Working with Tiz A Masterpiece has been a rewarding project according to HERO Registered Retrainer Warren Cochrane of Cobe Lodge.
“Although he was an 11-year-old who had been standing at stud for a number of years, we approached his saddle education in the same way that we would any other horse,” Warren explained.
“He had a few little stallion tendencies initially which was to be expected, but in general he has been very well mannered and beautifully behaved,” he said.
“It was a unique situation, however, and we have been conscious not to stifle his big personality while at the same time ensuring he respects his handler and rider.
“He has actually never questioned my leadership which I think has a lot to do with his exceptional temperament – everyone who has ever worked with him speaks very highly of his attitude.”
Tiz A Masterpiece was relocated from Alabar to a nearby agistment property once gelded and spent a peaceful winter adapting to his new surrounds and learning to be a paddock pony.
He transitioned easily to the laid-back routine, was reintroduced to equine companionship and thrived on regular interaction with his new human family.
“From the moment Tiz arrived, he was quite relaxed in the paddock,” Erin White, of Erin’s Equine Services recalled.
“He had a lot to say to his friend across the fence and was not afraid to let him know he was a big scary stallion ... but the initial dominance quickly turned into a game they would play.
“Feed time was always interesting though, not because he was tricky/bully/in your face - but because you never knew where his feed bin would be!” she joked.
“He loved to pick up his double tyre feeder and run around with it in his mouth, rearing, lunging forward then jumping on it with his whole body.”
Erin said for all of Tiz’s amusing paddock antics, worming, dentistry and farrier work were no problem and rugging was never an issue.
“I think he actually quite enjoyed the pampering, especially once his new coat started to break through,” she suggested.
“The biggest adjustment Tiz had to make was relaxing on the lead when outside of his paddock.
“He had good manners but lacked concentration around other horses or in an open space.
“Once caught, he thought he had a job to do – a throwback no doubt to his days as a working stallion – but with consistency, he improved significantly.”
Indeed, the winter sojourn served the handsome all-American bred pacer well, allowing him to transition seamlessly into retraining and ridden life.
“The biggest change for him was probably having to pick up a solid work ethic again (it had been eight years since Tiz A Masterpiece last raced),” Warren revealed.
“We effectively took him out of a pretty lengthy retirement, but it wasn’t as difficult as you might expect to get him back into the swing of things,” he admitted.
Aside from proving a little sensitive – not unusual in colts or stallions – in his early saddle work, Tiz has been a model student.
“Sometimes he is a bit inclined to be forward and overly enthusiastic about the task at hand, but once he relaxes into his job it’s no problem at all. Honestly, he’s been a gem.
“On occasions when he gets anxious in his schooling, it disappears as soon as he realises what is required and handles it all very easily. He learns quite quickly too.”
Warren said Tiz had been a pleasure to manage day to day and he is optimistic the horse will continue to blossom.
“It’s just a matter now of getting miles under his belt and expanding his life experiences because in many respects he has lived quite a sheltered existence.
“Once he gets outdoors more and starts interacting with other horses under saddle, he will relax right into his job and be able to really enjoy what he’s doing,” he predicted.