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Standardbred question

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  • #21
    I just had to chime in on this thread, because I am re-experiencing my love and admiration for the breed. I don't drive, but I thought I'd share my experience with my guy.

    I grew up riding standardbreds, and never knew they "couldn't do x." Heck back then I didnt know there were pacers and trotters- I just knew them to be my best, favorite school horses on the planet.

    Well, being an adult now, when I was looking for a project horse, I stumbled across the standardbred again. So I picked up, sight unseen, a 2yr old pacer who was picked up at an auction by a rescue and waiting for a home.

    He's 4 now, and back in February was out in professional training for 3 months. He came home and I've been riding him primarily, with my trainer continuing with him 2 days a week.

    He did pace, and does when he gets all jumbled- and nervous. All it takes is to bring him back down, put him together, and start again. But he trots, and he canters. Our big thing is loosening his back so his trot can be a little softer and easier to ride - and his canter too. The canter is finally getting that 3 beat rhythm, consistently.

    He's hands down the best horse I've owned in a long time. He never says "no." He tries everything thrown at him, and has the personality of a golden retriever. He's ammy-safe and totally fun to be with. We have worked through a lot, and have A LOT more to work on - for instance of late he's been experimenting with hiding behind the bit when I ride him. And because he's safe, he's super fun to work with through all the ups and downs. I'm absolutely loving the journey.

    Here are some videos of him:

    Schooling walk-to-canter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pjx4...&feature=g-upl

    More canter:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjX7e...&feature=g-upl

    Trot:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDE-v...&feature=g-upl


    Here is a link to our blog: http://changeofpaceotsb.blogspot.com/

    Good luck, OP, and to everyone else who has an STB in their lives. I wish more people would consider the standardbred.
    My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

    Comment


    • #22
      Meghan- I think that what your friend is offering is a honest window into general opinions which exist "out there" You would need to talk to more people to get a better idea about it.... and your husband would also have to give a damn about those opinions.

      I have a STB - smart, calm, loyal, sweet, gangly... his canter at liberty is so spaz-tastic it's comical- retired now and in his golden years. I love him so much! He was a former Amish Buggy Horse- not a racehorse.

      It sounds like you guys know plenty about the breed and don't need to be sold on them. One of the retraining challenges that you may have not really dealt with if you were training to ride- is that race horses are trained with an overcheck- and checking at all is discouraged in carriage showing- so that is a lot to get the horse to drop the old habits and develop new round ones. Also fresh off the track they probably won't have ever really pulled anything of substantial weight or on a tougher surface- so I'd almost think of it like the horse is learning to drive all over again.

      He might want to check into the books by Robyn Cuffey.

      Also remember that combined driving isn't all marathon (my non horsey husband, enamored with marathon vehicles, seems to think dressage and cones don't exist)

      So I ask- Is the STB the horse you want to take into this sport?
      and
      If it's a STB you want- is this the sport you want to go into with him?
      if yes to both- Go for it!

      Some people have an snotty attitude about STBs... and that's their problem.

      Do you know about the CD-l listserve? It's a great way to get your finger on the pulse of the combined driving scene.

      Comment


      • #23
        I own a Standardbred that is considered a pacer (Jate Lobell x Guadagnini) but you would never know it. He trained as a two year old but never raced. Sunny hung out in a field for about another year or so before I met him when he was four. He has been a riding horse for the last 6 years and has a lovely walk, trot AND canter. He really only paced when he was learning his correct leads and started over fences...he will pace after landing a fence occasionally. We show in the SPHO National Show every year and have done local shows in addition to hunter paces (which he really likes.) I have taken him to local shows and have people asking me if he is a warmblood.
        I knew very little about Standardbreds when I came across him and will only own a Standardbred from now on. I am hooked!

        Comment


        • #24
          Just a little tip for anyone who happens to get ahold of a pacer who insists on not switching to the trot....put a heavier shoe on up front. I have a few that would pace the same speed as they walked and it was off-putting to the people who would come to try them out when they were retired from the track and I was attempting to rehome them. For the most part though, my pacers will trot undersaddle and when rigged for pleasure driving.

