Turn ‘Em On

Adventures in Standardbreds

Enjoy the ride drive.

 
Continuing my tour of the breed barn [Western Counterfactual].

I have no experience with Standardbreds. Be fun to try. We’ve thought it would be interesting to remake an ex-trotter as a driving horse. Can it be done? I don’t see why not. Could we do it? Who knows. International Museum of the Horse: Standardbred

I do know that it’s not a popular breed in the sport driving world. Dunno why. You’d think a breed that was trained to trot would be all over Combined Driving. Nope. The discipline is dominated by warmbloods, particularly Dutch Harness Horses, much the same way riding is dominated by warmbloods to the detriment of the Thoroughbred [Get Off My Lawn, And Take Your Warmblood With You].

One question people have about Standardbreds is if they can be taught to canter. Well, one does not canter in CDE dressage until the upper levels. One can canter on marathon in Prelim, but it is not mandatory. So, that’s two levels to mess with before cantering is required. Imagine the endurance.

Standardbreds are big at Saddlebred shows. They are the breed used in Road Horse classes. The horses show three speeds at the trot: jog, road gait, & full speed. Road Horses also show under saddle. I almost had a chance to ride one. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity was before my class. No one wanted to watch me equitate after blasting around the ring as fast as possible. They seemed to feel I would lack poise. Moi?

Anyway.

Standardbreds. Any experience with, in general or in CDE driving?

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Combined Driving, Horses

2 replies »

  1. Lots of experience. They make awesome pleasure driving prospects and I can’t figure out either why there are not more used for combined driving. They’ve got stamina, common sense, and holy shit can they cover ground. No cantering needed in marathon – they would be quicker than virtually any cantering horse, and more stable. Plus they come in bay, bay, or bay, basically, making it pretty easy to match up a team.

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