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retraining a Standardbred for riding. Resources?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by candysgirl View Post
    Contact Dom at http://harnessphoto.blogspot.com/ or http://www.thumbsuphorsemanship.com/ She trains for a living and has a LOT of experience with STBs.

    Or a friend of hers' who doesn't train for a living, but is also awesome http://nowthatsatrot.blogspot.com/

    Between the two, you should have just about anything you need to know about STBs. Both worked and trained for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation at one point. Dom worked both on the track and at breeding farms for STBs also.
    Dom is terrific and is now a dressage rider and trail rider so she has a lot of experience with different disciplines. She also has been doing a great job retraining "problem" horses.

    Dont' know where you are but if close enough give her a try. She is here in Central Jersey but I don't know how far she travels.

    I work with yearlings at the same STB breeding farm she worked at and the yearlings are always a pleasure to work with. Show them once and they have it!

    When we did videos this year for the auction every yearling trotted the fence line even the pacers and this is pretty normal. They consolidate the pacing with training and tack. They come in all shapes and sizes but generally all have a willing and kind nature and are fast to learn.
    www.headsupspecialriders.com

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by candysgirl View Post
      Contact Dom at http://harnessphoto.blogspot.com/ or http://www.thumbsuphorsemanship.com/ She trains for a living and has a LOT of experience with STBs.

      Or a friend of hers' who doesn't train for a living, but is also awesome http://nowthatsatrot.blogspot.com/

      Between the two, you should have just about anything you need to know about STBs. Both worked and trained for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation at one point. Dom worked both on the track and at breeding farms for STBs also.
      Excellent blogs. Thank you!
      One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

      Comment


      • #23
        Robin Cuffey wrote an excellent book on retraining SBs off the track. She has been doing for years here in southern Maine. I believe the book is available through the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization: sphomaine.net

        Comment


        • #24
          My sister and niece in NJ have standardbreds (from Standardbred Retirement Foundation) and have used them for barrel racing and now riding English and some low jumping, as well as trailriding. They love everything about them.
          While this may be far from you geographically, you might enjoy the Australian website http://www.freewebs.com/endurancestbs/ (aka Look It's Not An Arab) about people using standardbreds for endurance down under. They have a lot of links (endurance and more general) about standardbreds... Good luck with your adoption!
          Last edited by GotMyPony; Dec. 4, 2012, 03:58 PM. Reason: trying to fix link!
          It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
            Actually, I like their roman noses. It gives them character.

            Thanks for correcting me, sk_pacer, that it's the trotters not the pacers with the longer back. I'm still learning about the breed. What you wrote makes perfect sense.

            Anyone have any input on saddle fit?
            I would not call them roman nosed, just long headed.

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            • #26
              Had a friend years ago who did the 100 milers on one. He was impressive as all hell sailing down the trails passing everyone in sight. I had the chance to ride him once and all I could do was grin. He won quite a bit and when she had to retire him she got another. That one wasn't quite as impressive, but he still did the job for her.

              They are very nice horses.

              Comment


              • #27
                Just rescued a STB from Camelot as my first horse...

                I've been doing research the last few months and was thinking that sometime in the next year, I'd also adopt a STB. Over this past Thanksgiving weekend, an 11 year old retired mare didn't sell at Camelot and was in danger of going to slaughter so I made a hasty decision and bought her. This thread has made me feel much better about my decision (well, knowing I saved her also feels pretty good!). I met her for the first time at the quarantine barn on Sunday and she was awesome. Sweet, quiet, calm. I can't wait to get her home to me the end of December. I am a novice Western rider and I'm going to take my time with her. Lots of bonding before any riding is attempted. And thankfully I have several experienced riders who are willing to help with her, too. Although the few people who have met her don't think she'll be any trouble. I'm looking forward to many happy years together!

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by retiredracers View Post
                  I've been doing research the last few months and was thinking that sometime in the next year, I'd also adopt a STB. Over this past Thanksgiving weekend, an 11 year old retired mare didn't sell at Camelot and was in danger of going to slaughter so I made a hasty decision and bought her. This thread has made me feel much better about my decision (well, knowing I saved her also feels pretty good!). I met her for the first time at the quarantine barn on Sunday and she was awesome. Sweet, quiet, calm. I can't wait to get her home to me the end of December. I am a novice Western rider and I'm going to take my time with her. Lots of bonding before any riding is attempted. And thankfully I have several experienced riders who are willing to help with her, too. Although the few people who have met her don't think she'll be any trouble. I'm looking forward to many happy years together!
                  When you get someone to be test pilot on your mare, tell them to ask, not demand, as STB tend to be already trying hard to communicate and understand and do what you want.

                  I would say, practically all STBs I have ridden were some of the absolutely less resistant, less opinionated horses around, wonderful to work with, but that puts the ball in the handler/rider's court.
                  The human has to step up and ask right and if it is not working, change and try again, not do a Clinton Anderson on them and just escalate and push the horse to run faster, not give it time to think.

                  Our team won our first endurance ride, 200 km in two days, my STB mare being a star and trotting all the way.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by retiredracers View Post
                    I've been doing research the last few months and was thinking that sometime in the next year, I'd also adopt a STB. Over this past Thanksgiving weekend, an 11 year old retired mare didn't sell at Camelot and was in danger of going to slaughter so I made a hasty decision and bought her. This thread has made me feel much better about my decision (well, knowing I saved her also feels pretty good!). I met her for the first time at the quarantine barn on Sunday and she was awesome. Sweet, quiet, calm. I can't wait to get her home to me the end of December. I am a novice Western rider and I'm going to take my time with her. Lots of bonding before any riding is attempted. And thankfully I have several experienced riders who are willing to help with her, too. Although the few people who have met her don't think she'll be any trouble. I'm looking forward to many happy years together!
                    Retiredrracer, I remember that mare I think frm Camelot - bay w a star and big eyes! She looked like a real pretty girl. Best wishes for the future with her, it's great that you stepped up and she looked like a sweetie.

