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Standardbred/Connemara Cross - Potential of this mare? *UPDATE #48*

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  • Standardbred/Connemara Cross - Potential of this mare? *UPDATE #48*

    Today I accidentally stumbled across this pretty little dapple grey mare who is looking for a new home.
    She's 5, and was pulled from a kill pen. Currently under the care of a woman who rehomes OTTBs. Has approx 60 days under saddle - quiet, sane, sound, willing. She's solid, pretty correct up front, slightly cow hocked and travels close behind when she works. Inspected her hind legs, there's no visible cuts or old scars from interference.
    I watched her trot on the longe line, (she doesn't pace) she has flat knee movement, big stride, but has a bit of 'action' in her ankles. I don't know how to describe this other than saying she really curls her feet under her when she picks up her legs. Not an ugly trot, but she's no daisy cutter. Does that make sense?? Not a total deal breaker for me, but then again my previous horses have all been hack winning types. Its a very important factor for me in a horse, I wasn't even considering settling for less in my next horse....but her cuteness factor is making me give a little! (and she's the right price)

    Pics of her -
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8316/7...771254ff3a.jpg
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8179/7...07bdbcf3_b.jpg
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8177/7...e2a0864f_b.jpg
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8175/7...19efccf5_b.jpg

    Anywho - My biggest concern is the standardbred half of her. She has a very open lengthy trot stride, which goes with the territory, but my concern is her canter? She would canter on the right, but quickly swapped to the left lead behind and remained cross cantering (this was on the lunge). Cantering for her was clearly awkward, as she was only willing to canter for a few strides. I'd imagine her breeding and lack of balance cantering in a small circle are both contributing factors to this. We didn't try her to the left (impromptu viewing of her, as she was about to load on the trailer - not much time).

    I don't have any experience working with the Standardbred, but she wasn't ever trained as one. Genetics is really my only debachel in this case. Current care taker who's been riding her says its a bit of a struggle to pick up a canter, but she will do it....eventually.
    Anyone have experience with a half standardbred (or whole) as a hunter? How much of a struggle should I anticipate with regards to developing her canter?

    Thank you
    Last edited by Satin Filly; Sep. 18, 2012, 09:57 PM.

  • #2
    I can't speak to you of hunter stuff, but I have a draft cross -perch/standardbred for dressage. When I got him he didn't canter much, but it was because he didn't have the balance, and couldn't use his hind end properly. He hadn't needed to on the trail and would canter if you ran him into it. He's a dream now and can use his caboose and can therefore canter. I'm working hills with him now in order to improve both of us.

    Paula

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5296733...in/photostream
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks! How long did it take him to "get it"? Any specific exercises you did? Friend of mine has a great dressage trainer that comes out once a week, I'm definitely going to invest some time and money with her if I pick up this mare

      Comment


      • #4
        She's very pretty. She sounds like a typical green horse to me. Her canter and leads will come with work, development, and balance.

        I never owned a Standardbred, but they can canter and jump. This one has no race training to overcome, so you're good there. Besides, she's half Connemara, and that's a big plus.

        Why don't you make a project out of her? She sounds really fun to me.
        I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

        Comment


        • #5
          I think she's adorable. To me she sounds green and unfit.

          I have full OTSTB and she canters easily in the field even though she's trotter. Her lack of confidence and balance/fitness keeps her from cantering easily under saddle (and probably a bit of the previous indoctrination from her race training) - she DOES canter US though when I am working consistently with her. I wouldn't expect a cross to have any of those mental hangups though.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oooh, pretty girl!!!

            She'll canter. My ASB had to be taught, too. Round penning did the trick - stopped him IMMEDIATELY if he got the wrong lead or crossed up; asked again; if/when he got it, fulsome praise and a cookie. It took longer than for a typical horse (6 months maybe, to get it reliably?) but he has a gorgeous canter now, and when not being a goofball can win the hack.
            "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Satin Filly View Post
              Thanks! How long did it take him to "get it"? Any specific exercises you did? Friend of mine has a great dressage trainer that comes out once a week, I'm definitely going to invest some time and money with her if I pick up this mare
              Not very long at all to get the technique and learn the balance, but it will take longer to develop the strength to maintain the canter. I would disagree with the roundpen, however. The round pen doesn't encourage moving impulsion behind so if you have a horse that has that challenge you need a good trainer with excellent timing on the lunge. With that kind of instruction the improvement in technique is so fast.

              Paula
              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

              Comment


              • #8
                QUOTE: She would canter on the right, but quickly swapped to the left lead behind and remained cross cantering (this was on the lunge). Cantering for her was clearly awkward, as she was only willing to canter for a few strides. I'd imagine her breeding and lack of balance cantering in a small circle are both contributing factors to this. We didn't try her to the left (impromptu viewing of her, as she was about to load on the trailer - not much time).

                I think you're correct. If you can, see her either under saddle canter or on a larger longeing circle-full line, longer moving to give her more space- or both. Tough for any greenie to balance canter on a small circle.

                She's truly loverly!

