Sound, gorgeous, and almost cheerful!
Sound, gorgeous, and almost cheerful!
Cameo was a very good girl in the Joel clinic! She started out a little tense — lots of people and horses — but the exercises really helped her balance and settle in mind and body. We did lots of one rein stops, moving hindquarters and forequarters, backing, and working on a loose rein. Trying to work on listening to my seat, getting her off the forehand, and not taking flight! Cameo is smart, sweet, sensitive and spunky and she puts 100% in everything she does. Overall, it was a positive learning experience for both of us and we have plenty work yet to do but I’m excited to continue practicing these techniques in my work with her!
Below: Cameo and Prince work well in close quarters! Who would ever believe that Cameo would allow something like this! Amazing progress!!!!
Cameo is coming along really well in her rehab work and she is now ready for the weight of a rider. Volunteer rider Lindsay was excited to help Cameo take this next step and helped her have a happy and easy ride. Here is a video of her first ride back:
Cameo was a doll at the last open house, making new friends with everyone who stopped in to see her. She loves her outside stall where she can see all that is going on at the farm and has her buddy Stella always within sight. The volunteer riders have been working steadily to get her strong and ready to ride. She has been working on trot poles and is up to 20 mins of trot work with saddling. She has been quiet and has a great work expression. We will be looking to saddling her and adding rider weight and increasing the trot under saddle over the next month. Here is a little bit from her training workout on Monday with volunteer rider Erika:
“Cam looked so great today! We did our walking and trotting with the K&S on…We went back over to the mounting block and practiced having weight over the back, having the saddle jiggle, and having the stirrups moving around at her sides. She did GREAT!!!!”
Here are some GORGEOUS new photos of Cameo. Thank you Jessica Farren for the lovely shots!
Cameo is getting back to work and doing very well. We are keeping things easy to start with, working on groundwork, saddling, and hooking up with her handlers. Already we are seeing good changes! Here is an update from her volunteer rider Claire:
“Cameo has come a long way in just a few sessions I’ve been able to work with her. Since she was stuck in a stall for so long recovering from her injury, she had a lot of excess energy to burn off, which was very apparent when I worked with her. A few weeks ago, I would saddle her (which she was initially troubled about), then turn her loose in the round pen. She would gallop around, unbalanced, and refuse to look at me. She also spooked consistently at one end of the round pen and wouldn’t go near it. Eventually, I was able to get her to calm down and we ended on a good note (even if she was super sweaty since she is so out of shape!). But the last time I worked with her, it was night and day. She was totally comfortable being saddled, moved out really nicely and calmly in the round pen, and even went to the side of the round pen that she was afraid of. She was listening to me the whole time, and she walked and trotted with me without a halter on. She is incredibly smart and it is a pleasure to work with her!”
Here are some lovely photos that Jessica Farren took of Claire and Cameo working in the round pen this week. What a BEAUTIFUL mare Cameo has become!
Cameo continues to make good progress in her rehab from last July’s injury. Volunteers have been walking and trotting her in hand for the past several months. Cameo is a pretty good girl for her exercise sessions but she is easily spooked if there is too much noise or commotion near the arena, so her handlers have to stay on their toes.
We are now able to saddle her up for short walks with a rider on board. She will occasionally show some stiffness afterwards, but overall her progression has been uneventful and steady. Her walks under saddle are progressively getting longer and very soon, we’ll start trotting her.
In order to keep her quiet, we have not been turning Cameo out. Winter turnout at Safe Harbor takes place mostly in the covered arena. Once we get the all clear from Dr. Fleck, she’ll have the opportunity to spend time out in the arena with a calm horse as a buddy.
Cameo is a very smart girl and she knows her people. If you are new to her, or if you are a little bit timid in her presence, she will definitely take note of it! She takes direction well but you must be aware of her and establish a kind leadership with her from the beginning.
We have a volunteer horse masseuse, Lori M, visiting Safe Harbor once a week and Cameo is enjoying her gentle massage work. Cameo loves attention. Her favorite thing? Getting her forehead rubbed. Which is, of course, the best angle from which to appreciate her beauty!
Volunteer trainer Laura McCorkle has been working with Cameo for a long time now, and has really gotten the chance to get to know this mare on a whole new level. She provided this update about her work with Cameo:
Poor Cameo – she’s the Queen of Walking Big Ovals! This beautiful girl has been in rehab for a very long time, trying to get her hamstring back in shape for riding. Half an hour of hand-walking/trotting day after day, week after week, month after month can get B-O-R-I-N-G!
Cameo being Cameo, she looks for drama around every corner (and frankly, who can blame her?). A falling leaf – a passing breeze – a raindrop – all these and more can be used as fuel for a classic Arab buck and snort, but a quick sarcastic raised eyebrow and a “rEEEEally?!” from her handler is all it takes, and she drops the drama. She really is a brave, sensible, spirited little beast…she just needs reminding every now and then.
Since the routine is so boring, we’ve been working on getting ready for being ridden again, hopefully soon. Cameo’s favorite cheat is leaning on you with her inside shoulder and looking to the outside, so we’ve been doing some groundwork as we walk – getting her to maintain the correct bend, and asking her to move off inside “leg” (pressure directed at her side with the tail end of the rope, a hand, or an arm draped over her). We’ve also worked on calm, light transitions between stop, walk, fast walk, jog, and trot – mixing it up a bit as we walk around. And around. AND AROUND….
She seems to appreciate the “games” we play and likes to have some mental work along with the physical. Cameo is a horse who is THIRSTY for tasks to focus on – this horse wants a JOB. We’re doing our best to keep her happy, even though she’s not ready for too much yet.
We’ll get there….
It has been 3 months since Cameo’s torn hamstring injury. She has been doing well for her rehab and time off. She was allowed out of her stall rest and put into a stall with a run. We have steadily increased her hand walks to 30 minutes. She also has been quiet enough to take some walks out to the grass and enjoy some time outside. As long as she doesn’t get walked too far away from the other horses, she has remained relaxed and content.
We did have to break down and give her a bath! She has been loosing her summer coat and fluffing up for winter already. She was pretty good about it but really doesn’t like the drips on her hind legs. She managed through it and all survived! Also for the time being we took off her front shoes. We will be working with our farrier to see if she suggests putting them back on or trying her barefoot for the winter.
She is steadily recovering and has shown no signs of lameness on that hind leg. With good healing in place we will be talking to Dr. Fleck soon about getting her back under saddle and into the trot. We want to take it easy and make sure she is ready for that next step.