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

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Kara W.
Update on Cassie :D 
She is doing WONDERFUL! Chelsea has been working with her a bit. She was full of it last night while riding due to being a little cooler last night and not being ridden in about a week :D She has some real get up and go when she really wants to :D Not a bad thing :D I can't tell you how much I love this Mare. She and Eli always call to me when I get to the barn at night saying "hey where is my dinner?"  I like to think its because she is happy to see me :D 

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Kara W.

So this last Friday morning I finally took Cassie out of the arena to see what she would do. SHE WAS WONDERFUL! We went down the side of the road and she didn't even look at the cars, trucks, or semi-truck driving by. She went up and down the step ditch without hesitation. I was able to have her weave in and out of the tree line along the drive way using only my legs (big smile here).  The only thing she really doesn’t like to do is stand still. (prob cause all her buddies were still back at the barn).

With our arena work we have been trying to keep nice soft hands and that has helped a lot with the head tossing and pulling at the bit. She knows leg cues very well... and even neck reins a little bit... she has some get up and go when she wants to as well. I guess that means she is going to have to start learning the barrel and pole patterns :P I'm so darn happy with her :D I'll try to get some more pictures this week. I cleaned up an OLD OLD bridle that has silver hearts on it and I can't wait to see what she looks like in it :)


Lindsey N
These two make quite the pair and I love watching her work with Cass.  She has a different personality with each horse she works with and how she behaves with Cassie seems to be the exact match to her at her calmest and most patient.  It is very easy to see how they click when they work <3
Big smiles over here.  :)  It makes me happy to see that this is such a great match.  I bet Cassie will look just smashing with the silver hearts too. 
Great update!  sounds like a great team!
Kara W.
So I have been working a lot with Cassie the past couple of weeks. Last week when I rode I decided I was going to take the bridle off and ride with just the rope halter. SHE DID WONDERFUL! She moves off of leg pressure pretty much on its own and with a little bit of neck reining... So tonight I decided I was going to use my "S" Hackmore on her, and I'm very happy to say we have found our combination for what we will be riding in from here on out :) I was able to use fingertips to control her. Walk, Trot, Canter both directions, figure 8s, stopping and backing. She did amazing! I was so happy I almost cried. I've been having a hard week at work and there is nothing better then a GREAT ride to help that get better. She is still very hesitant to extend herself at a trot but that is slowly coming. Her canter reminds me a lot of that short choppy prancey canter that you see babies do in the field. She doesn't extend herself at all and is still acting like she if very worried I'm going to yank her head back and tell her to stop. She is due for a trim again as well... Good thing the farrier is coming next week Tuesday... She seems to get longer in her toes on her back feet and doesn't pick them up as well as she could. Does any one have any suggestions for getting her to extend and pick up her feet more??? I would love some feed back for that. I have tried trot poles and that does seem to have helped a lot with the trot... but how do you make them feel more comfortable at the canter???
I will have a picture coming soon as well :)

Isn't it great how horses can really save the day?!  It is awesome that you two are clicking so well and you've found something that is really working!  Way to go! 

Here are a couple of really cute pics of Kara and Cassie.  Thanks for the update and pics Kara! 

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Kim M.
Kara, a melted heart you have over here! I am so happy for you. Thanks so much for the updates and pictures. I know it won't be long and Cassie will be like, "Oh, dah! This is Kara. Well here goes nothin'!" and off she'll go for you!
Denise S - WW
Great update & pics Kara! Thanks for sharing!!
Paige G
What a great update! It's wonderful when you're able to find something that works well for a horse for a bridle, it's so tricky sometimes. My warmblood also had problems extending at at canter and trot (odd, considering!), the trot came with time, but I found working on hills really helped with the canter, both up and down. It really made him engage his back and hindquarters and stretch out, as well has having to pick up his huge hooves. Or, I know it's taboo, but lope/canter back to the barn, trot back and try it again. I didn't end with him cantering back to the barn, but he learned how to move into a canter from a kiss, and was happy to head that direction and was happy to extend for me. That's what worked for me... Good luck!
Kara W.
I just wanted to share some new pictures of my Miss Cassie girl :) I also had a great ride with her tonight. I was the only one at the barn so I got to spend some nice 1x1 time with her. Bareback with only a halter and lead rope. Walk trot both directions, stop and back up. I was so darn happy. The more time I spend with her the more I love her.

Thank you again MHWF for bringing Cassie into my life!

