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The "other" track horses - Standardbreds

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  • #21
    Our riding school bought a STB that had raced, then was used pulling a cart with tourists in the island.
    Business was slow, so they sent several of their horses to the slaughter plant, where we got our horses.
    The manager called and the director of our riding school went over and brought her back, to retrain for a school horse.
    She was very large, a good 16+ hands, lean made and very nice looking.
    Her color was dark, purplish liver chestnut.
    She was not really the kind he would buy for the riding school, but he said that she was standing right by the train tracks and a train came by, the other horses ran to the other end of the pen and she stood there watching it go by, interested.

    She was a wonderful, free trotter, but didn't really know how to canter, was so strung out, had such a tremendous stride, she would canter around the short side of our indoor in 2 1/2 strides, almost climbing the slanted wall in her effort to turn.
    I was a teenager and didn't know that much how to gather her, so we struggled with that for a while, but finally kind of got her using herself better.
    Don't we all wish we knew then what we know when we are old?

    We had a 200 km in two days endurance ride coming up and I was assigned to her, so we did many hours of training for that.
    I will say, we trotter all the way, the whole 200 km.
    What was funny, the only time she cantered in all that is when we were trotting along a bend in the train tracks and out of nowhere, we didn't even hear it come, a train speed by whistling and it surprised both of us.
    She took of cantering for a bit, not really out of control or scared, just surprised and stopped right away in a potato field.
    So much for her not reacting to trains, not that I blame her, that train snuck up on us.
    She had never before or did after shy from anything else.

    I say, STBs can do anything you ask them to do and will do it with a smile in their faces, no resistances to most of them, they like to do things with their humans.


    • #22
      We will be working this spring with a re-enactor unit, an artillery battery, that uses mostly SBs for their teams. They have a full six horse team that pulls gun and caisson. For veterans' funerals they use the caisson and fewer than a full team.

      I don't what the outriders use.

      They are very satisfied with the SB as an artillery horse. I've heard of other units that like them, also.

      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


      • #23
        Can't beat a STB's personality! I've had my gelding for about 15 years now, all around great horse. I competed him in dressage and combined training, though now he's mostly my semi-retired trail horse. Can't say enough good things about the breed, they are terribly underrated in the under saddle world!

        Photo of my boy: http://s1257.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=0


        • #24
          Originally posted by FallingStar View Post
          Can't beat a STB's personality! I've had my gelding for about 15 years now, all around great horse. I competed him in dressage and combined training, though now he's mostly my semi-retired trail horse. Can't say enough good things about the breed, they are terribly underrated in the under saddle world!

          Photo of my boy: http://s1257.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=0
          What a handsome guy you have there.
          One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf


          • #25
            I purchased a Standardbred mare from Camelot auction Thanksgiving weekend 2012. She went through 30 days of quarantine and then came to me here in VA the end of December. She is my first horse. And she has been awesome!!! I cannot imagine having any other horse as my first. She is 12 years old and raced then was used as a broodmare. I don't know anything about her history other than those things. She was ridden through the auction at Camelot twice. The first time they said she seemed confused but willing. The second was a week later and they said that if she was green the week before you couldn't tell. That gave me hope that someone would buy her. When she was still there on Sunday with the slaughter truck coming, I called and bought her.
            Most people thought I was crazy. I was questioning my sanity myself until I met her and spent time with her. I am a novice rider and after taking things slow with her for 2 months, I climbed up on her back 2 weeks ago. She didn't seem to care other than I was holding her up from grazing. I'm just going to work on longer times in the saddle and getting her used to things. She seems to be very sane and as someone else said doesn't seem to be "reactive" at all. She takes things in stride and minds me pretty well.
            In the last few weeks, she seems to have accepted me as her person and I can't imagine not having her in my life. There are lots of kids at the barn where she is boarded and she doesn't mind them at all. One of the little boys has started helping me groom her and she is so good with him. Last week, he asked me if I was going to sell her anytime soon. I told him that she was stuck with me for the rest of her life!
            I'm going to try and post a picture of her that I took last weekend...


