Standardbred Retraining

Welcome!  If you’ve landed here in our Standardbred store, we assume you’ve fallen for a champ with a stamp…What fantastic taste in horses you have!

Retraining the retired racehorse is an incredibly rewarding experience.  Bonding, learning together and creating memories: there are few feelings better than developing your own horse and conquering new challenges as a team.

As wonderful as the Standardbred is to partner with, given their sensational temperaments and loyal, willing natures, there is a complexity behind those gorgeous ears hanging over the paddock gate which can make the retraining journey a little confusing.

Unfortunately for our Standy mates, it’s human nature to criticize what we don’t fully understand. It seems it’s easier to shun something and save face, rather than admit when we’re lacking knowledge on a particular topic.  When it comes to equestrianism, this is especially true for the Standardbred.  A lot of professional riding coaches and trainers refuse to work with Standies.  This has resulted in many Standardbred owners feeling rather isolated and unsure how to progress with their horse’s development.  It seems very few people want to help or have the necessary skill set to be of assistance with Standardbred-specific issues.

With 8 years of dedicated experience in the Standardbred niche, the team at Raising the Standards has a pretty well-developed retraining method, tailored specifically to working with the retired harness racehorse.

Our program has been approached countless times by followers begging for a complete retraining “system” to be produced.  The difficulty with writing resources for Standardbreds is that very rarely will two horses have the exact same life experiences.  Each horse will have gained such a diverse repertoire of idiosyncrasies prior to being rehomed, that writing a ‘one size fits all’ system becomes all but impossible.  More so when you factor in the varied skill levels of the riders taking on the retraining project (as Standies appeal to beginners right through to advanced horsepeople).

Taking this into consideration, Raising the Standards Founder Nic Tassone has chosen not to create a ‘how to’ retraining system, but rather provide a broad overview of key topics relating to Standardbred retraining. The overview highlights commonalities and training methods which have typically worked for the majority of Standardbreds that have come through the Raising the Standards retraining program (spanning into the hundreds).

This general overview has been broken down into 5 comprehensive guides.  The guides flow seamlessly through the various stages a Standardbred horse will go through during its retraining journey.  These include considerations and insights into what a racing Standardbred’s life is like (and how this shapes the retiree we inherit off the track), groundwork training, the backing/breaking process and a look at some handy ridden exercises for progression and troubleshooting.  Common big issues, such as pacing and canter, are also discussed in detail.


The digital format of these guides make information completely portable.  This means you can learn on the go; log in at the paddock, indulge in a suspiciously long lunchbreak, or curl up on the couch and immerse yourself in all things Standy!


Additional to the many stories and detailed written outlines (scripted in simple, easy-to-follow language), these retraining guides feature 130 photos, 36 videos and 20 active hyperlinks to external articles written by leading equine professionals, for further reading. Content is highly visual and presented in a ‘show and tell’ manner.




The retraining guides have been bundled together, to be purchased as a complete package.  We’ve chosen this approach as we feel a lot of issues with ridden concepts (ie. pacing or canter) stem from inconsistencies or gaps in the early stages of training.  We believe even riders with established Standies will benefit from a lot of the topics discussed in the foundation stages.

The guides can be purchased in our online store, via the convenience of PayPal or bank transfer (please allow up to 3 days for transfer payment to clear).  A password will then be emailed out, enabling access to content.  Please note that the password is sent out manually (there is no automated emailing set up at this time).  Nic will respond with the access codes within a 48 hour period, depending on her movements.  We appreciate your understanding regarding any short delays.

We’re so thrilled to launch these retraining guides and look forward to sharing your training stories via our online Standardbred network.

To purchase your guides, CLICK HERE

Happy horsing everyone!




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