                Comment


                • #9
                  STB's and most drafts don't really have good "natural" canters but they can develop them. If the horse is a cross with a breed with a good canter (TB, Cannemara) it may come easier. They do need to be fairly fit to get it but it can come.
                  F O.B
                  Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                  Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    She would canter on the right, but quickly swapped to the left lead behind and remained cross cantering (this was on the lunge). Cantering for her was clearly awkward, as she was only willing to canter for a few strides.
                    She's 5, she should know how to use her body - go watch her in a field at liberty: if she can't move correctly there, that tells you alot of something - some may be very fixable, some not so much.
                    Do you have the training & time to get her where you think she might be able to go?

                    Have her vetted by someone very good at lameness & checked to make sure she's isn't sore or "out" somewhere.

                    She sounds & looks lovely

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I can totally see why you scooped her up! What a pretty girl! I have a rescued STB, and we had to work hard together to develop his right lead. It wasn't there al all four years ago. Left is still his stronger side. We did it with longeing--right back to trot if he picked up the wrong lead. Took longer under saddle because I had some of my own unbalanced troubles, but eventually he/we got it. And his awesome standardbred personality is a bonus!

                      Have fun with her!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I disagree that age should bring the understanding of how to use her body. It really depends on what the horse has been used for. Trail horses who ferry, and don't go more than a slow trot and only rarely, should not be expected to know how to use their hind ends. Horse that have been driven should not be expected to know how to engage their cabooses. Always PPE, but I don't see her lack of balance as anything indicating some kind of problem, more than a lack of education. She's had 60 days under saddle.

                        I completely echo the praise for standardbred personality!

                        Paula
                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If a horse cannot canter in a field this tells you a great deal about the horse - being disinclined to move at libery is seldom a reflection of undersaddle work.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            50/50...like with many other young horses that had a rough start in life...and some that didn't. Unless they are well on the way doing what you want to do with them? It's a crap shoot you'd need a crystal ball to predict.

                            Are you sure on the breeding? Off hand, nothing screams walk away. But it would be easier to predict success at the canter if there was a shot or a vid of her moving at something besides a walk or a standstill.

                            In a perfect world she would be a little less straight in the back legs and hocks but it should not limit at lower levels and probably has nothing to do with swapping off behind.

                            BUT but but, late in her 5 year old year...with a recent 60 days under saddle she should not be that unbalanced and I would consider she may have something going on behind-it's not rare for them to swap off behind on the lunge BUT it can indicate discomfort. Could be greeness, might be soreness.

                            So I would want at least a basic PPE concentrating on those back legs and joints.

                            Can you get more backstory on her? Like was she previously started and they stopped? "Rescues" mostly do a great job and are honest about what they know...but sometimes they don't know and don't have the time to really research a horses past.

                            She cute, like the type but be careful you don't buy a vet bill here.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alto View Post
                              If a horse cannot canter in a field this tells you a great deal about the horse - being disinclined to move at libery is seldom a reflection of undersaddle work.
                              I guess the trick is figuring out whether the horse cannot canter at liberty or will not canter. Huge difference.

                              Paula
                              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                BUT but but, late in her 5 year old year...with a recent 60 days under saddle she should not be that unbalanced and I would consider she may have something going on behind-it's not rare for them to swap off behind on the lunge BUT it can indicate discomfort. Could be greeness, might be soreness.
                                Since F8 said it, I'll admit this was my 1st thought

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                                  I guess the trick is figuring out whether the horse cannot canter at liberty or will not canter. Huge difference.

                                  Paula
                                  well that is a given & really not so difficult if you have a field ...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Satin Filly View Post
                                    ...
                                    slightly cow hocked and travels close behind when she works. Inspected her hind legs, there's no visible cuts or old scars from interference...

                                    ...Cantering for her was clearly awkward...

                                    ...Current care taker who's been riding her says its a bit of a struggle to pick up a canter, but she will do it....eventually...

                                    ...How much of a struggle should I anticipate with regards to developing her canter?

                                    The question here is not how much of a struggle it will be but whether she can physically do it. We can excuse the swap on the small circle. But the person riding her can't get her to pick it up at age almost 6 with 60 days under saddle (that we know of)? Unless they are a total incompetent, that is a yellow light.

                                    And, is she just cow hocked or is she base narrow? If she's base narrow she will toe out a little and not interfere but it's considered weaker then just cow hocks. Not going to be a hack winner with much of either regadless of overstep.

                                    Not trying to knock her, I kind of like her. But she maybe is not going to have alot of power behind for jumping and that awkward canter is what she is.

                                    Maybe that is why this pretty thing got dumped? There are reasons they end up like this that the "can't afford it time or money wise anymore" excuse gets thrown over like a blanket.

                                    Y'all have to excuse my suspicious nature but bought my first horse about 1968 (as an adult, sadly). Over many years and many horses I have seen everything and learned what you see is usually what you get. Don't make excuses for poor performance and assume it can be fixed.
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      what is her connemara side breeding? any ideas?

                                      i think she is lovely and if you know how to really train a youngsters she would make a nice project.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        fwiw. everything so far just screams a horse with no training. there is NO WAY of knowing if this mare will be able to do the work until a very good trainer tries.

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