Driving a pacing pony
 
 

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Driving a pacing pony

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  • Racehorse has hopple burns on back of legs
  • What's a pacing pony

 
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    11-05-2009, 02:25 AM
  #1
Foal
Driving a pacing pony

Hi all! I have a welsh section D that's an ex harness racer. And was wondering if anyone had heard of this before or weather its common an some reasons. Here I go.

So I get this horse, a little fat but after a chat with previous owner realised she had rescued him and that now she was overcompensating on the food juuussst a lil bit. So we decided to find out why he was neglected and dug into his history a little bit.
The neglect story is harrowing but not really relevant to my thread...so we will skip that part.
What I want to take you back to is his being broken as a 2yo...way back when. I found his breader and after a long and pompous speech about how he was a champion harness racer in his younger days (which he was...i saw the pics and was so proud, me lil heart skipped a beat) I got round o the business of him being broken.
I had noticed what appeared to be rope burns on hid hind pasterns around the back. They seemed to break open whenever it was wet. I didnt really expect an answer, just asuming it occured during the years he was neglected, but thought id ask anyway.
He led me to one of his other horses that had the exact same burn whelts and asked me if it looked like that. I was like 'ok, sow how did it happen?'
He then went on to tell me it was part of the training process for harness horses. You see they like them to pace as it makes the break over easier going around a corner, and when pacing they can pick up more speed. As welsh sec d's are not pacing horses, they train them to pace by tying a front leg to a back led on either side. So as the horse moves forward in trot or canter they have to move right hind and front together then the left hind and front together, effectivly yanking the back leg whenever they move a front leg. After monthes of doing this every day even when they are turned out, the horse just does it out of habbit and the bindings can be taken off, unfortunatly it leaves them wit the really bad rope burns. To me this is barbaric and I reported him the the local authority as soon as I got out of their.
But what I was wondering is if this is a common procedure or has anyone heard of it being done to harness horses before? As it happens miraculosly he isnt scared of harnesses at all and I have driven him lovely before (we tend to just ride now as a can't afford my own cart).
Any thoughts would be greatly recieved!

Bellybaby x
     
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    11-05-2009, 03:18 AM
  #2
Foal
That sounds barbaric to me too.
     
    11-05-2009, 07:09 AM
  #3
Weanling
Never heard of that I know they use hobbles which are basically leather traces but they are just to stop them breaking their gait when racing they would,ent mark them
     
    11-05-2009, 01:41 PM
  #4
Started
I think that's horrible! Never heard of it. But, I've also never heard of any breed other than standarbreds doing serious harness racing. Have heard of some people doing so with minis and mini donks (I'd love to hehe!) but not as serious, I don't think, as the standies. And with standies, there are pacers and trotters. They DO use things tied front to back legs, sort of like you describe, but higher up on the legs. I am not in the harness racing world, we don't even have a track here in Az, but I don't THINK it does what that man did to his poor horses :( I sure hope it's not a common practice, but sounds like it might be there, if harness racing with Welsh Ds is common! BTW, I LOVE Welsh, esp C and D, and have a Welsh D/Haflinger cross :)
     
    11-05-2009, 01:59 PM
  #5
Foal
^standardbred hopples definitely are not the same as the op described. We do not tie their legs together to train them. Standies pace naturally. Hopples are just a reminder. They are extremely loose, when the horse is standing the hopple doesnt even touch the horses legs. Also, if there is rubbing or burns from the hopple we take that as either the horse is sore or their stride is uneven and something needs to be fixed so the rubbing no longer happens. What happened to this poor pony is terrible!!
     
    11-05-2009, 02:14 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolayla    
^standardbred hopples definitely are not the same as the op described. We do not tie their legs together to train them. Standies pace naturally. Hopples are just a reminder. They are extremely loose, when the horse is standing the hopple doesnt even touch the horses legs. Also, if there is rubbing or burns from the hopple we take that as either the horse is sore or their stride is uneven and something needs to be fixed so the rubbing no longer happens. What happened to this poor pony is terrible!!
actually this is not 100% true. Just because a horse is a bred pacer does not mean they will pace. Trotting is STILL first nature to a horse, pacing is 2nd in the world of standardbreds.

Also hopple burns can happen from not only what you said, but a horse who has to wear a tight hopple. Some horses cannot pace in a longer hopple and therefore they do burn. Oiling hopples will stop the burning. Burning just behind means the hopples are too long and the horse is not properly filling them out when pacing.

As far as this horse goes.... this doesnt sound right to me. That's a bit rediculous to do. Though I can't say if I know if this is common practice or not because im not very familliar with that horse. But you would think being that they MAKE pacing hopples, they would just put those on them? Weird that he would chose to do that.
     
