In which I travel to Canada for the day, and ride a standie!

I didn't have time or money to get Fiddle vetted for an international health certificate so I could take her to Canada for the event, but I didn't want to miss the fun at the Standardbred Game Day in Langely, British Columbia...
 Fortunately, Greener Pastures was able to loan me a standardbred so I could play in the games with everyone else.  My mount for the day:  I'm A Pocket Picker.  He's a 7 year old, 15 hand standie gelding who raced successfully and retired sound.  Now he's looking for a new job as somebody's saddle horse.
 ...and look!  He has brindled tiger stripes (above)!  

The games were, as usual, very low-key.  This is not cut-throat gaming; rather, this is a gathering of folks who are just a little bit different than your average quarterhorse or arab or thoroughbred rider.  Standie people are accustomed to being the only one in the crowd with a horse "like that." 

And when we get together, we spend a lot of time complimenting each other on our beautiful horses. 

 Stephanie's horse (above) is 17.2 hands, with legs like phone poles.  She usually rides him in English shows, but for the day she put the Western saddle on him.  She did keep her lime-green helmet, though, which made me smile.
 Pocket Picker had never seen a gaming arena, nor barrels, nor jump standards, nor weave poles.  I didn't rush him, and he did fine.  
 This event (above) was called a "catalog race":  go to the barrel, retrieve the page number that the caller announces for you, and return home.  We didn't go fast, but we finished 5th anyhow!
 Phantom (above) hasn't been ridden in months.  He's a standie, though:  it's not a problem.
 This big gelding (above) gets ridden all the time.  He is dressed entirely in pink gear.
 The spotted horse (above) is not a standie.  There was an "open" division so standie people to bring their other horses too.  I thought that was nice.

The chestnut horse (below) is also not a standie:  this is a mustang who will be the "pickup" horse at the harness track in the fall.  His rider is taking him to all kinds of events to teach the horse how to do all kinds of crazy stuff that might come in handy someday.  My kind of training!
 I love this horse (below).  He does The Big Thing just like Fiddle.
 Duett (below) is another Big Thing trotter.  I'm not sure if she ever raced--she's been Marga's horse for a lot of years.
 Pocket Picker and I didn't worry too much about accessing his Big Thing.  Our goal was to have fun.
 And we did!
 He has only been carrying a rider for a few months now--and look at his trot!
 Now, here are a bunch of pretty pictures of standardbreds to admire:

 The Stuffy Race:  go to a barrel, get the stuffed animal.  Carry the stuffy to the next barrel, drop it there and pick up another stuffy.  Go to the third barrel and leave the stuffy on top and race for home.  We finished 3rd!
 Yogi (below) got a prize for his costume.
 Could you do this game on a green Arab?  I think probably not.
 Ribbons, plus an extra prize for being the "Good Sport" of the games and coming up from the States to play.

Somebody who is shopping for a nice horse please go get Pocket Picker.  He's a real sweetie--greener than my new brush tote, but willing to try just about anything.  Just exactly the kind of horse somebody out there must be wanting...right?  

Tell 'em Haiku Farm sent you!


  1. WOW! I love stories like yours, where the horse is the whole story and no breed prejudice, just an old fashioned love of the horse> YAY!!!
    I live in NJ and Standardbreds are big here. The reirement foundation is based in this state and they do an incredible job of helping horses find good, stable and loving homes. I have seen Standardbreds become incredible dressage horses and one horse in particular went all the way up to Intermediare test 1!
    You really made my day, so thanks a lot for that!

  2. How fun! One day I am determined to make the trek for that Game Day. It's so great to see more organizations celebrating the Standie!

    Pocket Picker looks like such a sweetheart. Those track veterans make such lovely riding horses, too!

    wv: mines -- What Pocket Picker would be if he were on the appropriate coast and I had room for one more. ;D

  3. I liked this post :)

    And I've decided to forgo my normal appreciation for short horses - I want a 17.2 hand horse with legs like telephone poles!

    You know, Aarene, you do a terrific job promoting Standies. They weren't even on my radar before I met you, and know I really, really, really want one.

  4. What a fun day & time! Love the photos of happy horses & happy riders!

  5. Looks like they treated you well up there. And lots of lovely horses to admire, too.
    Did that guy on the "pink tack" pony, lose his seat and fall off? His horse was flying! Looks like he was a mane hair away from dropping to the ground. eeek!
    Love the hat on Yogi, too.
    But I had to bite my tongue on commenting on your words:
    "Pocket Picker and I didn't worry too much about accessing his Big Thing."

    Naughty, naughty me! lol!


  6. I can only hope to be good enough someday to not think twice about jumping on a green horse, much less riding him in an event he's never done.

  7. Fabulous. Just what I needed, an Aarene Adventure. And just my kind of event. FUN.
    Love the horse that's there to sack out on everything, love Pocket Picker, just looks like a grand time. What Becky said: Standies weren't on my radar, and now I'm seeing them all over, and appreciating their talents.
    Thanks for a vicariously fun day.

  8. This entry made me so happy :)

  9. Cool - looks like you had a blast. I love those Standies! I want one - just needs to be on the right side of the country... :-)

  10. @Ralph: I see by your blogging that you are an Arab I'm happy to have sucked you into to this post about MY favorite breed!

    @NTAT: Anytime you wanna come out to the Fourth Corner, let me know. It's just a skip from the Swamplands to British Columbia!

    @BECKY: Bwa ha ha ha. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Team Sensible will rule the world.

    @CONNIE: It was a blast--maybe next time you can come with me?

    @LISA: you are naughty. we knew that. we like that about you.

    @LEAHFRY: Oh, I wouldn't DREAM of hopping on a strange, green horse for an event like this...unless it was a standie. Team Sensible, ya know.

    @JANE: Hudson wants a Sensible girlfriend. I think he deserves a standie as a pet.

    @DOM: from you, high praise. >grinning<

    @LAURA: wish fullfillment iz us. Talk to Sky King's Girl: and tell her that Haiku Farm sent ya.


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