Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Yes, Standardbred's can gait and should be considered gaited, and they are one of the foundation breeds found in many of today's gaited breeds.
Most Standardbreds can do a rack/singlefoot, a good flat walk, fox trot, pace, and stepping/saddle pace.
I found it really fairly easy to get most Standardbreds to pick up an easy gait, and both pacing breds and trotting breds can gait.
I spend about 1-2 weeks (more if they have been out of work but straight from the track about 2 weeks of saddle work) of walking them, and getting them to move off of leg and seat cues. I then start asking for speed at the walk and most pick up a really nice flat walk (my otstb will keep up with the TWHs we ride with) I gradually increase the time spent at a flat walk and then I ask for the intermediate easy gait. Depending on the horse many with throw in a variety of gaits until they get their balance. My guy goes between a nice fox trot to a really smooth single foot, I use the fox trot for trails and single foot for smoother footing.
My biggest "complaint" with OT STBs is they can be a bit clumsy about their feet. They are so used to a groomed surface that it takes a bit for them to figure out their feet. Once they do though, they can be very very sure footed, but just be prepared for a few trips and knuckling behind.
I love my Standardbreds and I really do encourage more people to check them out as pleasure horses.
What is your Standards name? Is he pacing or trotting do you know?