2015-12-15: Hi! You're probably here because you did a Google search for 'plus sized horseback riders' or you saw my content quoted elsewhere. There are a couple of things I'd like you to know.

I am still here! But I am living away from my horses and not riding often. I could tell you a lie and say that I am, but I have always endeavored to give you the truth here. As a result, I'm not feeling terribly motivated to write blog posts and I feel out of touch with the community.

I'd love for you to stay a while and look back through the archives. Visit the links listed below. We still have an active forum community and I post on the Facebook page from time to time.

I have tentative plans to try to get more involved in the horse world in 2016, and I will absolutely share whatever that adventure becomes with you, so keep checking back!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favourites: Standardbred Placement

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. :)


  1. hi! i'm envious of your experience working with the racehorses; while I'm sure it was hard work, it sounds fascinating. I wish I had more of an insider's perspective of the racing world... would love to hear more of your time there!

    best, Corinna

  2. Yay Standardbreds!! :) You know I love mine!

  3. Hear, hear! Gotta love those standies.

  4. Very well written Amanda.One normally doesn't develop an appreciation for the breed until they are directly involved with them...Many people are closed minded about the breed (and I was very guilty of that). Since getting my standardbred 7 years ago, I have really developed an appreciation for the breed, and devote most of my free time promoting and rehoming the breed! Thank you Amanda for sharing the MSPHA and MSA with your Blog followers :)Jackie Moore - MSPHA http://www.mspha.ca

  5. Thanks for the great post Amanda! Standardbreds are by far one of the most under appreciate breeds out there. They are easily retrained, and have hearts the size of the moon. I've been involved with STB's for many years, dabbling in everything from training racehorses, retraining horses for trail, and with my own fella- who is a super star and tries anything I ask of him. We would love to see more people out and about on these great equines!

  6. Hah, I've mentioned before to people looking for a horse that maybe they should look into Standardbreds and they always look at me like, "why would I want to?". Glad to know I'm not crazy thinking these guys are kind of awesome, even if the drafties are my first love.

  7. Thank you for spotlighting a good group and a great breed. :) I am always trying to advocate the STBs, and it's good to hear from folks outside the US because it helps me expand my network a little.