Off The Track Standardbreds?

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Off The Track Standardbreds?

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  • Standardbred mare iloveutoomuch
  • Training tips on track standardbreds for riding

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  • 1 Post By STBgirl
  • 2 Post By jumpingxstandardbred

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    06-24-2012, 07:11 PM
Off The Track Standardbreds?

I'm looking at other options in case my dad decides the TB mare is too much. (fingers crossed that he says yes to her though)

I found a 15.3hh 4y/o Standardbred mare. She looks absolutely gorgeous and she's currently being fostered, although I'm not sure of the exact location. I had found a provincial SB rescue and she was listed in the courtesy listings. I'm really not familiar with off the track Standardbreds and what needs to go into them, so I was hoping that people could enlighten me on what it would take. I do have the help of my instructor and she'd come with me to check the mare out first.

All help is appreciated, thanks!
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    06-24-2012, 07:17 PM
I like them, got one for my first horse, just make sure they have good gaits (walk, trot, canter) not still using their racing gait (pacing or sped trotting) unless you're looking for a retraining project. Than they need to be untrained than retrained, takes lot of time, and patience and sometimes a good knowledge of how and what they did under harness. But lots of standies have good minds and make wonderful riding horses just like any other breed.
    06-24-2012, 07:25 PM
I definitely don't mind a horse that needs some re-training.. I'd almost prefer it. I really found training Major rewarding, and although it was frustrating, it made me want to be at the barn 24/7 because I never knew what was coming. I'll definitely have to talk to Laura about it first as she'll likely be helping me at some points.
    06-24-2012, 07:37 PM
Keep in mind that when the driver pulls on the bit the horse increases speed, the opposite of saddle training. A friend never could retrain her SB from this so she taught him voice commands and it worked quite well.
    06-24-2012, 07:38 PM
Yeah, that's a bit of my worry. I'm definitely going to talk to my coach about it, and see if she'd be willing to help. I've read many success stories though so I'm hopeful. :)
    06-25-2012, 06:46 PM
First I have to say I am bias because I love standardbreds! I have grown up in a family that breeds and then tries to repurpose them for riding. That said it depends on the kind of work the horse has had. I know a number of standardbred's competed at the World Equestrian Games in events like dressage and jumping. They are very versatile horses. They are going to be different from a OTTB in that the majority of standies are going to be a little calmer. They are use to being harnessed, worked, standing in harness and then warmed up and raced. The issue seems to be not in putting the saddle on them or the equipment. Most of your re-working is going to be done under-saddle. They tend to a standardbred spook which is that they don't really move their feet. Again, these are generalizations. There is a reason that they are used as Amish buggy horses its because the Amish don't really want a crazy horse to take them to church and back. You also look at where the driver sits on a driving back and its pretty close to the horses feet. You don't want to hitch a cart/wagon or buggy to a wild card.

You would have to work on things like turning and bending. They are use to making turns with a harness and cart so they are don't use their hind end as much to turn. There is lots of debate on how to train a standardbred to canter. Its more like telling them that a canter is okay. The best way is to get them out on a trail or long straight away and ask for the canter and don't punished when its offered. Most are driven in a snaffle. I would also ask why the horse is no longer at the track. I have a few horses that retired at age 3 because they did not want to be race horses. They legally have to retire a horse in America at age 14. Taking a standardbred that has been raced for 14 years and training him to canter can blow his mind. Which makes sense if you are told and punished for 14 year of your life for doing one thing and then someone comes along and asks you to do that thing its going to freak you out a bit. If you can, talk to the trainer/driver or groom (often the same person). They are going to have an idea on who the horse is and what habits it has.

The other notable thing is that they LOVE people. I took three of my horses to a four day equine event where hundreds of people walked past the stall. The horse that did double duty for two days in the stall was the same on day one as he was on day two. He was worried the first morning, then calmed right down when people started to stop and say hi to him. The horses I ride all come when called. I have a great trail horse mare that likes to get "face hugs". She puts her head on my chest and stomach and lets me wrap my arms around her head. She gives this sigh like "all is good". This is in part because they are use to be touched all over and they are sort of in your pocket. If you have more specific questions there are a number of books I could recommend.
    06-26-2012, 06:17 PM
I didn't read everything on here, but one thing you can do if you want them to stop is... You can pull back on the bit and pull their head over to the side at the same time... don't pull their head right over unless you have to, but just enough to get them to turn their bodies and force them to slow down. Kinda like the emergency brake. If you keep doing this they will eventually get it and you won't have to turn their heads to slow them down, just pull back gently... eventually...
    06-26-2012, 07:17 PM
I have a Standardbred and many of my friends do. You will love their calm and willing temperment. As far as the pulling back & they will go faster, not really. When we train them for racing, the pulling back we do is to slow them down so they don't burn out all their energy the first 1/2 mile. I am from NJ and belong to SPHO-NJ. Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of NJ. Find us on Facebook with any of your questions. We are a friendly bunch of STB owners,
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    06-27-2012, 08:42 PM
I truthfully think you should pick the standardbred all the way! They are lovable, kind and are a type of horse willing to learn. If they havnt been abused, they are so kind. My mare unfortinatly was abused with a pressure washer, so she is scared of rain but we're working on it. Point being, they can be anything you want them to be. A jumper, a dressage horse, a trail pony, barrels, ect. They are all arround horses, come in diffrent sizes and diffrent colours. Sure, its hard to teach them to trot and canter but it is possible. We need standardbred lovers to stick together and prove to everyone else that they can do it. We just need to believe in them
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