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Standardbreds as sport horses

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  • #41
    Getting a decent canter out of a OTSTB can be difficult for sure, but they can learn. Remember that balance comes largely from strength and they are not taught to carry themselves in canter. It's a bit like having any gangly, young horse; they have to learn where their legs are and how to balance in canter. With time and strength, they can have a very nice canter. It takes lots of correct work to get there. They all have the canter as a natural gait, but a quality canter under saddle takes work...like any u/s gait in a green horse.

    This thread makes me want another STB. The ones I've had or worked with were all amazing horses. Next time around, I think I'll look for one...

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    • Original Poster

      #42
      Originally posted by STB Tissa View Post
      I don't see any adoption options listed for Michigan on USTA, but if you go to
      http://standardbreds.ustrotting.com/ it should take you right to the Life After Racing section of the USTA website. The Standardbred Safety Net section has a lot of good information, including registering a Standie for pleasure only. Contact the USTA, I'm sure they could give you ideas on finding a horse in Michigan.

      You could also try contacting Hazel or Northville to see if they could help you get in touch with a local trainer or owner who might be willing to help. That way they might be able to get you a day pass to go see horses in person.
      http://hazelparkraceway.com/index.php
      http://www.northvilledowns.com/

      In general, I wouldn't count on trainers to know the different riding or non-racing activities, so being general about what you want the horse to do would likely be your best bet. I don't know if harness trainers are aware of people doing or wanting PPE's.

      I hope you're able to make some contacts and find a great friend.
      I am rather disappointed that I can't find anything in Michigan. There are three BIG standardbred farms within a 10 mile radius of where I live. My BO said that if I get serious she could easily help me find what I want, but I am a little hesitant about taking one right off the track. She herself has never retrained one as she just breeds and races them. I am sure she would be more than willing to assist though.
      Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
      The Blog

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      • #43
        several standardbreds are for sale in Michigan on Dreamhorse.com, I can't figure out how to add a link, but go under Advanced Search, check off Standardbred and Michigan, then search. You can also search off of x miles from your zip code (pick however far you want to drive to look at the horse).

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        • Original Poster

          #44
          Originally posted by dogontired View Post
          several standardbreds are for sale in Michigan on Dreamhorse.com, I can't figure out how to add a link, but go under Advanced Search, check off Standardbred and Michigan, then search. You can also search off of x miles from your zip code (pick however far you want to drive to look at the horse).
          I found them, several for free or very cheap that are done racing.
          Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
          The Blog

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          • #45
            Well, then, wacha waiting for? COTH enablers unite! And keep us posted.
            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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            • #46
              I have a friend whose family has a standardbred farm in Ohio. Does extremely well and has a 17 hand puppy dog gelding needing a home. Friend is a co-worker. He made it a point to tell me about this horse, knowing I'm in the jumper world. I am pretty sure he's a FTGH. If any interest, I'll find out more.
              "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

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              • #47
                If I had unlimited funds and space, I'd have tons of Standardbreds.

                I have shared this story before, but I used to teach riding lessons at Girl Scout summer camps. Our horse supplier used to get STBs straight off the track and bring them to us-- no let down, no retraining. And we'd be using them for beginner lessons and trail rides basically immediately.

                I don't know any other breed of horse that could tolerate that kind of transition without killing someone intentionally or unintentionally.
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                • #48
                  Is this a thread about standarbreds in general or about whether the OP as a specific individual should get one off the track? If it's the latter I do not think it's a wise idea given the OP's experience/history etc. I thought this was just about the breed in general.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                  • #49
                    the only standardbreds I've ever met in person were not very good sport horses because they had a poor-quality canter. Trots can be improved by training, but the quality of the canter is mostly dependent on genetics. If you want a jumper, hunter, or eventer, you're going to spend most of your time in canter, and if you want a dressage horse, you'll need a spectacular canter. And your average standardbred doesn't have one- there do seem to be exceptions, but I suspect they are just that, exceptions. The pacers are, in my experience, very difficult to teach to trot successfully. I know one poor girl tried for months before giving up and selling the horse. On the other hand, I would think a trotter standardbred would make a very nice trail horse, or a combined driving horse.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                      Is this a thread about standarbreds in general or about whether the OP as a specific individual should get one off the track? If it's the latter I do not think it's a wise idea given the OP's experience/history etc. I thought this was just about the breed in general.
                      Huh??

                      If I were to get one off the track I would be doing it with the help of somebody that has 30 years experience in breeding, raising, and racing Standardbreds.

                      But yes, this thread was meant to be about why more Standardbreds are not used in sport horse divisions.
                      Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                      The Blog

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        This thread has succeeded in making it even MORE intolerable that I can't have a horse right now. I was already thinking that I really wanted to adopt one off the track, and now I practically HAVE to.

                        My uncle used to train them--I have a winner's photo of his boy somewhere. There's also pictures of my mom hopping onto this horse bareback in the pasture, despite his utter lack of under the saddle training. Oh, and he was still a stallion, naturally. From the stories, he never batted an eye. Well, and from the fact that my mother survived to have me.

