We're curious to know what folks think about Standardbreds when it comes to purchasing or adopting a new horse.
I am too disabled to own a horse any more. My first choice is always Arabian, but with all that I've read about how wonderful the Standardbred temperment is I suspect I would be quite happy with one!
Arabians are a beautiful breed. My first employment in the equine industry was working on at an Arabian breeding and show barn.
It's nice to hear that the standardbred is becoming more recognized as a breed who's versatility extends beyond the race track. They, too, are a beautiful breed, and like the Arabian, love to work and show off their beauty.
Yes, the Arab beauty is what brought me in, but I stay with them because I can explain to them that I am severly handicapped and ask them to work with me (plus I promise to do all I can to never hurt them.) So far with me getting to ride 3 Arabs over the past six years it has worked, I lucked out and found a hunt seat stable that has some.
The Standardbred temperament is SO TEMPTING though! The amount of abuse the racing SBs go through without killing their people, well those horses would probably not get upset with me when my body does not work right. Combine that with the SB speed, heart, and endurance and you should end up with a very good horse.
I actually think Standardbreds are very cool! Kinda depends on what you might want to do with it. Not sure if you are into any sort of competition, but for example: If you want to do Mountain Trail, this might not be the right horse for that job. But I think they are great low level Event type horses. They are a fairly Hot Breed, so exclusively for Trail Riding might not work, but Endurance Riding probably! I have a student who owns one and he has evented up to Training Level. He loves to jump, he is quiet with a very green rider, but when you take him off site he wakes up, and is still safe but brilliant. His conformation is uphill which makes dressage & jumping very easy for him. He is pure black, with a bit of a nose on him. Too me he looks like what I imagined the original Black Beauty might have looked like.
Thanks for sharing, Desiree. Yes, the breed does tend to be hot, but sometimes you do find those who are quite willing to simply ride the trails. We have a few at Go and Play who do just that.
Your student's horse sounds absolutely beautiful, and shares the fact that not all standardbreds are bays.
The star of Go and Play Stables, Hillary's Conquest, is loving his new role as a Jumper. He initially started his career in dressage, but soon gathered interest in jumping. We are hoping to show him at local schooling shows in 2014.
Willy is so quiet that a completely green rider, who knew nothing, could climb up in a safe ring. Rider did have some young youth bareback experience, which saved us from having to do those initial lounge line lessons, even though those were not avoided. :) But you should have seen him when we took him to a race track and asked him to hand gallop. We saw him...WAKE UP! Willy can also be seen in my Crowd Funding video! My student has a small barn that is state of the art that matches her home. Willy was one of our horse models!
Willy is absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing the photos with us. One of the main goals behind Go and Play Stables is to educate the general public into acknowledging the versatility of this breed. Comments like yours, and from others, will help ensure we get the message across. It's nice to see - and hear - of standardbreds adapting into new roles off of the track.
My very first horse was a Standardbred (up to that point, I'd had ponies). Ben was awesome!!! He had such a sense of humour, loved to play (especially "tag"), was soooo good to ride (pretty much unflappable, thanks to all that awesome track training), and he was just wonderful.
30+ years later, my daughter-in-law was looking for an unflappable but fun horse, and Standardbreds were the first thing to enter my mind. We found her an awesome gelding who won my granddaughter's approval due to his instantaneous devotion to her (he just looooved her from the moment we entered the barn), and has proven to be a wonderful addition to our herd.
Standardbreds can do any type of "horsework" you ask of them. If they've been 'track' horses, you will find that not much startles them (from atvs on the trail to tarps rattling in the wind), and they each have a personality that is unique and fun to discover!!
They're great. I've had a bunch over the yrs. Absolutely would consider- the best one came from auction $65. Named him Barnard pronounced Barn Yard. We rode/drove, showed in 4H and open shows, used for lessons. Sold to an adult amateur he was productive till 32 lived to 37.
We have two Standardbreds. Both were raced before we adopted them. Before I met my gelding, Puck (registered name: Pull the Goalie), I never even considered the breed. I was blown away by Puck's overall look (I've learned that there are several different 'types' of Standarbreds) -- Puck is almost 17 hands, body type of a light Warmblood, and head like a Thoroughbred. But, what made me adopt him was his personality: curious, friendly, sensible, and GREAT work ethic. I began to realize that Puck was a typical Standardbred in the personality department! Soon after, we adopted a Standardbred mare who is a hand smaller, but just as tall in the personality department. They are athletes--love to run and play and need quality feed to thrive. Their hooves are like iron. Ours are barefoot (took about 6 months to grow out and trim up good barefoot hooves). I use a bitless bridle (Dr. Cook's) and they were very easy to transition. I love that they are truly interested in everything and love that they are the type of horses that literally shove their heads into a halter because they want to be 'doing stuff' with us! I'm definitely a Standie fan!
Oh, just a note about them being 'hot' ... they are definitely athletes in that they can move and are very muscular and quick, but I have not experienced ours or others that I've worked with be 'hot' in the mindless sense of the word. They have hot bodies but cool minds! Ours are pets and trail horses and they also love liberty work.
Thanks to everyone who's replied to our posted question. It's great to see and hear about so many people who've come to admire the standardbred off the track. We'd love to hear from more of you so keep those stories coming.