Guess what! It's Friday again!
The last month or so has been crazy busy in my world. We hit two big trade fairs with my mom's show clothing booth. I got to meet and visit with some blog readers/forum posters, got a home visit from a blog reader (!), and saw some gorgeous horses, bought a few neat things, and really got bit by the horse bug again. This time of year always does it to me!
But at one of the trade fairs, I was sitting across the aisle from a really great group. There was a table for the Maritime Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association, a group that acts as a middle man to bring standardbreds from the tracks and farms and into homes with people that will use them as (obviously) pleasure horses.
This particular group really appeals to be for a couple of reasons. They're making "use" of a breed that traditionally only has ONE use... and versatility is the name of the game for me - and also because I have a huge soft spot for standardbreds.
I can't remember if I have ever talked about it on the blog before, but right after graduation, I skipped town with stars in my eyes for Ontario. I couldn't wait to be out of Hicksville, Canada and figured that the "city" would satisfy me (long story short, it didn't, but....). I spent several months working for a standardbred racehorse owner. My mom's first horse was a standardbred pony type horse - but they had never occured to me as a horse of much value, to be quite honest.
I learned SO MUCH in the short time that I was there, and most of it was direct from the horse's mouth, so to speak. In the end, I came away a much richer person, knowledge and passionwise. The standardbreds I met made me think outside the box more than any horses had to that point (Bronwyn holds that title now) - I learned how to wrap well and quickly (because EVERYONE wears wraps there!), I laughed more than should be allowed (particularly at the hands of a mare named Noble Sami who was extremely demanding when it came to attention!) - I proved boys wrong (by having no problems at all harnessing and handling the "man eating colt" that I was not even allowed to muck a stall for when I first arrived) - I helped halter break and put in the jog cart for the first time a now-record holding pacer, Gold Dust Beach - I learned patience and quietness (a great horse named Potamos taught me this one).
It warms my heart to know that these little (and big!) horses with so much try, so much heart, and so much BIG PERSONALITY are being moved to pleasure horse homes where people who are not in the "industry" will have the time to appreciate them for their individual awesomeness.
We have two of these organizations in the Maritimes - the above mentioned MSPHA is a middle man to get horses from the tracks into homes, and Morningstar Acres which actually brings them in and does the necessary rehab and training to get them moved out into pleasure homes. Particularly with a recent development within the government that has pulled funding for the popular Atlantic Sires Stakes in the Maritimes, these two organizations are going to have their hands full and will need all of the support that they can get. Consider a standardbred today. :)