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Thread: Cassiopeia: Bog-Pony to Dressage Diva

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    253

    Default Cassiopeia: Bog-Pony to Dressage Diva


    Cassiopeia (or Cassie for short!) is a 7 year old Traditional Cob Mare. I owned her two years ago before selling her on, but then I recently got the opportunity to buy her back!

    Our goal is to qualify for the British Dressage Gypsy Cob Championship within the next few years! Is it possible? Well, maybe. Is it unlikely? Yes. Will that stop us from trying? Nope!
    It’s time for horse and rider to be whipped into shape!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    253

    Default The Mystery Lameness

    We’ve had a few issues over the past couple of months, starting with the mystery ‘lameness’ that was never solved! Cassie was a bit uneven and hopped a little bit, and we realised that it was in her left hind leg.

    I had the vet out who said they could definitely see *something* but they couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was, so they gave me two weeks of bute and gentle exercise…. well there was still no improvement so I had a physio out who couldn’t find anything either, apart from some tightness across her hips which was likely to have been caused by her hopping, rather than being the cause of anything.

    I had a different vet out a couple of times, who did some flexion tests and x-rays and couldn’t find anything. In the end, we came to the conclusion that she wasn’t in any pain, there was nothing glaringly obvious and it wasn’t really causing any issues, so we stopped investigating and have gone back to ‘normal’, and she’s coping brilliantly!
    Now we are working on her straightness and strength, and shifting a few more KGs off her!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    253

    Default Tack Tribulations

    Since the mystery lameness saga, during which time she was off work, I’ve started bringing her back into work slowly.
    We have been without saddle for a while (as saddle money had been spent on x-rays!) so I did a little bit of bareback in the school, literally just sitting on and walking round for a few minutes.
    Having had so much time off, she had gone a bit ‘backwards’ but with doing a little bit each day, she really started to improve.
    Fast-forwards to New Years, I went to stay with the awesome SadieSparkle, I came back from Sadie’s with one super wide fatty cob dressage saddle, and a Myler bit. Saddle seems to be a perfect fit (is being checked by a proper saddle fitter towards the end of January) and the Myler seems to be working out, she’s still getting her tongue over the bit, BUT I have better steering and brakes now.

    So now we have some tack sorted out, schooling is a go! And by schooling I mean managing to walk around the track without napping, stopping or tanking off to the gate! Lots of confidence building needs to be done!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    253

    Default

    We went out for a group hack today, there was me and Cassie and 5 others. Our usual weekend yard hacks are sedate and we just walk along chatting etc. it's been really good for building Cassie's confidence up.

    Coming out of our yard we can either go up or down the hill, we usually go up but today we went down and it was Cassie's first time going down! Confidence wise, she's come on leaps and bounds out hacking, she happily marches along next to whoever is leading.

    We got to a concrete barrier the farmer has put up (because we have idiots parking up and drinking/doing drugs/other dodgy car related things!! on our drive) and Cassie wasn't sure about going through it, so someone else went first and we followed after.... just as we were about to go through the barrier a pigeon decided to fly out of the hedge, the horses in front spooked and ran off for a few strides, Cassie did a 180 degree spin and cantered off in the other direction. I nearly came off and and lost a stirrup but luckily my new saddle has a good seat on it and I clung on! She stopped as soon as I gathered myself and asked her to though!

    She was a bit lively for the rest of the ride but on the way home going back up the hill, two cars were waiting behind us so we decided to trot to the passing place, Cassie was in the lead and I was expecting to have to wait for someone to overtake so we'd follow, but nope! As soon as I asked she trotted off in a really forwards trot all the way up the hill- I was in shock! The horses behind us got a bit excited and started cantering but she just stayed in trot until I asked her to walk


    I'm very proud of her today, even after my near-death experience (I can remember seeing myself falling towards the concrete barrier thinking 'S**t this is going to hurt' )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Derbyshire
    Posts
    253

    Default Lesson

    We had a lesson this morning from my pal Sadie. Cassie was kitted out in her new saddle, myler bit and micklem bridle.

    She worked really hard and we've come to the conclusion that 90% of her 'problems' are because she's rude and bad mannered... but there are some occasions you can tell that she genuinely doesn't understand what she's doing. So we've got a lot to work on.

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