Why the Standardbred?
For years, the Standardbred has been a breed ignored by the pleasure and competitive riders and drivers.
The truth is that the breed possesses a great deal of versatility and has much to offer beyond the confines of the racetrack.
Today, more and more people are discovering the joy of owning a Standardbred, partly due to the efforts of Morning Star Acres and other breed related organisations.
Retired racehorses can be any age from 2 to 15 years old. The horses range between 14.1h to 17h in height. Standardbreds are usually bay, chestnut, or brown, but occasionally grey, black, or roan.
Whatever the color or size, we think they're the "Best-Kept Secret in the Equestrian World"!
Beyond their athletic ability, what we value most about our Standardbreds is their incredible temperaments. Tolerant, intelligent and willing, these horses take on new lifestyles and expectations with ease. They are worked with and overall know the very best in farrier,vetting.grooming and easy to train to saddle.
Time and again, people tell us, "My Standardbred is the
kindest horse I've ever known." We would have to agree!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the name Standardbred originate?
A Standardbred referred to a horse that could meet a certain standard of speed in order to be registered. Today horses must still meet a speed/time requirement to race.
What is the difference between a trotter and a pacer?
Trotters move the legs in a diagonal pair (left front and right hind together) Pacers move the legs in a lateral pair (left front and left hind) Pacers are considered to be faster than trotters and easier to train to stay on gait to race due to the use of hopples. In the United States there are more pacers then trotters trained and raced.
Is it hard to retrain a horse to ride?
Standardbreds trained to race are very “user friendly”. They have been handled daily and are used to a routine. They are also used to a large amount of equipment on their bodies and distractions around them. To be saddle trained they need to get used to the rider’s weight and learn the cues from the rider’s legs. Most take to the basics very quickly.
Can Standardbreds canter?
Most horses can naturally gallop, not all horses can do a collected canter. Standardbreds have been bred to have a long ground covering stride at the trot or pace. They are also trained at the track not to canter. Some, due to training and conformation, will have a hard time learning to canter with a rider but many do make the switch to a 3-gaited pleasure horse.
How many Standardbreds need new careers?
Approximately 40% of the horses bred each year never get to race at all. Horses start racing at the age of 2 and due to the rigors of the sport many are retired at the age of 4 or 5. Horses must retire from racing at the age of 14. This means that the majority of Standardbreds bred to race need new homes or careers by the age of 14.
Do ex-pacers know how to trot?
Very few Standardbreds are natural pacers. Most trot when free in the pasture. Due to the training and genetics some can be trained to stay on gait like the walking horse or fox trotter. When nervous or unsound, trotting horses may revert back to pacing.
Can they be ridden western?
This depends on the individual. Standardbreds can have big forward trots that can be harder to sit on in a western saddle but training the horse to stay gaiting at a slow pace or stepping pace can give a smooth ride. Neck reining can be trained as in any other western breed. Many are used for speed events like barrel racing as the gait doesn’t matter, just fastest time.
Overall there are many many more questions that can be asked and answered.
Feel Free to email us any questions : It will be a pleasure for us to answer them for you.