            • #26
              Standardbreds are great. While they may be sort of plain looking with minimal white, and yes, some have heads like a suitcase :-) , they are smart, calm, and have great personalities. A lot of them can go from harness to saddle in one lesson --- they are already used to having something on their backs. And they just don't react explosively like some horses do. Even the ones who are actively racing are easy to handle --- I learned to drive with a racing stud who also was used for breeding, but he was as easy to handle as any horse could be. I'd love to have one now.


              • #27
                Retiredracer, is her freezebrand easy to read? If you'd like, I'd do a bit of searching for you to see if we can find a bit of her history.


                • #28
                  Thanks, STB Tissa!! I'd love to find out more about her! Her freezebrand is XC6710. I know her racing name is Soft Laughter. I have retired racing greyhounds and finding out more about their past is part of the fun!


                  • #29
                    I see so many of them pulling mennonite wagons around here. I feel so bad for them, knowing that with mennonites, when they are injured, they end up at the auction... not in a green field enjoying retirement. I haeve a friend who does her best to rescue directly from the tracks (closing in Ontario), rehab/retrain and rehome. Still there are more stbs than anything else at the weekly auction.


                    • #30
                      I just adore them. I have a 4 yr old pacer. I absolutely love him. Heart of gold, he tries SO hard. Just recently we've been having saddle fit issues- his way of telling me something isn't right is to grind on his bit- still trying to work through it. Once it was fixed, it went away.

                      He is currently my dressage horse. This year we're going to start over fences too. He's quite versatile.

                      I'm pretty sure all of my barnmates think I am nuts - i bought him from a rescue in Canada and had him shipped to me in the US. I have poured a lot of money into his training, but he's so worth it.
                      My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                      • #31
                        I rode for many years at a barn that was formerly big in the STB racing business. When the owner's friends wanted to retire a horse from racing, they would often send their special ones over to us. So I was often handed a new horse fresh off the track to start under saddle, which usually took about 1 day and then we were out riding the trails You just can't beat the STB.


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by furlong47 View Post
                          I rode for many years at a barn that was formerly big in the STB racing business. When the owner's friends wanted to retire a horse from racing, they would often send their special ones over to us. So I was often handed a new horse fresh off the track to start under saddle, which usually took about 1 day and then we were out riding the trails You just can't beat the STB.
                          We also were told our mare never had a saddle on or a rider on her back.
                          You could not have told by the way she stood there and then walked off, with someone leading her at first, then loose in the indoor.
                          I was trail riding her out the next day with a group.


                          • #33
                            retiredracer, good for you and your new horse! I got mine when she was in her teens and she never had anyone on her back before, either. I never even knew that I was only the 2nd person on her back when I tried her out!


                            • #34
                              Retiredracer, I'm going to send you a pm when I get done researching your girl.


                              • #35
                                Thanks! I don't know if I can get pm's yet so if not, my email is retiredracers at live . com (take out spaces).


                                • #36
                                  I just sent the pm. If it didn't work I'll send the info to your email.


                                  • #37
                                    We videoed a show that had a Standardbred Pleasure division. I was gobsmacked (honest - no other term quite fits) when the announcer informed us that X raced at the Meadowlands last night; Y won his last two races earlier this week and would not be in the later class since he had to get back to Yonkers to race tonight; etc. etc. etc. I could hardly keep the camera from shaking (on a tripod) as I was laughing - thinking about the possibilities of "A won at Aqueduct last night"; "C has to get up to Saratoga to run tomorrow"....

                                    Made ME a believer!

                                    I must say jumping a pacer wasn't my favorite thing (back when I was young).
                                    Equine Photography in the Northeast


                                    • #38
                                      I had the best horse ever and he was an stb. Also, my friend had many that she sent to CA to race. All were wonderfully sound horses with good minds. I recently got an older stb, I don't believe she ever raced. She is very challenging, as in she is tough minded and not very nice to deal with. Today her training began, I hired a young cowboy to get her started right and boy was she bad!!!!! He said he can turn her around though, he thinks she is just so used to being a bully that it is what she reverts to when "pushed".

                                      Six months ago I would have said there wasn't a stb born that wasn't gentle, but now I know they can be a product of upbringing just like any other horse.