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The "other" track horses - Standardbreds

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  • The "other" track horses - Standardbreds

    Just wondered who out there might have one and what they were doing with theirs?

    We used to get a bunch when I worked at a summer camp in college. They were typically sane, smart horses, quieter than their TB counterparts, and sounder too. Is this the norm?

    Some never quite "got" cantering (we had a few that would pace but most that came through seemed to be trotters) and some others turned into fabulous jumpers and lesson horses.

    I am NOT in the market, but I AM sad of battling lameness issues in my TB. I have had mostly TBs and TBXs, never thought about owning a standardbred.... but I have New Vocations in my FB newsfeed and just saw a promo about STBs. If they are seemingly sounder/sturdier than their TB friends maybe that is a direction for me to go, someday.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  • #2
    A recent thread on the topic:

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...t=standardbred

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, since that was my thread quoted, I'll give you an update

      I did end up adopting my STB from New Vocations, from their Michigan facility. My mare is a trotter, small, with only 6 starts to her name. I adopted her sight unseen, after doing tons of research on my own and with much help from sk_pacer. As soon as she walked off the trailer, I was in love. She is everything NV said she was. Well mannered, quiet temperament, ties, clips, loads, bathes. Her feet are rock hard and she goes barefoot. She is very intelligent. Not at all hot, but with a nice engine. My mare is trotting bred, and easily canters. Under saddle, she tries very hard to figure out what is being asked of her. I've never owned a horse like that before. The only trouble I've had with her is getting her to stand while mounting/dismounting. I'm finding out this can be a common problem. I solved mine by offering a treat when she stands still at the mounting block, and another once she stands after I've mounted. Worked like a charm. She now refuses to move until she gets her cookie.

      I plan on pleasure riding, with dressage lessons. As you can imagine, she has a beautiful extended trot. Down the road, I would also like to try fox hunting. With her great mind, I'm sure she will be just fine. The biggest complaint about STBs in my area is low resale value. Unfortunately in my area, this is true. However, my mare has a home with me for life. Honestly, if you can get your hands on an STB, do so. They have a heart full of try. You won't be disappointed.
      One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

      Comment


      • #4
        STBs have long been on my secret horse wishlist, FG. And mrs. smith, thanks for your story! I think I would love one. When you said "hard feet" and "barefoot", I was there. :-)
        I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
        I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Lori FWIW, the ones I've known had superb feet. And they were not the most conformationally gifted horses either but seemed to stay sound even with heavy/hard riding.

          Mrs. Smith your mare sounds lovely! Now we need pics!
          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

          Comment


          • #6
            The pictures I've taken of her are truly awful, but here's a video of when she was in training at NV. As soon as I saw her interacting with the little girl, I knew I wanted her.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE1-W5TYT7Q

            edited to add, she's only 3 in this video.
            One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

            Comment


            • #7
              Where I board is less than a half hour from a STB track so we've had quite a few retired pacers and trotters come through over the years. From what I've seen of them they are pretty much everything everyone here is saying. Smart, calm, easy to handle and sturdy. Most of the ones I've seen have been pretty plain looking with great feet and awesome personalities. We usually get a boarder or two every year that brings in a STB fresh off the local track, people who bring their horse to the barn for the summer because we've got great trail access. I've watched them work with their OTTSTBs and trail ridden with them a lot and I can't recall a single one that didn't transition easily to saddle work. They seem to have pretty big motors but are quite gentle.

              Over the last 15 years at that barn I've probably seen a couple dozen STBs come in off the track and I can't recall a single one that didn't turn out to be a nice, fun trail horse.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've got a 20 yo OTSTB mare. She's on the huge side (wears an 84 Big Fella blanket), and has legs, and feet of steel. I'd just lost a TB with chronic hoof problems and was immediately drawn to her lovely, balanced, big, strong feet when I got her.

                Mine is very, very easy to handle. She does have some quirks, but they aren't specific to her breed, but her background as an Amish buggy horse after her life at the track. She will canter with a perfectly fitted saddle and a balanced rider.

                I'd get another .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
                  The pictures I've taken of her are truly awful, but here's a video of when she was in training at NV. As soon as I saw her interacting with the little girl, I knew I wanted her.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE1-W5TYT7Q

                  edited to add, she's only 3 in this video.
                  That is a lovely horse, lucky you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have had one for 14 years, Flash.....yes they are very sturdy. Might be quite a few in need of homes around Rochester....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HPFarmette View Post
                      I have had one for 14 years, Flash.....yes they are very sturdy. Might be quite a few in need of homes around Rochester....
                      Yup. Sent you a PM.
                      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                      Desmond Tutu

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                        Just wondered who out there might have one and what they were doing with theirs?