          Comment


          • #25
            The more I see & learn about the STB, the more I like them. I am becoming a big fan.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #26
              Well, "Muski" arrived a week ago. And he looks like just about every other STB in the world--bay with no white Clean legs though and for a STB, a pretty nice head.
              Not quite as saddle broke as we were told but then again one person's idea of "broke" and another person's often differ. He is quiet and sensible though. DH has actually spent more time RIDING him than driving him because DH is more comfy and experienced riding. Since Muski is spookier under saddle, figured it would be better to do things he isn't comfortable with under saddle where DH is comfy and confident. Going out in the field has been a "new life experience" for Muski. Our cross country jumps are very very scarey. No fear of me stealing for an event horse!! But in just a few rides he and DH came to an understanding that Chuck will make him go "there" and it will be ok. No whip, no spur. Just gentle firm persistence. Years of riding and a good dressage back ground helps!
              Muski is far more confident in harness, and esp at trot. And boy, what wonderful trot! If the horse had (or could get?) good trot canter transitions he would make a wonderful dressage horse (hmmmm..).
              Light in the bridle, has a great "whoa".

              Now the learning curve starts!! The harness he got with the horse doesn't quite fit but it works ok for now. And I would be happier with him having a marathon cart but the Buckeye cart he got for $900 is beautiful and fits Muski ok and is plenty functional for now. I just have a thing about shafts sticking out, having had a road pony run off with me once and stick a shaft in the fence of the arena. And he and I grew up with show harness horses, and he has also worked draft horses, so this kind of harness is somewhat different. No overcheck for one--that I can live with. But the way the shafts are secured in the tugs bothers me. I feel like they AREN'T secured since I am used to show harnesses that wrap around the shafts and pull the shafts down snuggly into the tugs. This business of a strap on the tug that buckles to sort of the same from the other side does a nice job of holding the tugs down but not the shafts! Just worries me a bit. Had to get trace extenders already as the traces are too short for the cart, or for him. Which ever relationship is correct. And not quite comfortable with wrapping the breeching hold back straps up. He just needs to spend some time playing then will get with the local driving person here to find out what he needs to do and buy differently. Ah yes, one more expensive sport!!

              I hope this link works: http://s1073.photobucket.com/albums/w395/MTRDVM/

              Comment


              • #27
                Congratulations on your new endeavor! He's just lovely - I can't wait for more updates.

                Re: all of the pacer talk - not all STB's are pacers - there are trotters (mine is a trotter). I don't understand why people think they all pace...(?). Mine couldn't pace if you paid her. Her trot is FAST.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by myhorsefaith View Post
                  I just had to chime in on this thread, because I am re-experiencing my love and admiration for the breed. I don't drive, but I thought I'd share my experience with my guy.

                  I grew up riding standardbreds, and never knew they "couldn't do x." Heck back then I didnt know there were pacers and trotters- I just knew them to be my best, favorite school horses on the planet.

                  Well, being an adult now, when I was looking for a project horse, I stumbled across the standardbred again. So I picked up, sight unseen, a 2yr old pacer who was picked up at an auction by a rescue and waiting for a home.

                  He's 4 now, and back in February was out in professional training for 3 months. He came home and I've been riding him primarily, with my trainer continuing with him 2 days a week.

                  He did pace, and does when he gets all jumbled- and nervous. All it takes is to bring him back down, put him together, and start again. But he trots, and he canters. Our big thing is loosening his back so his trot can be a little softer and easier to ride - and his canter too. The canter is finally getting that 3 beat rhythm, consistently.

                  He's hands down the best horse I've owned in a long time. He never says "no." He tries everything thrown at him, and has the personality of a golden retriever. He's ammy-safe and totally fun to be with. We have worked through a lot, and have A LOT more to work on - for instance of late he's been experimenting with hiding behind the bit when I ride him. And because he's safe, he's super fun to work with through all the ups and downs. I'm absolutely loving the journey.

                  Here are some videos of him:

                  Schooling walk-to-canter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pjx4...&feature=g-upl

                  More canter:

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjX7e...&feature=g-upl

                  Trot:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDE-v...&feature=g-upl


                  Here is a link to our blog: http://changeofpaceotsb.blogspot.com/

                  Good luck, OP, and to everyone else who has an STB in their lives. I wish more people would consider the standardbred.
                  Loved watching your videos ad found myself saying GOOD BOY along with your instructor .

                  Comment

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