Cascade and Me

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Cascade and Me

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        05-10-2013, 01:59 PM
    Cascade and Me

    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to start a journal since I'm just about to take over the reins with my new horse Cascade from her trainer. I'm going to be pretty religious at least initially about writing down what is working and what is not, so I can identify patterns.

    Here is our story.

    I adopted Cascade last year in May at a BLM mustang adoption. She was five years old, and at her very last chance to be adopted. I did not go into the adoption thinking I would come away with a big drafty dark chestnut roan, but sometimes life surprises you that way.

    If you want to read more about the adoption, here's the thread I started as it was happening. Adopting a Mustang

    I'm going out to see Cascade on the 19th. On that day the vet is coming out and we're going to sign the paperwork so she'll officially be mine! I'm also looking at saddles this weekend to bring out and try on her.

    I had more fun than I probably should have shopping for all her grooming supplies.

    Here are the things I still need.

    A helmet
    A long lead rope
    A training stick
    Supplies for a vet kit
    A saddle
    A bridle
    Some shampoo
    Hoof picks

    I'll take them one at a time. I still have until at least August until she is with me in DC.

    I'll post pictures from the visit on the 19th. I go saddle shopping tomorrow!
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        05-10-2013, 03:17 PM
    Hi Chessie! I read through your entire Adopting a Mustang thread and was really inspired by your determination and progress! Please continue to keep us up to date! I also was wondering what trainer you decided to go with since I see you are located in Ohio and you mentioned DC?
        05-10-2013, 09:59 PM
    Right now, I'm in Ohio. I'll be moving out to DC on July first. Once I get settled in, I'll do some serious looking for a good barn for Cascade to board with. As soon as I find a good place for her, her trainer is going to haul her out for me and help me get her settled.
        05-22-2013, 02:11 AM
    I spent a long time on Sunday with Cascade, which was a lot of fun, but I'm fully realizing the task ahead of me as far as training goes.

    Her trainer has done a good job with gentling her nicely, but hasn't really pushed her hard in training or done a whole lot of respecting space exercises.

    When I get Cascade to DC, I'm going to assume that I'm starting from scratch, and not take much for granted. I figure it can't hurt to start at square one and take things slowly.

    First we have to work on our bond, but my next two priorities are teaching her to respect my space. I noticed a couple of times that she thought nothing of moving in on me when I was between her and the fence, and that is NOT okay in my book. My bubble will be respected, darn it.

    At the same time, I'm going to really work on desensitizing her. I think she needs much more methodical and consistent desensitizing work.

    The good things I'm seeing so far is that she has a sweet demeanor and is not aggressive toward the rest of the herd. I think her confidence needs to be built up as well as some muscle tone on her top line, especially. I feel like she's floating around in this horsey head space of, "Well, those people are nice and won't hurt me, but if something scary should happen, I'm on my own, so I'd better shy."

    I want to stop that lack of confidence through lots of gentle desensitizing. From what I've read and seen, I like the CA method of starting the "scary" with low energy far away from the horse. As long as she is agitated, keep doing what you are doing until she is standing perfectly quietly and ignoring the "scary". As soon as she relaxes, stop all motion and give her a break for a breather, then start up the scary again, but move a step or two closer. Wash rinse repeat, etc.

    My goal would be to teach her that if something is upsetting her, the best thing to do is hold still, and then also to teach her that it doesn't matter what funky thing I'm doing, it's not going to hurt her.

    It's a good goal to start, anyway.
        08-23-2013, 10:28 AM
    It's almost time! I have found a great barn that I have a good feeling will work out for both Cascade and I, and I've been talking with her trainer in Indiana. She'll be with me soon! Now I just need to get all my supplies set up at the barn before she gets there.

    I feel like I'm pregnant and nesting, but with a horse.
        09-05-2013, 12:49 PM
    Cascade arrives at my barn on the 21st!!!!! There will be pictures, I promise.

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