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                        • #52
                          I am very late to this party, but there's a standardbred mare at my barn. She has a heart of gold and can take beginners out trailriding safely. When she is groomed and kitted out she absolutely looks like a warmblood. She is a barn favorite. I do have to say, however, that she refuses to canter in a ring. On a trail she will, but never in the ring, hence no show career for her.
                          https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
                          Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/
                          www.PeonyVodka.com

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                          • #53
                            I've known of many Standardbred sporthorses perfectly capable of competing in the lower level disciplines of sport, eventing, jumping and mine, even, in hunter - and definitely field hunting and trail riding, packing, etc.

                            They need work to bring them into more balance and bend, but their soundness in body and mind make them worth it, and for some, easier than re-homing TB's.

                            The rescues often have done some re-training and their potential can be more readily assessed. My Standardbred ended up at a high end H/J barn and did just fine in everything, and looked the part, too. She was bombproof - all
                            those bits of harness got her quite well sacked out.
                            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                            • #54
                              I own a 4 yr old standardbred gelding - a natural pacer. He's been under saddle just about a year. Where we live, they just aren't common - I got mine from Canada. I've heard it all- you can't ride them, they won't canter, they are ugly...

                              And when I take my horse out people ask me how old my warmblood is. People tell me what a beautiful, well behaved horse I have.

                              It isn't all roses and daises- yes, getting him to be a comfortable ride hasn't been easy - his trot WAS a killer on my body. His canter WAS lateral. But with consistent work, his trot is drop dead gorgeous and his canter, while not jaw dropping, has normal rhythm and jump. You can, in fact, improve on what nature gave you!

                              He is the sweetest horse, and has always been. He has a great work ethic and not a mean bone in his body. He rarely gets excited, and when he does it is kind of comical. He's the born-broke type temperament anyone can appreciate.

                              Will he ever beat out the fancy horses at our dressage shows? Eh, maybe not. But does he win the hearts of everyone? Always. Well, he's won mine anyway.

                              I plan to always have a standardbred in my barn. They are good eggs!

                              http://changeofpaceotsb.blogspot.com
                              My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

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                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Just checked out your blog and am now following it!!

                                General question, which ones are easier to retrain to be riding horses, the pacers or the trotters?
                                Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                                The Blog

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                                • #56
                                  Gait means nothing to retraining to riding: they all come with walk, trot and canter so it is best to think of the pace as another 'gear' rather than something odd to deal with. You can encourage the pace and make a smoothly gaited general riding horse or bring the horse back to a walk and start again to discourage it (adding weight to the front feet helps as well). In fact, the riding part is easy, and from there, the problems are balance just like with any horse regardless of gait - it's just like starting a baby that has no balance with a rider.
                                  Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                                  Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                                  • #57
                                    Here is a horse painting site that features standardbred. See how pretty!!

                                    http://briannalfenn.com/gallery.html
                                    www.headsupspecialriders.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                                      Gait means nothing to retraining to riding: they all come with walk, trot and canter so it is best to think of the pace as another 'gear' rather than something odd to deal with. You can encourage the pace and make a smoothly gaited general riding horse or bring the horse back to a walk and start again to discourage it (adding weight to the front feet helps as well). In fact, the riding part is easy, and from there, the problems are balance just like with any horse regardless of gait - it's just like starting a baby that has no balance with a rider.
                                      That's exactly it. "just another gear"

                                      For some, like my guy, it has taken work to get him to move "normally." But it is in there, and we're bringing it out more and more. And more and more you can see him move better naturally on his own in turnout. He used to never canter - now that is his gait of choice when turned out.

                                      I can see why some people think these horses have limits- because yes, if you take them at face value without putting any work into them, they can be pacey, clunky mess. If I hadn't believed in my horse, I would've given up long ago - maybe keeping him for trail rides because his temperament is so great.

                                      You have to be able to see through that, see the diamond in the rough, and have the right skills, or the right access to the right skills (such as in my case with my trainer), and the patience to see it through, and the personal work ethic to keep on going. His issues and challenges are common to many green horses, in many ways he's just a young green beast going through the levels.

                                      The biggest hurdle is always the limitations you put on yourself and the horse.I have people tell me all the time that he'll never get past training or first level- I have people tell me that its cruel to make him do something he isn't bred to do. Initially I did the same thing- perhaps to protect myself from disappointment. But every limitation I thought was there we've long blown through - even in our first year of training.

                                      Our motto is "slow n steady wins the race" I'm in no rush to move up the levels, and I fully expect it to take us a big longer than the purpose-bred horse. But my horse, he loves his job, he loves his people, and we love him - he's so worth it.
                                      My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Yeah, myhorsefaith, people tend to make mistakes with them (and any other breed off the track) because they are mature beasts and therefore should know this stuff. How? By osmosis? Some kind of universal horse conciousness? or magic? Despite the fact they can be steered and stopped doesn't mean they are broke. It takes time, albeit less than with a baby because the mind isn't young and flighty anymore, and Standardbreds are pretty easy to break even for harness.
                                        I've seen clunky and awkward with strictly riding breeds as wel - damned things look like an octopus trying to walk. Those horses have been rushed and never taught balance or the rider isn't balanced. The key to getting gait is balance, both horse and rider. One can encourage the pace if desired by sitting slightly differently and conversly, can encourage a trot the same way.
                                        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                                        Member: Incredible Invisbles

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #60
                                          Anybody have any thoughts on this mare? http://www.horseadoption.com/horsepr.../imonamission/
                                          Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                                          The Blog

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