Taz

So…the story of Taz.

He was my 2nd horse, the horse I bought in 2006 to replace Cosmo after he was put down. He’s a 1995 16.1 Thoroughbred gelding, and we were told he had competed through Training and schooled Prelim. We were told that he would be my upper level event horse once I was ready. We were told he was experienced, and had talent. We bought him from Redmond, Washington. When he got to Montana, immediately he intimidated me. He was big and quick and spooky and I was just 12 and not really ready for that! I think I remember him being spookier than he was, but either way he scared me! I really didn’t have any idea how to ride him, let alone ride him well. I gave him up multiple times, unable to do anything with him. I ended up leasing Dandy because I couldn’t make myself ride him, I was so terrified. In the fall of 2008 I was steadily riding him again. I had started riding with another trainer that honestly, I believed she was a lot better than she was. In my first lesson she was unbelievably nice. She told me that I could be taking him Training soon. She told me I had talent, and was a good rider. I moved him to her barn a few weeks later, and in my first lesson there, she was completely different. She told me I was too fat and out of shape to ride him. That crushed me. I quit riding and couldn’t make myself go back for a long time. And when I did, he was totally screwed up. He had been ignored in a dirty stall, not being fed nearly enough, for much too long. But I was so scared of the trainer that I didn’t do anything until April 2009. Then I started riding him again and he was AMAZING. Absolutely, unbelievably amazing. He was like a different horse, for whatever reason. He was soft and quiet on the flat, although his training wasn’t really proper. I decided to take him Beginner Novice April 25, 2009. He did AWESOME and was such a good boy. So I decided to take him to my first recognized event, Arrowhead Horse Trials, at Novice May 23-25.

He was decent dressage, although honestly it was terrible and I had never realized how much I didn’t know dressage. But, I moved on and got ready for cross-country. I was so excited! He was weird when I first started warming him, but I didn’t think anything of it until about 5 minutes before I was up for cross-country when he started flipping out. He was rearing continually, up and down and up and down. We couldn’t do anything about it. He refused to go forward. My trainer and I made the decision to try taking him out on the course, to see if he was just so excited he wanted to get going. So my trainer managed to get us over to the start box and off we went. He jumped the first one decently well, but then as we came around to the 2nd jump, I immediately felt his attention wander. He began to tune me out and when we came to the 2nd, he stopped and started rearing again. I decided it wasn’t worth it. So I got off and told the fence judge I was retiring. I couldn’t even lead him, he was rearing so much.

But, my trainer wanted me to try show jumping. So after begging the judge-who was insane-to let me run show jumping, on Sunday I tacked up and was ready for show jumping. I warmed up and he warmed up surprisingly well. So I was reasonably…well confident is the wrong word. But I was “confident” that his attention would remain on me.

So I took him into the arena and off we went. He jumped the first line okay, but then we had to turn to the 3rd jump and instantly I felt the same problem. His attention wandered and he stopped. Since I had retired, I only had one refusal. So I left. I was unbelievably pissed.

I decided that I would give Taz some time off from jumping. So I took lots and lots of dressage lessons until his dressage and my dressage were both a thousand times better. We tried jumping again in August and he did pretty well.

Then in September he was being weird again. He had developed the problem of always traveling haunches in right, and just was not all there. He was grumpy and pissy and there were some days where I wouldn’t even be able to tack him up because I’d touch him and he’d pin his ears and kick at me. It was nothing like the horse I had known in the past.

After quite a few vet visits, he was diagnosed with a hind high suspensory injury. If he could ever be ridden again, it would be in at least 8 months, and only with stall rest for those 8 months. There was also a surgery option, but we decided against it, since he wasn’t worth that much, honestly, and I had been considering getting a new horse already. We decided that he would be happier as a low key trails horse or just a pasture pony.

But now it’s been 10 months and he’s no better. He’s still in a pasture, and still might be able to be ridden on the trails eventually. We’re trying to get him adopted but…I have no idea what we’re going to be able to do.

Here’s some pictures, and a video I made of Taz in October last year.

Coming to the first line at Arrowhead

Taz jumping his last cross country jump ever-At Arrowhead

Uh-oh...there goes his attention. Right before the 2nd jump-aka when I retired-at Arrowhead

I have so many pictures of him…I guess I’ll keep updating this page with more as I feel motivated.

So there ya go. There’s the whole, long saga that has been….Taz. Raz Ma Taz. My boy for 3 years…almost 4.

Responses

  1. Oh what a sad story! I have a friend with a similar story, did the vet mention how he might do, or if he would ever be able to jump again, if his suspensory had healed after that 8 month rest?

    Hoping all is well and that you are still riding and loving horses…
    Liz

    • The vet said that yes, he might be sound for flatwork after stall rest. However it’s been 18 months now and he’s not sound if he turns or is on ground that’s too hard. He can still happily do whatever he wants in his field but not much more.
      I think his injury was a pretty severe suspensory injury, though…I know a few horses now who did suspensories and are now sound and back jumping!


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