think she would be fun to do some reining with. Not a lot but a little and my friend worked at a pretty big Paint show barn with traininers so I'm hoping she can teach me some new stuff.
She is going to work with Cassie for about 10 to 15 rides to do a little training refresh and figure out what her "buttons" are :)
She is then going work with me to help teach me how to use those buttons.
I never really had "formal" training and I just taught myself how to ride with my mom's help. So for someone to offer to help teach me some of this is wonderful!
She rode her once last fall and said she is fun to ride and has lots of "buttons" its just a matter of findint them. She was able to get Cassie to pivot and everything and had only ridden her about 15 min... I can't wait till the snow and cold is gone so I can start my new projects :)
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