Tell me about Standardbreds

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Tell me about Standardbreds

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    09-10-2009, 09:36 AM
Green Broke
Tell me about Standardbreds

So in a previous post I made about OTTB someone mentioned Standardbreds and I started looking into them for a breed. I probably won't be looking to purchase a horse for about 4 -5 months (waiting until I get settled in the new year) but I want to very well know what I want by then. I like the idea of Standardbreds as I have heard that they can be (like many other breeds) calm and friendly, they are versatile, they are cheap as chips, and most of all I like the idea of "saving" a horse rather than just buying a purpose bred one.

I don't have any experience with Standardbreds, but i've worked with young/untrained horses. I've met one in my entire life and I didn't particularly like him - but the owner was a bit strange and this horse couldn't canter or jump. I'm sure there are many others out there that I would like.

So difficulty level. I plan to do some eventing, maybe some jumping, even a little endurance and trails, I preferably with a horse that I can work up through the levels with, not necessarily to the top, but reasonably competitive. I know Standardbreds are not the traditional choice but I've looked on the net and seen that there are fair few that are pretty decent. How difficult is it to train a "standard" STB to trot and canter correctly, are they all retrainable or is it a select thing?

I don't know exactly how it would be done, but I guess I would establish the canter in a round yard, get it used to voice aids, and give it the opportunity to learn to balance before starting cantering under saddle. I wouldn't know how to teach it to do the "normal" trot. Does this sound somewhat right?

Does anyone have any showjumping, dressage, eventing or just training experience with Standardbreds that they want to share? I am just trying to figure out if they would be the right breed for me.
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    09-11-2009, 01:02 PM
When the time is right, I'm getting a STB too! I'm adoping from
    09-11-2009, 01:20 PM
Standardbreds are awesome! My friend has a retired trotter, and she events with him. He's AMAZING at cross-country. He struggles a bit with dressage, but he tries hard. Re-training depends so much on the individual. I've heard trotters are easier because you don't have to worry about pacing in transitions etc. Standardbreds usually have an amazing extended trot, and handle lateral work well. You have the added bonus that they have most likey been exposed to a lot in their life as a racehorse - machinery, loud speakers, crowds, you name it, they have seen it!
Good for you for looking at these awesome horses - I'm sure if you choose a standardbred, you will not be dissapointed!
    09-11-2009, 01:33 PM
Here are a few pics of my friend Andrea's stbd I was talking about above - thought you might enjoy!
    09-13-2009, 10:51 AM
If you ask anyone with a STB they will say that it was probally one of the nicest horses, I know I think that. They can be hard to train from time to time but most of them are natural born trotters and pacers. They are also really good at jumping as you can see.
    09-13-2009, 12:16 PM
STBs are just such well rounded horses. I don't do any eventing, just race them, so I don't know much about that stuff, but I have read that they excell in a lot of areas of eventing and such.

I don't know much about training under saddle, but most are easy horses to train, even as babies to break. They are just so willing to please. Most of them too, you can just get up on and ride them. I try to ride every horse that comes into my barn. I think there has been only 2 or 3 that didnt let me ride them with no previous experience riding. But most of them I can hop right on bareback or with a saddle and just go with a snaffle bit. For example, my mare: my uncle bought her when she was 3, and she was a holy terror. Headyshy, jumpy, you name it she was. She would step on your feet on perpose, throw herself, just anything bad she did. She's now 7 and I bought her off of him. We know she's never been ridden, but in the 4yrs of me taking care of her, she's changed so much. So a few months ago I decided I what? She rode like she had been doing it her whole life!
    09-17-2009, 09:55 PM
Standardbreds are great horses :)
They will learn to trot properly and canter, but they won't win dressage shows at any higher levels. Not because they can't collect (I wish I had a video of Crow when he gaits real good.. that's as collected as you get on a horse! Lifted back, smooth and just flying.. oh well) but they don't move and look just like a dressage horse is supposed to. And it will take more training to get them there, but it's possible :)

Mine is gaited and I don't trot him at the moment. When he trots tho, he trots well, both under saddle and in the pasture. :)

The thing is to work and build the right movement, most standies will prefer to rush off and hurry (they can be a bit hot and nervous, but in a weird way thety're still willing and obedient..very sensetive..) and you just need them to slow down and think and listen to you and ..try to think about what you want, instead of trying to obey before listening to the instruction :P
You need to ride a lot with your seat rather than the reins or legs.

When we taught Crow to canter, we (my trainer and I) just started riding as if we already cantered, moving our hips into canter position and started to ''bounce'' when he was gaiting. He learnt to put a small canter-beat in the gait and it grew untill it was a nice, clean canter :) A little untraditional way to do it, but it worked since he was gaited and since he had learnt from walk to listen to the seat to know how to walk, what speed and what mode. Now he canters from walk and I've even picked it from standing a few times.

If you start working in walk, teach shoulder ins (it'll build muscle to trot properly and canter) and teach the horse to slow down and collect for your seat, you won't have any real problems riding it in whatever gait you want and get a well balanced, strong and obedient horse. :)

*because I know you want pictures!* :P
    09-17-2009, 10:11 PM
And then I gotta show the trot too.. :O
As I said.. we never trot and has never worked on it..and I can't ride in that saddle whatsoever..but still he has a decent trot down there if I just bother to ask for it :) It would be better if I worked with it once in a while, I suppose.. >_> and had my regular saddle..

Oh and one more thing.. as far as I've noticed, standies generally wants to obey and to the right thing you ask so badly, they need a gentle hand to slow them down and listen. If you correct them by saying they're wrong, many times they'll just get stressed out from it. It's usually more rewarding to say ''try this instead'' rather than ''no!" :)

Ok, sorry for the picture bomb.. >_>
    09-18-2009, 09:11 AM
Zab, Crow is gorgeous! Now is he an ex racer or no? I just wondered because of the trotting. I didnt know if he was bred pacer or trotter. If he is an ex racer, based on what he looks like, he looks like he was bred a pacer. But that's just me guessing stuff here lol
    09-18-2009, 09:28 AM
Thanks :)

According to hs owners, he was never raced since he prooved too slow when they started training him. He was 5 when I got him (two years ago) and after an accident in my first attempt to start him under saddle, it took more than a year before I got confident enmough and found the right help, to get him trained under saddle. After several months without progress from just getting up and walking around, mainly thanks to me still being easily stressed after that accident, I sent him to my trainer 80 miles away this time last year (the only one I know well enough to trust.. I was there several times and got extra lessons on my horse too) At new year I got him back and I suddenly had a wonderful horse that took all gaits (except trot and flying pace..I can only start trot in tight circles or on bad ground, and I'm not too interested in it :P) ands I wasn't frightened anymore even when if acted up or got stressed :) Since then I've been working to get him in a good shape, stay obedient and just being a good horse for me.

As for the gait; we only have trotting races in sweden. He has a 100% american standardbred bloodline, but to be politically correct, he's not a standardbred but a swedish warmblooded trotter (only reason to this is that he's born in sweden) :) He's bred for trot but I doubt those people knew what they were doing..

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