I bought my horse from the Amish, as a cart and riding horse. He did not have much training under saddle. But when you were driving him he only had one speed, fast uncollected trot, as soon as he felt weight in the cart he was 100 yards down the road before I sat down. The first 2 months all we did was walk slow and stop, sometimes we I just got in the cart and had someone head him for 5-15 min then unharnessed. As soon as he got to fast we would stop and stand for a while. Alot of the time it was walk 20 steps stand for 3 min, walk 10 steps stand a min. I still, 7 years later have him stand at least a min after I get in the cart, before I ask him to walk on.
Same with the trot, he had no idea that there were different speeds that he could go. As soon as he got fast at the trot I would either stop, bend or circle. A John Lyons instructor that was giving me a hand also suggested speeding him up then slowing him back down, asking for variations in speed, getting him used to the differences. Now he loves trotting slow, sometimes he trots so slow I think he is going to fall over.
I think he's probably been bred by the amish, I checked and don't see a brand anywhere, so probably not registered. My trainer is going to be coming in the next few weeks to do an assessment on him, and start putting a plan together with me. He definitely wants to be out, he circles in his stall, bites at the wood (not cribbing, just gets frustrated and bites the top of the stall), and if we pick up a lead he perks right up! But as he doesn't stop very well in hand and just wants to go, go, go, we're just taking him for walks and not letting him pick up the speed until the pasture's reinforced for him. The only reason I thought that standardbreds were more delicate is because I've met two, and they've both been fine-boned, delicate in the face, one off-track that my friend boards with my guy, and one that was at the ranch I worked at. I'll post the picture of him from the lot and see what you think!
OP- you might want to Google for "retraining a standardbred " and "new vocations". Lots of tips on how to retrain the, or any cart horses.
And they do turn in tight circles, not with bending, rather by crossing over in front.
We bought a 10.hh Hackney pony from off an Amish... Needless to say I was not impressed! I love the pony, but when we first got her she would NOT stand still...I've worked with her without any harness on until she would stand calm... Now I find I have to do the same thing WITH the harness because she goes and acts all go go again with it on. She wouldn't stand still, would back up, step side ways or Rear because she was so focused on going...wow what a mess :)!
I would not mind at all if he was a standardbred! EmilyJoy, luckily, he's not that bad. He will stand still for us, but as soon as he gets moving, his tail (which is quite short) starts going up, and he wants to go! But no silliness besides that when we're working with him. I guess I should have mentioned that trait, when he trots, he holds his tail up reallyyy high (higher than most do naturally) and he will only go to the bathroom in his stall, no where else (not on the 3 hours trailer ride, not when we're out working with him). My mom got one from the same feedlot at the same time that's also an amish buggy horse, and she's very different from him, extremely head shy, but other than that, super calm, is on stall rest for an abscess that developed under her road shoes and pads, and never paces, digs, nothing. Just stands quietly.