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Hidden Brook Farm Dressage Schooling Show - June 2, 2019

Ellie and I did a show at our lesson barn this past weekend instead of taking a lesson.  I would have done a lesson on Saturday before the show, but my instructor went to NEDA Spring with her eldest daughter, who was able to get her last Grand Prix score for her USDF Gold Medal!!!  So that is a good reason to not be able to lesson haha.

I admit I was a little bummed about our low scores at the SMDA show two weeks prior.  I know a score of 6 (60%) is called satisfactory, but I really thought our performance was better than a low 60%.
I was determined to ride well and even though Beth was not there, I had her youngest daughter as my back up if the wheels fell off the bus LOL!  She was already in the warmup and at the show ring with her actual students, so it was nice to have her there to remind me to breathe and not hang on the left rein!  ;-)
Ellie unloaded and was totally calm.  Honestly, she loves her lesson barn and knows it is her second home haha.  She was much calmer tied to the tra…

NaBloPoMo Day #19

Day #19 - Advice for riders with similar horses


Training and riding a Standardbred successfully takes patience.  And more patience.  And then more patience on top of that.  Did I mention patience?


Standardbreds are super easy to train.  And they are also the hardest horses to train.  Why you ask?  They are easy because they have such great attitudes.  At the track (or in training for the track), they have seen it all.  They have the mentality from the Morgan and the athleticism from the Thoroughbred.  You can literally walk and trot them the first time you get on.  Standardbreds have the best work ethic I have ever seen in a breed.


But they are also difficult to train, especially if you want to compete and do well.  Walk and trot is easy enough, but once you start asking for the canter and more advanced movements, they need to understand balance and connection to the bit.  Obviously, Standardbreds are not trained on the track to move like a dressage horse...so really it is a matter of "re-training" and re-muscling them.  They CAN canter, but because they are gaited horses they will always have a tendency to get lateral.  I began taking lessons in 2008 because I KNEW that I needed help to bring Dreamy (and now Reva) along.  It would have certainly taken less time if my instructor rode my horses for me, but I am proud I have done their training myself even if it has taken double the time.


On the lower right side, click on "training" or "riding lessons".  I have written many posts since 2008 about the training successes and difficulties with Dreamy and now with Reva.  It has been a journey like no other.  I have learned to be a better rider.  I have learned that while it would be a whole lot easier to ride dressage on a fancy breed, it is infinitely more satisfying to do it on a Standardbred.  I am certainly not the best rider out there.  I am a true adult amateur who has to fight with her (short and stubby) body to do what I want it to do.  I do not have great timing and have to really think about what I am asking my horse.


I have written about cantering, my frustrations, more frustration, the difference in a Standardbred's outline, and even when things come together and it makes you cry with joy.  I started my blog as a way to track Dreamy's progress, but I also hope to help other Standardbred owners out there.  If I can be successful, anyone can be!  It just takes hard work, determination, and a really wonderful breed.  :-D  And LOTS of patience!

Comments

  1. >standing on my chair and cheering<

    Very well-said. And very comforting to me and my "easy/difficult horse" to know that others in the world have similar challenges!

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  2. Agreed! Johnny was one of my favorite horses to ever train because he came out of the stall the same way every day. He never got mad, he never did anything bad, he was just pure all around fun! Having said that, training a Standardbred forces you to step back and think outside the box if you ever want to be successful with them in the show ring, especially with the canter. These are awesome horses to learn with because they will teach you SO much!

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