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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

NaBloPoMo Day #25

Day #25 - A common misconception about my horse


Oh, this is an easy one!  :-D  There are WAY TOO MANY misconceptions about the Standardbred.


Standardbreds do not make good show horses.  FALSE!
Of course not!  Just take a look around this blog here!  :-D  Standardbreds can be retrained for many different disciplines.  The neat thing about Standardbreds is that you can find them in many different sizes and shapes, so you are bound to find one that can jump, or do dressage, or turn barrels, or cut cows...or do it all!  Standardbreds are incredibly versatile and enjoying having a job!  They are general very well behaved at shows as they have "seen it all" at the track.


Standardbreds cannot canter.  FALSE!
They are trained on the track to NOT canter, so it is not as much a physical limitation but a mental block.  Generally once they understand you WANT them to canter, they have a very easy time learning to balance and produce a decent canter.  Of course, some horses might have physical limitations as in any breed.  Not every Standardbred will have a canter similar to a fancy warmblood, but some do!  :-)  Truthfully, with patience and tactful riding, a Standardbred can do whatever you want to teach it to do!


Standardbreds are crazy race horses! FALSE!
Oh geez!  Standardbreds are the most non crazy horses out there!  Granted, you will find a crazy one out there somewhere, I am sure, but in general Standardbreds have super temperaments and very mellow personalities.  I gallop my Standardbred mare Dreamy on cross country courses in a French link snaffle.  (Actually she has always been in a plain snaffle.)  


All Standardbreds are ugly.  FALSE!
Well, you can certainly find a Standardbred out there that you find ugly.  I have seen my fair share of ugly _______ (fill in the blank with any/all breeds!!)  Standardbreds are bred for speed, not beauty, but even the most Roman nosed one of the bunch will have a heart of gold...so truly how can you call a sweet horse ugly!  ;-)  


Standardbreds who are no longer racing are all lame and crippled.  FALSE!
Of course, there are those who stop racing because they truly have been injured.  You will see stifle injuries as the most common I would say, with some splint and suspensory injuries too.  But generally, unless you want to compete heavily, a Standardbred with a properly healed racing injury will be fine for light riding.  But most Standardbreds come off the track because they no longer have the desire to race, but their legs are clean.  A failed racehorse is not a failed horse.  


And my biggest pet peeve...Standardbreds have to be rescued from the track.  FALSE!!
Arg!!!!!  Hearing this makes me ANGRY!  There are bad people involved in EVERY single breed and EVERY single industry/discipline.  The vast majority of Standardbred horsemen and women are wonderful owners and care meticulously for their horses.  They depend on their horses for their livelihood and it would make no sense to mistreat them.  Do Standardbreds often need new careers and/or be rehomed after their time on the track?  Yes.  But they do not need to be "rescued" from anything!!

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