Trotters, Arabians, Donkeys and Other People - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 2251 Old 09-13-2014, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Oobiedoo!

How nice that you have an old SB girl. One thing that's really great about OTSBs for prospective riders is that they come with many, many hours of useful training and handling in them, and are usually good with feet, being hosed, transporting and little bits of gear dangling all over them, plus usually quite unflappable around vehicles, crowds, human-built environments and general commotions. They have already logged so many hours of working with people in different environments. Because of that, they are one of the best things going for beginning riders looking for a safe, tractable, reasonably priced horse that's also happy to do more than just plod along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oobiedoo View Post
So for the last 3 year's she's lived in our backyard and taken many many walks on a leadline around the loop road We live on.
This sounds great - do you have photos to show?

Quote:
Chloe has a her size pony now to learn to ride independently and I've decided to ride Judy myself. I used to ride anything when I was young but lost confidence after a few falls as I got older. I'm 61 now, so I took her to a friend's barn where there's a round pen and an arena to ride in and someone around to call 911 if I do fall off ��. I've gone over twice this week and lunged her a little then rode in the arena,mostly walking, circles,changing direction until I get my confidence back. It's finally beginning to cool off here some so maybe soon I'll try some trails behind the barn. My friend that's a trainer and instructor is there with me in case I do need help.
This all sounds good. I hope you are enjoying your riding!

Quote:
When she round penned Judy she says every now and then she can get her to gait, heck I just want a nice walk/trot at this point. Amy said she didn't know if there were certain cues or commands because she has no experience with Standardbreds.
I take it your mare was a pacer, rather than a trotter? And your trainer is getting her pacing occasionally?

Teaching consistent voice commands for each type of gait really helps - and transition the horse back down and start again until the horse "gets" it. (This is a gradual process like anything, just be consistent.)

Generally I didn't allow our SBs to pace on the lunge line - plus they have no natural inclination to pace when doing tight circles, as in tight circles, like the smaller arena figures, the trot is more stable and comfortable for them. Some SBs are natural pacers (who didn't have to be taught with hopples but did it from birth) and a small amount of these are "full-time camels" though, and can't trot or canter well. Your mare doesn't fit into that category.

SBs who can trot and pace are more inclined to pace on firm surfaces (limestone roads etc) than on soft footing, and in straight stretches than in twisty-turny trails. This is in part biomechanics - horses tend towards the gaits that expend the least energy for given conditions - and in part it's conditioning - firm surfaces and broad straight stretches are reminiscent of trotting tracks. Likewise, a non-pacing SB will tend to trot fast rather than canter in such conditions, unless you cue otherwise.

Another important consideration is head position. In an "ambidextrous" SB, trotting is associated (and this can be reinforced with training) with being on the bit, while for pacing they like to carry the head higher and angle the face up. So your rein cues become an important part of how you tell your horse to trot versus pace, if you want them to retain both gaits (if they have them in the first place).


Quote:
I did notice in your cow chasing video, when we first turned Judy out in her big pasture, she trotted and flew around with that tail out and up like a flag. I did think her gallop almost looked like some kind of bunny hop, is that normal?
This is usually the byproduct of having been driven in pacing hopples: When a pacer breaks up into a canter while in hopples, it can't actually canter normally, it has to canter disunited - with the same-beat leg pair not on diagonals but on the same side. This is a bunny-hopping gait, and some OTSBs revert to it because of this prior experience. You can discourage it when riding by always immediately transitioning back down to the trot and asking for the canter-on again: And make sure you have your horse correctly bent to start with - like working on a circle.

They then get used to being able to have their "normal" canter when working with a human during riding, and not having to have a "funny" canter like out of an accidental break when working in hopples. Neither Chip, nor Romeo, nor Sunsmart (the main SBs I rode consistently for years) picked up disunited canters very often when ridden after a couple of weeks of schooling - it can happen occasionally when the horse is distracted or the rider isn't bending the horse properly or clear with the cues - or when riders have got used to letting a horse carry on disunited (which further reinforces it to them as desirable).

If you look at the video of my SB chasing cows closely, you will notice that he voluntarily breaks into a normal, united canter the moment he starts twisting and turning, and performs several correct flying lead changes, but at the very end, when he notices us with the camera, he gets distracted and in the last lead change ends up disunited, and then almost immediately brings himself back to a trot.

Good information on canter, leads, etc here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_%28leg%29


Quote:
I know this is kinda long, I'm just so happy with my sweet old girl and counting on her to get me past that old fear so I can really enjoy riding again. I really don't care if she gaits or not, I'm happy with a good trot. Amy seems to think if she can do it then we should learn how to make her do it on command. I'm riding her in an English saddle and a thick,fat loose ring snaffle or just bareback. Are there specific commands or equipment needed to get the pace? My granddaughter still says Judy is her horse. ☺
Love your story, and hope you continue to have a positive experience! I think I answered your pacing question above. But feel free to drop in anytime with more questions, photos and just telling the rest of us what you and your mare are up to!

Happy riding and handling!

