Standardbred excels at dressage

Courtesy of NZ Horse and Pony Magazine


An 18hh-plus Standardbred wouldn’t be everybody’s choice for dressage, but Kumeu osteopath Freya Scollay is having a ball with Symmetry Goober.

Freya and nine-year-old Goober have been scoring up to 63 percent at Level  5 at the local shows and plan to move up to Level 6 next season.

Freya found him in 2016 on the Canterbury Standardbred Recycling and Rehoming Facebook page, and fell in love with his posture and expression, purchasing him sight unseen. He’d never raced but had been trained to pace.

Goober’s early years with Freya were spent hacking in the forest and on the beach, doing A & P shows and mini one day events. He had a couple of setbacks with illness and injury, so when he was eight Freya turned him to dressage to allow him to strengthen and rehabilitate.

“Initially Goobs paced or ‘trantered’ whenever he was uncertain or unbalanced. This has taken five years of patience to overcome. My other smaller Standardbred hasn’t had the same problem, and I think Goobs being so large and growing had a lot to do with it.”

Freya says his canter improves every month. In the early years, she would get eights for his trot, and fours for his canter.

Lots of big canter in the forest and collecting up hills has been the key to his recent success and he has accepted the flying changes happily.

Freya covered up Goober’s neck brand for his first season and everyone thought he was a Cleveland Bay or a warmblood. These days she doesn’t bother.

“Do I feel discriminated against? The best answer is I don’t care! Competing should be fun, and Goobs is fun.”


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