This blog will chronicle the training and adventures of Heavymetal Thunder (aka Saxon), a 2009 chestnut Standardbred gelding. Just two years old (soon to be three), he is pacing bred but doesn't have the makings of a successful pacer, as he couldn't train down fast enough for the track, and he prefers to trot (even in hopples sometimes - there's a funny story about that...). He was given to me by his caring owner/trainer/breeder who realized that he wasn't going to make a racehorse and wanted to give him a new future where he would be loved and appreciated. He is young, beautiful, sound, has nice movement and a curious, willing temperament. For those that know me and my older Standardbred mare, Veruca Salt (she has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StandardbredShowHorseVerucaSalt if you want to learn more about her), this background may sound more than a little familiar. ;-) It's way too early in his newly minted riding career for such comparisons, but I am really excited about working with him and unlocking his potential.
I love a good double (or triple) entendre. I thought for a while about what to call this blog, before The Redheaded Standardbred came to me. Chestnuts (redheads), though less common than their bay and brown counterparts, DO occur in the Standardbred breed (along with blacks, grays, and roans, too), despite the breed's reputation for only being plain unmarked bay. As it turns out, I too am a redhead. We also are less common than our blonde and brunette counterparts. (Recessive genes at work!) And we have a reputation for being feisty, tempermental and stubborn (ok, that one might be true sometimes!). Also, despite an increasing number of lovely Standardbreds currently demonstrating the breed's capabilities beyond harness racing, they are still largely considered the "redheaded stepchild" of the horse show world by uninformed people who cling to old stereotypes about the breed. By gently making light of this with my blog title, maybe I can help just a few more folks realize that Standardbreds have many merits as riding, show, and pleasure horses as they follow along with the adventures of a redhead and her (redheaded) Standardbred.