Last edited by SueC; 09-13-2014 at 02:04 AM.
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post #22 of 2251 Old 09-13-2014, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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PS for Oobiedoo: Personally I would be focusing on doing standard dressage-type stuff in the arena, and leaving the pacing for trails if you want it. Arenas usually have soft footing, and that's where a horse who can trot or pace equally comfortably would normally be more inclined to trot, and to get it pacing there could then end up confusing it later when you don't want it to pace - make teaching that distinction harder. I had a simple rule: No pacing in the arena - since I like dressage and pacing isn't compatible with that. They were free to pace on trails but on cue, like any normal gait - and it helps to go with their natural inclinations to make it easy for them, e.g. sticking to a trot or canter on soft or twisty-turny trails, and using both the pace and the trot on straight stretches with firm footing, developing consistent cues to distinguish between the two - rein cues to elevate the head to prepare for the pace, on the bit for the trot (and this can be simpler if you ride in double reins, with a snaffle/curb bit or a pelham), deeper seat when asking for a trot, whatever voice or other auditory cues you want to give - e.g. I click my tongue for canter-on when lunging, and then do the same when first riding a horse new to saddle work, in parallel with the usual aids, and then drop the clicking gradually as the horse learns the aids and can work from them alone, and so on until the aids are barely perceptible.

I think the most important thing is to keep things simple and understandable for the horse and build demands gradually, so both of you stay happy.
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post #23 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Well, horses are horses, and though there are specialist breeds around, many of them are still versatile.

Where I went to riding school in Germany, they had mostly Warmbloods, but there was also one draught horse, Kalinka, who got ridden (an old schoolmate, reminiscing, recently said, "We had to do the splits to ride her, as child riders!") and one Trotter. Interestingly, it was the Trakehner who had issues with his canter leads.

Our first horse, a Bavarian Warmblood, was half Trotter by bloodlines, and our foundation mare we actually bought as a riding horse, and she was a wonderful, reliable horse. Nobody we met in Germany expressed surprise to see a Trotter being ridden, which is quite unlike the situation in Australia, where there is a snootiness about it. While we agisted at German barns, we came across several other Trotters in the breed mix that included Warmbloods (like Trakehner, Oldenburger, Hannoverian), Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Irish Hunters, Icelandic and Fjord horses. Trotters have a good jumping reputation there, because of Halla and other such showjumpers/eventers.

Whereabouts in Germany were you from? And can you get Brezeln and decent bread in Oklahoma?
The riding schools that I attended in Germany had mostly Warmbloods and Welsh Xs. I'm originally from the Frankfurt area but spent a lot of my riding time up north by Hamburg.

The food in Oklahoma is ok; we have friends who own a German restaurant in town so we have special access to brezeln
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post #24 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frlsgirl View Post
The riding schools that I attended in Germany had mostly Warmbloods and Welsh Xs. I'm originally from the Frankfurt area but spent a lot of my riding time up north by Hamburg.
Oh, Welshies, how nice! Did they cross them with bigger horses or ponies?

My father spent quite a while in Frankfurt and I went there once or twice as a child. I have a good friend who now lives in Hamburg but I've never been. Closest was Bremen, I was about 8. I remember the fog horns!


Quote:
The food in Oklahoma is ok; we have friends who own a German restaurant in town so we have special access to brezeln
That's great! I have to bake them, and though they taste fine, I have not yet learnt to perfect their shapes - because I had to learn it from a cookbook, not a demo. Because they have to rise after shaping, they kind of don't stay neat... My husband is of English extraction and a great fan of any sort of German baked goods. Bienenstich too, which for some reason the French bakeries here usually carry. But Brezeln, there is a good German bakery doing those in Hobart, Tasmania, a little too far from us for regular custom!

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post #25 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Oh, Welshies, how nice! Did they cross them with bigger horses or ponies?
The schools used the Welshies for the smaller kids and the WBs for the bigger kids. Even though I was too tall for most of the Welshies, I did fit on Tora, a mystery Welsh X:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MeWithTora.jpg (47.9 KB, 59 views)
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post #26 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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That's a wonderful photo! Thanks for posting it. I'm just in the process of dusting my old prints off and scanning them in to digitise. It's like archaeology...

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post #27 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 02:28 PM
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SueC, just found your thread. As a kid, I was very jealous of my cousins, who's father and grandfather trained SBs who ran on the NY State racing circuit (Saratoga and Finger Lakes primarily). Their grandfather was a real horseman, but their dad sort of lost interest in the training and ended up owning claiming type TBs when they moved out to the west coast. My cousins never really cared though, much to my horse-crazed but horse-deprived dismay! :)

I hadn't thought about standardbreds for years but happened to turn on the TV to harness racing the other night. Watching the pacers was mesmerizing- it's amazing to me that horses can really move that way.

Anyway, I enjoyed the tour through your herd, and will look forward to following along.
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post #28 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hey egrogan, welcome and thanks for your interest! I've had far too much fun here today on the coffee and ridiculous trail riding experience threads and must now really, really get some sleep, as it is scandalously late...

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post #29 of 2251 Old 09-15-2014, 02:49 PM
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I am keeping my eye on this, trying to read it, but always something drags me away. One day I will finish reading
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post #30 of 2251 Old 09-19-2014, 05:06 AM
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Oh wow Sue, you are living my dream! I've really enjoyed this thread.

I've always admired Standardbreds, there is a Standardbred rescue not very far from where I live, once I get more mobile (my knee, and car issues) I'd like to drive down there and see their horses

Your father's horses have such nice substance, I'm in love with Chip and Baralu.
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