                        We used to get a bunch when I worked at a summer camp in college. They were typically sane, smart horses, quieter than their TB counterparts, and sounder too. Is this the norm?

                        Some never quite "got" cantering (we had a few that would pace but most that came through seemed to be trotters) and some others turned into fabulous jumpers and lesson horses.

                        I am NOT in the market, but I AM sad of battling lameness issues in my TB. I have had mostly TBs and TBXs, never thought about owning a standardbred.... but I have New Vocations in my FB newsfeed and just saw a promo about STBs. If they are seemingly sounder/sturdier than their TB friends maybe that is a direction for me to go, someday.
                        My fave breed
                        We have always had a good few in the carriage business at any given time - smart, sensible, amiable, love to work, purty Great wind even on very humid days, legs of steel, good feet.
                        I love spending the day with an STB.
                        VP Horse & Carriage Association of NYC

                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-F...ref=ts&fref=ts

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We breed, raise , race and rehome them!!

                          They are a whole different creature than the TB. The are Proactive, while most TBs are reactive. Besides the uncanny feet, they are sound even after racing most of the time. They are so easy to retrain, and are usually smaller than TBs, and very strong. We breed Trotters and have had several become low level eventers after racing....really careful, knee snapping jumpers. After a career in harness all of ours have been "tack up and go" .....they just seem to accept that their human is now ON them instead of BEHIND them. Wonderful wonderful horses!!!
                          "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks for all the info guys. Sounds like the ones I've known have been good examples of the breed. I'm an experienced adult but I'm finding as I get older and have more demands, time is limited, etc. I like projects but really want something sound and sane that is ready to go out and hack around, trail ride, and just dabble in a bit of everything. I have a penchant for projects, but I am done taking chances on TBs with histories of lameness.

                            Louise and HPF, I had no idea that was going on... interesting.
                            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Claudius View Post
                              They are a whole different creature than the TB. The are Proactive, while most TBs are reactive. Besides the uncanny feet, they are sound even after racing most of the time. They are so easy to retrain, and are usually smaller than TBs, and very strong. We breed Trotters and have had several become low level eventers after racing....really careful, knee snapping jumpers. After a career in harness all of ours have been "tack up and go" .....they just seem to accept that their human is now ON them instead of BEHIND them. Wonderful wonderful horses!!!
                              Claudius, sent you a PM
                              One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
                                The pictures I've taken of her are truly awful, but here's a video of when she was in training at NV. As soon as I saw her interacting with the little girl, I knew I wanted her.

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE1-W5TYT7Q

                                edited to add, she's only 3 in this video.
                                On my computer now so I could watch the vid.... Gosh she is *lovely*! I can see why you liked her!
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
                                  Well, since that was my thread quoted, I'll give you an update

                                  I did end up adopting my STB from New Vocations, from their Michigan facility. My mare is a trotter, small, with only 6 starts to her name.
                                  Happiest congratulations, I am so thrilled for you and for your mare!!!! Make sure to send your updates to Dot and Anna, as I'm sure the donor will love to receive the update (we LOVE to hear how our donated babies are doing). And please update COTH as well, when you think of it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I love Monaco's video! What a sweetheart! I would have bought her right off the video. Dang.
                                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      For anyone in considering assisting the farm in Rochester, feel free to PM me regarding specific horses. I used to work as a stablehand and race groom for a few years and could provide some insight to some specific horses. I may end up grabbing one for the new place as a buddy for my OTTB.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Thank you all for the kind words about my mare. I just love her. Someday I would love to find her donor and thank them. You can tell that Monaco was treated with kindness and loved. I'll definitely keep in touch with Dot at NV about her. Dot was wonderful to work with. I gave her a very detailed description of what kind of horse I wanted, and she matched me with Monaco who is perfect.

                                        And whoever said STBs are "proactive" rather than "reactive" hit the nail on the head. I had my trainer ride Monaco one day as she is still very green broke. My trainer worked on getting her to flex her neck (gently) touching her nose to the stirrup. Being a harness racer, flexing was so foreign to Monaco. She went round and round in circles but finally got it. You could almost see the light bulb go on in her head, lol. After my trainer dismounted, we were standing around talking when Monaco looked at my trainer, flexed her nose to the stirrup all by herself, then looked at my trainer again. it was almost like she was saying, "lookie! I figured it out and can do it all by myself!" We both burst out laughing.

                                        So, yes, anyone considering the breed, please give them a try. And of course, I gotta give a shameless plug to New Vocations. The have great people working for them that evaluate and get the STBs started under saddle. I'm sure YMMV, but I've had no complaints.
                                        One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

                                        Comment

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