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Back in September, I got a very very green 9 year old Standardbred gelding. I am completely stumped with what to do right now.. I have no experience with training a horse, let alone an ex pacer. He trots perfectly fine on a lunge line and while being lunged, but during his transition into the canter he seems to pace a bit. Now, under saddle is a completely different thing.

He tacks up like a dream. Doesn't bloat or anything when being saddled. He stands while being mounted and waits for you to have both feet in the stirrups before moving an inch. He seems to be kind of hard in the mouth and doesn't respond to leg cues at all. I don't think he knows them.. He knows to go left and right when I pull the rein and everything, but he can't trot under saddle. He paces instead, and even then I have a hard time keeping him going. He'll pace for maybe 4 seconds and then quit. It's quite frustrating but I can't complain because he's so willing..

Anyone have any ideas or tips for me? I could really use them.
 

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This is just me but I would start with teaching him some cues. You are going to have a better chance of getting past the pace if your leg aids are present and correct. Begin teaching him to move his hind quarters and front quarters and to side pass, work on flexibility and bending. Also it is not surprising that he is hard mouthed he has been steered around by it for a while. This is all the more reason to not have to rely on his mouth, work on getting those aids in place.
 

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Oh, also wanted to say why go any faster than a walk at this stage anyway? After all your brakes and steering are a bit minimal. Go back to basics.
 

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Some standardbreds are natural pacers.

You might just check on his bloodlines to see if he is from pacing lines. Some SB lines are just very very strongly bred this way.
 

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Some standardbreds are natural pacers.

You might just check on his bloodlines to see if he is from pacing lines. Some SB lines are just very very strongly bred this way.

Agreed. I wouldn't work on anything but the walk right now. Til you get everything squared away at that level. Then start all over again at the trot. Good luck! He's pretty!
 

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This is just me but I would start with teaching him some cues. You are going to have a better chance of getting past the pace if your leg aids are present and correct. Begin teaching him to move his hind quarters and front quarters and to side pass, work on flexibility and bending. Also it is not surprising that he is hard mouthed he has been steered around by it for a while. This is all the more reason to not have to rely on his mouth, work on getting those aids in place.
Oh, also wanted to say why go any faster than a walk at this stage anyway? After all your brakes and steering are a bit minimal. Go back to basics.

Haha good point! I don't usually go any faster than a walk because he's still learning to balance himself correctly. He does have quite a bit of flexibility, so that's a good thing. I'll work on getting him used to leg cues then.
 

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Some standardbreds are natural pacers.

You might just check on his bloodlines to see if he is from pacing lines. Some SB lines are just very very strongly bred this way.
I don't know much about pacers, but I'll attach his pedigree haha.


Agreed. I wouldn't work on anything but the walk right now. Til you get everything squared away at that level. Then start all over again at the trot. Good luck! He's pretty!
Yes, he is very pretty :)
 

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Well pacing is not surprising with Abercrombie in there on both sire and dam side...LOL.

Personal Power also is a pacer. These two were pacing the mile in 1.52/3 and change.

Most of the Hanover's were all major pacing powers as well.
 

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I was going to say the same as Spyder; you've got a horse who is pretty heavily Pacer bred; unless you are going to show him in classes that require him to trot, I would just develop a solid pace under saddle, and later on, see if you can develop a trot. I personally love riding a horse that paces, because it's such a comfortable gait!

At any rate, I would simply work on the basics; teaching him to listen to your seat, and legs, rather than cueing him so much from the bit. Do alot of circles, serpentings and figure eights, to help him develop his topline, and better balance himself; they can be larger at first, and then do smaller ones as he balances better. Perfect his balance at a walk, then start moving onto trotting or pacing. Always start light with your cues, and escalate until you get the desired response, and release immediately. Because he was a racer he mainly knows bit and whip cues, so you have alot of work ahead of you in order to develop a nice balanced horse who responds well to light cues.
 

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I'm not much help, but he is a beauty... Good luck with him...
 

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If you've never trained a horse you probably shouldnt have gotten a horse like this, unless you are under supervision of a trainer.

Take some lessons.
 
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