Can a standardbred excel in Western - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-06-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Can a standardbred excel in Western

iv been considering buying a horse recently, though i'm in no rush. I ride western, and though i would like to do some english riding (i do like jumping. has a few jumping lessons. I loved it), i would primarily be riding western.

One of my favourite horse breeds by far is the Standardbred. And local Horse rescue happens to have a 5 yr old Standardbred up for adoption. I was wondering if a Standardbred would be a smart choice since there not used for western often and i'm interested showing in games (eg.barrel racing)

I know for some breeds its hard for them to excel at the western discipline. I was just wondering if you think the Standardbred is one of them. because as much as I love them, I don't want to buy a horse that's not well suited for me.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-06-2011, 07:57 PM
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I see absolutely no problem with a STB in western and, depending on the horse's individual ability, you could be very competitive in gaming events. He likely wouldn't do very well in a discipline like western pleasure but in gaming, it's just as much about training as ability. A slower horse that is well trained and takes the turns smooth will always be faster than a lightening quick horse that blows past every barrel.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-06-2011, 08:05 PM
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Ive seen Standards do VERY well in barrel racing...actually in NBHA Im pretty sure you are not allowed to have them
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-06-2011, 09:53 PM
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Depends a bit on the natural gait of the Standardbred in question.

Some are really strong pacers, which will be undesireable in a WP horse. That said, most of the STB's I know have the temperment to do well in WP, and can be taught - with consistent training - to slow their gaits down and use a low frame.

Overall, I wouldn't say "don't get a Standardbred" as a blanket statement... just be picky and choose one which is going to suit your need.

I have found most do very well at games - and seem to really enjoy them.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-06-2011, 11:54 PM
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I say yes. I've found them to be versatile and willing to do what's asked.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-07-2011, 12:04 AM
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I think you'd do fine in lower levels. However, you'd likely want to train him to trot instead of pace. I know a lady who competes 2nd Level + in Dressage with one, so they seem to be quite a diverse breed.

"You know, for as long as I can remember, I've had memories." ~Colin Mochrie
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-07-2011, 07:14 AM
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At one of the many overnight camping Benefit Trail Rides we once participated in we camped next to a husband and wife who each rode a Standbred. Their Standies were the first I had ever seen and in visiting with them I asked questions about their horses. I never thought to ask if their horses were former off-the-track racers. It was obvious that the horses went in Western tack, because we even visited while out on the trail. Both horses were cool, calm and very well-mannered. The couple mainly trail rode and did saddle club type playdays, barrels, pole-bending, key-hole, etc.
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