    11-05-2009, 03:27 PM
  #7
Foal
Absolutely!! I just wasnt getting fully indepth as I thought people would get confused with too much information. There arent many people on this forum who understand standardbreds.
     
    11-05-2009, 05:08 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolayla    
absolutely!! I just wasnt getting fully indepth as I thought people would get confused with too much information. There arent many people on this forum who understand standardbreds.
live, and die racing, breeding, and loving standardbreds here!!
     
    10-07-2011, 07:13 PM
  #9
Foal
Hi

Just stumbled across this.. I train racing Standies (pacers) and thought I'd clear a few things up.

Firstly, I seriously doubt your horse is a Sec D. I've never heard of anybody trying to race one and I don't know why anybody would try since a Standardbred would beat a Sec D every time. Are you sure the previous owner didn't tell you he was a Sec D to try and sell him for more money? This happens a lot as Standies are not popular riding horses (I have NO idea why as I would never want to ride anything else), although usually the unwitting buyer will be told it is a TB or TBx.

As for the rubs you describe, it sounds to me like terrible abuse of the hopples. They are NOT meant to cause this sort of damage, and they are not supposed to be used to make a non-pacing horse pace. Some breeds (like Standardbreds, Icelandics and many others) pace naturally and all they need is a little encouragement to pace at high speed. Hopples are made of soft, flexible, lightweight plastic and are there to encourage them to pace without breaking into a gallop. If the horse starts to 'skip' his leg will hit the hopple and that will remind him to shorten his stride and stay in a pace.

If the hopples are adjusted correctly they will not cause any damage or pain whatsoever. If the hopple is set up incorrectly or the horse is sore, for example, he might rub then. But not if everything is right. We bought a horse 6 weeks ago who had had a terrible time for various reasons, one of them being her harness which was set up all wrong. As a result she had bad hopple rubs and the skin was raw in patches. After a few small changes to the tack we tried her a few days later and the hopples didn't even knock the scab off. Then it was just a case of getting her happy and showing her that her harness is not going to hurt her, and I'm pleased to say she won 5 weeks later at 10-1 (her first win in 13 months).

Pacing comes very naturally to a pacing-bred Standie. Of the 3 I have, the mare I just described paces all the time when you ride her without hopples (which is how I do 90% of the training). My oldest horse who is 16 will walk, trot, pace, canter, gallop or do a running walk on command - he also jumps like a stag. The third horse very rarely paces unless he's excited. When their blood is up most pacers will choose to pace as it comes naturally to them.

Could you post a photo of your horse and the rubs?

I hope this has been of some help :)
     
    10-07-2011, 11:59 PM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by harnessracinglady    
Hi

Just stumbled across this.. I train racing Standies (pacers) and thought I'd clear a few things up.

Firstly, I seriously doubt your horse is a Sec D. I've never heard of anybody trying to race one and I don't know why anybody would try since a Standardbred would beat a Sec D every time. Are you sure the previous owner didn't tell you he was a Sec D to try and sell him for more money? This happens a lot as Standies are not popular riding horses (I have NO idea why as I would never want to ride anything else), although usually the unwitting buyer will be told it is a TB or TBx.

As for the rubs you describe, it sounds to me like terrible abuse of the hopples. They are NOT meant to cause this sort of damage, and they are not supposed to be used to make a non-pacing horse pace. Some breeds (like Standardbreds, Icelandics and many others) pace naturally and all they need is a little encouragement to pace at high speed. Hopples are made of soft, flexible, lightweight plastic and are there to encourage them to pace without breaking into a gallop. If the horse starts to 'skip' his leg will hit the hopple and that will remind him to shorten his stride and stay in a pace.

If the hopples are adjusted correctly they will not cause any damage or pain whatsoever. If the hopple is set up incorrectly or the horse is sore, for example, he might rub then. But not if everything is right. We bought a horse 6 weeks ago who had had a terrible time for various reasons, one of them being her harness which was set up all wrong. As a result she had bad hopple rubs and the skin was raw in patches. After a few small changes to the tack we tried her a few days later and the hopples didn't even knock the scab off. Then it was just a case of getting her happy and showing her that her harness is not going to hurt her, and I'm pleased to say she won 5 weeks later at 10-1 (her first win in 13 months).

Pacing comes very naturally to a pacing-bred Standie. Of the 3 I have, the mare I just described paces all the time when you ride her without hopples (which is how I do 90% of the training). My oldest horse who is 16 will walk, trot, pace, canter, gallop or do a running walk on command - he also jumps like a stag. The third horse very rarely paces unless he's excited. When their blood is up most pacers will choose to pace as it comes naturally to them.

Could you post a photo of your horse and the rubs?

I hope this has been of some help :)
You might want to check the date on the thread. It's almost two years old.
     

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