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Lindsey N
The second noodle picture looks like she's saying "Peek-A-Boo, I see you!" lol :)
mel d
Thanks for the update and photos. Love to read about and see all the happiness out there :)
Kara W.
Update on Cassie :) 
Vet was out this last week and said she has great teeth and is a little chubby :) Nothing better to hear that going into winter I say :) Anyway we are putting her on a bit of a diet (Nothing Crazy) and putting her on some MSM to help her with the stiffness she has in her hocks. (again nothing horrible). She is doing wonderful and has started calling out to me like her "brother" Eli does when I pull up to the barn. I guess I finally passed the good guy test with her because she no longer slowly wonders away when I come out to the pasture... she is usually the first to great me :) I can't tell you how much I love this girl :) Thanks again to MHWF for everything you do! I can't say that enough and I can't stop telling people about the great things you guys do. Enjoy a couple more pics of her:)

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Kara W.

A week on MSM and Cassie is moving a lot better in her hocks. Not a stiff in her movements and she seems to be picking up her feet much better. No more draging toes every couple of steps. :)  Its not a crazy change but enough of one that my mom who hasn't seen Cassie in about 3 weeks noticed a difference in her movements :) Pretty sure I'm one happy horse Mom today :) I sure love my Cassie Girl :)

Jenni O.
Hmm, I wonder if her canter issues didn't have something to do with her stiffness in her hocks?  Hopefully the supplement does the trick.  I liked Paige's advice to try loping on the hills though.  And just more loping in general, not worrying about where she is going or her speed so much, but letting her just get the hang of it. 
I just got this update and pic from Kara.  Looking great!!!!!!!

"I would have to say work and the supplements are working :) Cassie is extending herself a lot better at the trot and canter. I'm doing a lot of ground work with her and an occational barback ride with just the rope halter and lead rope. Did some work off the rope and she actually got to the point when I told her "easy" she would slow down, and when I asked her to stop she turned in just a licking her lips with ears only on me. She stopped and stood right next to me waiting to be told what to next getting her good girl head rub :) I love the connection I'm earning with her. It's pretty darn cool!"

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Check out the new fashions.  Love these Kara! 

Update and pics from Kara: 
"I made Cassie a new blanket! Not going to lie, she looks like a
princess in her pink and zebra print:)
Eli has a green with cheetah, but I made his last winter that's why he
is so fuzzy in his picture :)
Next time I'll get one of them both together." 

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Kara W.
Another Cassie update:)
We went on what I would call our first real trail ride :) We have pretty much ridden in every available area on our 12 acre property so we decided to go a bit further today. It was mostly down the roads around the neighborhood not far from our farm. I'm am very proud to say Cassie is for sure VERY road safe:) We have to walk down a pretty busy road to get to the neighborhood and she never once questioned or really even looked anything.
She has a much faster walk than Eli does so I had to keep turning her around and lapping my friend who was ridding him. She never once tried to go back to the barn and never once hesitated on anything. I can't wait to get her out of some trails next summer.
We rode for about 2 hours today and both Cassie and Eli were wonderful! I'm So happy that I have two horses I can trust to be able to take people along with me that might not really know a lot, and I wont have to worry about Eli while they ride him or Cassie while I ride her. We can just chill and enjoy the nice ride together :) 
We might not get to many more days as nice as today was so I was very happy to make this one such a good day with my ponies :)

Great update Kara!
Kara W.
This might not mean much to some people but I have to say it :)
I started off just walking and jogging her around then we picked up the speed a little bit... I realized she doesn't bounce up and down at the trot... so we went a bit further :) I made it 1/2 way around the arena and never lost my balance before she broke back down into a trot... 
I have only cantered bareback one in the past 8 years and that was on Eli and I almost fell off when he came back down to the trot because he bounces so much...
Not going to lie I was pretty darn excited and I just had to share :)
Oh and I do have 3 witnesses to prove it! :)
Great Kara!  Congrats!  I know how great those "small" accomplishments feel.  My instructor tells me that it is excellent strength building (I know because I have none!) if you can continue to ride bareback every few rides and work your way up to cantering small circles or even trot over poles.  Fun!
Kim M.
Kara, this is just awesome! Please don't ever think your accomplishments are too little or too simple to share. I, for one, love hearing about the milestones people reach. I also am especially proud of you because I too have had difficulty with cantering bareback (and with a saddle for that matter!) and can easily relate. FAST is a four letter word to me. ;-) I like the walk and nice easy trots. But my friend kept encouraging me and last year I finally got the courage to canter bare back and didn't fall off!!! I was so surprised at myself. I still don't do it much because I simply don't get much time on the ground or in the saddle, so I stay as safe as possible by not adding speed to the equation. But it's so terrific you have been able to bond and connect, just totally rad!
That's awesome Kara!  :) 
Jenni O.
Very cool!  I don't even ride my gelding bareback.  He's just not smooth, and his lope is usually too fast for bareback riding.  Especially the slowing down part.  Love all your photos too.
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