Tia is a 14yr old, 16.3 hand Oldenburg/TB hunter mare that came from a big H/J barn outside Portland. From what we were told, she won a lot in the 3' but couldn't stay sound for the 3'6". It sounds like she was jumped too much, too young, and now had lameness issues. She has had at least one foal but we were told she can't get pregnant/hold the pregnancy anymore. The big barn donated her for a hefty tax write off to the OSU Vet School to use as a research/testing horse but OSU felt like she could still be used, as long as her lameness was managed correctly. She bounced around to a couple different places before coming to our barn as a lesson horse. She'll never pass a pre-purchase, needs pads on her front feet, joint supplements, and the occasional bute after hard work but is as push button, point and shoot as you get.
|Tia and one of her leasees
She tends to have a nice rhythm in the canter, and because of that people don't push her up as much as they should. She's pretty long backed, and tends to get strung out because she isn't using her body. In our warm up fences Jen was having me focus on getting a forward pace and marching down the lines. It was hard for me since she has a much bigger stride than Buddy to adjust my eye, but Tia's such a good girl she'll jump from anywhere.
|Good example of how she jumps when left to her own devices. Long, hollow, and strung out
Jen had me think about what I needed to do (inside left leg to hold her up in the turn, then outside right leg to prevent her from drifting) when I had an epiphany like Jen at Cob Jockey did. I was using too much left leg after the turn and no matter how much I pushed with my right leg, she wasn't going to listen to it. As soon as I thought about relaxing my left leg after the turn we found a beautiful, straight line to the fence. Tia even landed on the left lead (she likes to switch to the right) and cantered off nice and quietly. I had to go do it again to make sure it wasn't good luck and while the second time wasn't quite as good as the first it was still miles better than normal. Jen said that for Tia, that's a huge accomplishment and something she needs a lot of work on. I'm going to try and work her a bit on my own so that by the time my next lesson on her comes we can move on and focus on me instead of me fixing her!