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  • Question

    Okay- I've been thinking about this for a looooong while but wanted to get cother feedback.

    Would this be entirely off kilter or sound like a doable plan.

    I'd like to promote the standardbred more. Without commenting on the breed in particular (if it makes you feel better swap OTSTB with OTTB). In doing so I have two objectives... resale of the horse and showing the horse.

    The horse resale (while still a gamble) may or may not offset the costs but that is incidental to the ultimate object which is getting exposure to the breed itself in the general public.

    This is what I'm thinking: I find a rider who's talents can advance the horse. I fund the training/schooling/showing expense specific to the horse and pay for the needs of the rider to advance with horse. That is fund clinics or lessons that the rider needs to do to advance.

    So basically I'm sponsoring the horse and rider. The rider gets basically an all free lease plus showing oppurtunities.

  • #2

    Are you familiar with the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society? They're an organization based out of Ontario, Canada. Their website is www.osas.ca.

    I honestly don't know much about them other than to see their name in ads and what I've heard from friends, but all of the feedback has been excellent. They rehab and rehome OT standardbreds as well as take in standardbreds in rescue situations. The impression that I get from ads is that they are trying to promote the breed as a show mount or even all around family-type horse.

    We see a lot of OTSTBDs being given away for next to nothing or even for free in my area. I think your plan of promoting the breed and retraining these horses to be competitive in the ring is a wonderful idea. Best of luck to you.


    • #3
      I think your ideas are wonderful. At the same time, I agree with glitterless that you might find it useful to work with the rescue organizations that are already rehabbing & placing STBs.


      • Original Poster

        Okay... thanks for the info on stb groups and such but I don't want to discuss the standardbred breed or other orgs out there. I was pres of SPHO of MA for a couple years and have delt with my fair share of other groups including doing my own adoptions and helping other with adoptions/rescues etc... not what I wish to discuss here though.

        I'm looking at the logistics of whether riders would be interested in 'free' riding oppurtunities without monetary compensations. Can you/how would you make it worth a rider's effort. Is the chance to get riding instruction, show oppurtunity enough if I'm/horse owner footing the bill? Are there riders looking for such a deal? Are there trainers open to working with different breeds?


        • #5
          Yes there are riders who would/should jump at the chance to do this. The young up-and-coming professionals -to- be need exactly someone like you to help them.


          • #6
            Yep, if you're willing to fund a serious prospect there are wonderful riders who would jump at the chance I'm sure! Would you find your prospect first and then look for a rider? Or find a rider and let her find the prospect? What discipline?


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
              Yep, if you're willing to fund a serious prospect there are wonderful riders who would jump at the chance I'm sure! Would you find your prospect first and then look for a rider? Or find a rider and let her find the prospect? What discipline?
              Actually it could be both... I would be open to different disciplines and it would depend on the level of the rider really.

              Thank you... I was looking to see if I was just having crazy thoughts or if this was something that would be doable.


              • #8

                An old STB race horse groom here...

                The one thing is you need to get a good enough rider to make the horse and herself look super. When people look at horse and rider combos in magazines or wherever, they are dreaming...that could be me?!?!

                If the rider/horse combo does not evoke that "that could be me?!?!" response from the public then your work will not get as far...

                That "that could be me?" is used in advertising all over and you can use it to your benefit for STBs.

                Good luck and I love STBs. I used to be a show groom in Westchester County NY in the 70s and we had all this baling twine attached to the cross ties...all sorts of horrible freak out incidents...when I went into the STB industry, we'd take racing fit 2 - 3 year old stallions to the Meadowlands, put them in the chain cross ties in the paddocks NEXT to each other and go get a cup of coffee. It is an AMAZING and under utilized breed.

                You might want to hit up some of these race tracks and things for help with funding. The anti-slaughter folks are starting to hit the race tracks and banning trainers that send horse directly to slaughter. If you can help more with promoting the back end use of these horses, you may get yourself some dough!

                Good luck and we hope to see your team at Rolex!!! Hay with a good rider, why not?
                Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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                • #9
                  I think you'd find TONS of riders interested. The bigger question would be, how do you make it a successful story that attracts attention and promotes the breed on a large scale? You'd have to have a good horse to start with, that was built right and had the right movement for whatever discipline your rider did. And if the horse had a good story that would help too. Then you need a rider that is not only a good rider in a technical skill sense, but in a "loves the horse like a friend" sense, and that can communicate that. I keep a blog about my tb and he has gotten a lot of attention that way, and there's a few canter ottb's that are being blogged about... that's the sort of relationship and communication component you need, so that your audience can get to know the horse.

                  Then on top of that, you need someone who will "look good" with the horse in pics or videos that can be used for promotion. That doesn't just mean someone that looks like a model, but someone who is reasonably good looking who has good posture and is a good size-fit with the horse, and also someone who looks like a good person that people feel a connection with (the whole "that could be me" thing). So you don't get the "you have to be a fancy super-snob to ride this horse" feeling, but more the "what a great partnership" and "what an athletic, happy combo" feeling from it. Think about what people want when they are looking for a new horse... then find a horse/rider combo that can convey as many of those things are possible. Do they look like they are having fun, as well as being successful? Are they competitive, without being "out of your league"? Are they versatile, show ring one day and trail ride the next? Are they professional and capable, able to hold their own in any crowd?

                  Even better, if you could find a rider who understood what gets publicity and human interest... even of non-horsey people. Like what about (assuming you had the right horse) get the horse trained and shown and whatnot, and once a week do a therapuetic riding lesson on the horse, or let a kid with a terminal illness ride, or work with girl scouts... something like that. See if you can't get a press release, and make the horse's name (and breed) known around town, and grow from there. The more diverse, unique and interesting the horse's story is, the more people will notice the horse.

                  So what you are looking for is far more complicated than just a rider who doesn't have a breed prejudice. I think it's a great idea, and an awesome opportunity for who ever you sponsor, but you need to decide how you are using this experience to promote the breed and find a rider that can do ALL of it, not just someone who is willing to ride the horse.
                  Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
                  Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
                  My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


                  • #10
                    When I was a girl (1950s, long before anyone talked about "rescuing" horses from slaughter ... extra horses went to slaughter, we all knew it, but that was the way it was), a good friend in the same 4-H club had a STB mare. The mare was abandoned at a trainer's barn & my friend bought her for the board bill. She was a really good mare that showed in all the Western classes in local shows. The mare came very close to passing the conformation inspection to be registered as a QH. Anyway, I am sure there are young riders who would be thrilled beyond belief if they could be part of your project. You might see who you find through Pony Club ( http://ponyclub.org ) or 4-H.


                    • #11
                      There have been some very successful STB show jumpers. Find a horse with the scope and i think you will surely find a talented rider to sponsor.


                      • #12
                        I think it's doable. Might be more doable if you were able to affiliate yourself with the other STB outfits already out there--seems like you'd have more horses to point to in your quest to promote the STBs versatility.

                        I'd be looking for 4-Hers and PCers to promote these STBs though and I don't know if you'd get any "better known trainers" to take your STBs as they may have other longtime clients that have more "traditional" show type horses (TBs or Warmbloods). But there are people out there who specialize in re-training Standardbreds. I'm sure if the horse were started on a discipline and they showed talent you might get a BNT to finish them off for the right price....
                        "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~