Little “Baby” has sure grown up! A lot has changed for her since her arrival at SAFE, but more recently she has become a riding horse! We put in a lot of preparation and patience to get her ready to start this next chapter. During the September Horsemanship clinic, our friend Joel Conner put on a few rides. Cassidy handled this well but there was still more groundwork to get her relaxed and accepting of the saddle.

We worked consistently to get her ready for the next clinic and that work paid off! When Joel returned in November, I was able to ride her every morning before the clinic began. Feeling confident now that I could take on her riding from there, she’s remained here at SAFE and I have been riding her in the round pen a few times a week.

Our most important goal right now is to get her to follow the position my body is going, and help her learn to connect with her rider and stay focused. At this point we are not overly concerned about where her head is or trying to micromanage her. This foundation will grow into the more advanced riding but for now “baby steps” go much farther than pushing her too much.

Cassidy is a sensitive mare. She has a tendency to look for support and comfort from other horses but is starting to realize those things are also available from humans. We had a little setback recently when a cold went around the barn: poor Cassidy got it as well as a cough. She’s had two weeks off and hopefully by next week she’ll be well enough to start working again. We ended things on a really good note as she began feeling of me all the way down to a stop on the far side of the round pen. This is a big deal because she has been very drawn to the gate and the direction of her horse buddies. I am hopeful we can take a few days getting back into the grove and she will be back on track very soon. Best guess is that she will be ready to go into the arena to ride first of the year and ready to start meeting potential adopters in February or March.