                    I've worked with lots of STBs and have one now too. They tend to be willing, smart and sensible - good traits of course! Agree that they seem to pick things up quick and are responsive. On trails they are like, "I will take you wherever you need to go!". In my experience they also really bond with their people. Have fun gettng to know yours!

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Retiredracers,
                      Two more weeks 'til she comes home? Can't wait to see her. Who is hauling her to Goochland?
                      Are there 4-H kids at the boarding barn? Even though you are a very old person, you should try to get in on their lessons

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        A friend used to take some of a big time racing breeder's retirees and retrain them. Everything from young ones to older broodmares. Every one of them had an awesome mind, I was usually the test pilot! I didn't have any hair raising moments and she didn't exactly school them to death on the ground either to put it politely. They are wonderful animals.

                        I also have experience with them at the big auction in Harrisburg, which I used to work. Obviously some are hotter there, lots going on, stall bound and tons of alfalfa! But for the most part they were very good.

                        They are awesome horses and you won't regret it!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          It's not difficult at all

                          And I've found the pacing bred ones are a little quieter than the trotters. Just an opinion, not a fact, but I've rubbed a bunch of them and the trotters seemed "hotter". Certain bloodlines can have a little stubborn streak, but even that isn't usually bad.

                          The canter will come, but realize that these horses are taught early NOT to canter. All can, nearly all will learn, sometimes it's a little ugly at first, transition wise. Most of them are damn near bombproof if they've been at the track a while. They'll almost all stand in cross ties forever and there isn't much they haven't seen.

                          They are smart, loveable and loyal and have endurance to spare, they are "interval trained" so they are used to long miles. Never thought about one for endurance, but I could see where they'd be good at it.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by leaf View Post
                            Retiredracers,
                            Two more weeks 'til she comes home? Can't wait to see her. Who is hauling her to Goochland?
                            Are there 4-H kids at the boarding barn? Even though you are a very old person, you should try to get in on their lessons
                            Leaf,

                            I'm not that old! But I'm still planning on taking lessons... I just don't know if it'll be with the kids! There are 4-H kids at the barn.

                            It's 3 weeks before she comes home. Not sure who is bringing her to Goochland yet. Still trying to find someone. I can't wait to get her here!!!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              I finally found mine!

                              Thanks to New Vocations and sk_pacer acting as my wing man, I found my STB.

                              When I began my search, I became dismayed at just how tall these suckers are. For a lady used to riding a 14 hand pony, 16.1 to 17 hands is awfully up there. I'm sure I passed over some great horses due to my unreasonable fear of heights. But, as luck would have it, NV had a little trotting mare tucked away that was just perfect for me: 14.2 hands, already broke and a pure sweetheart. She came home yesterday.

                              RetiredRacers, how are you getting along with your new STB? I'd love to hear about it.
                              One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Congratulations! You will have the best time!
                                www.headsupspecialriders.com

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  John O'Leary has a dvd out which I heard was excellant. I have a number of his other dvd's and I've learned so much about horse training. You may want to check it out. It's called "Retraining the StandardBred" (you need to scroll about 3/4 of the way down the page... don't mistake it with the one for OTTBs).
                                  http://www.horseproblems.com.au/DVD%20Sales.htm

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
                                    Thanks to New Vocations and sk_pacer acting as my wing man, I found my STB.

                                    When I began my search, I became dismayed at just how tall these suckers are. For a lady used to riding a 14 hand pony, 16.1 to 17 hands is awfully up there. I'm sure I passed over some great horses due to my unreasonable fear of heights. But, as luck would have it, NV had a little trotting mare tucked away that was just perfect for me: 14.2 hands, already broke and a pure sweetheart. She came home yesterday.

                                    RetiredRacers, how are you getting along with your new STB? I'd love to hear about it.
                                    Wonderful.
                                    If she is any like the one I had, she indeed was pure sweetheart, although mine was about 16 hands.

                                    With such horses, it is really nice that you can just enjoy them, don't have to live up to anyone else's expectations.
                                    They are what they are and you do what you want and can be happy anyway, whatever that may be you choose to do.

                                    Any pictures?

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                      Wonderful.
                                      If she is any like the one I had, she indeed was pure sweetheart, although mine was about 16 hands.

                                      With such horses, it is really nice that you can just enjoy them, don't have to live up to anyone else's expectations.
                                      They are what they are and you do what you want and can be happy anyway, whatever that may be you choose to do.

                                      Any pictures?
                                      Yep. She's just going to be my pleasure horse, trails, maybe an occasional clinic or hunter pace. Whatever she wants to do. And it's also fun to play "guess what breed my horse is" in the barn, lol! Especially in my barn, which is a sea of QHs and TBs.

                                      I do have one picture from new vocations that I saved. It's from last year and she looks a bit down hill from a growth spurt. She's level now.

                                      http://s1290.beta.photobucket.com/us...d7b49.jpg.html
                                      One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

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                                      • #39
                                        Lovely!

                                        Now she does has some substance to her, that is good to see.

                                        I expect we will be hearing more about your adventures to come.
                                        Have you named her yet?

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          They were calling her Monica, short for her registered name Monaco Lewinsky

                                          I've named her Coco. It seems to fit her better.
                                          One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

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