I've worked with both, rode both but I've never owned one. I'm saving up to get my own and move down with my friend who also rides. He has a QH stud colt. I'm still deciding what I want. I love drafts even though I'm short. I've always rode them, but like I said never owned. Does anybody have either breed? Any feedback?
Only experience I've had with drafts are the Belgians out at the stables where I ride. Very mellow, and affectionate, too. Track down some breeders, if you can, and arrange to hang out with both breeds if possible. Good luck!
Yes. I actually have quite a bit of experience working with draft horses. I currently work at a stable that breeds Gypsy Cobs, and the neighbors down the road have 7 belgians. Draft horses, for the most part, are pretty mellow. They are, after all, what you would consider "cold blooded" as opposed to "hot blooded" horses like arabians. The thing you have to keep in mind if you are planning to get one is that they eat alot. You should only get a draft horse if you serously need a huge horse, or if you want to pursue disciplines like driving. (PS- friesians are awesome drivers)
I have a purebred Percheron gelding that is 11 years old. All black, 18 hands and 2200 lbs. He's a doll.
Just don't get caught up in the gentle giant crap. As I always say.. Gentle Giants are made NOT born.
Once you get a good foundation on them, they are just the most amazing horses ever. I can't imagine not always owning draft horses from here on out.
Some things to remember
1. Get Dr. Beth Valentine's book, Draft Horses an Owner's manual. It is THE draft horse bible.
2. If you are new to drafts, I'd recommend getting an older broke one.
3. Farriers can be hard to find, research carefully.
4. They do NOT eat more than your average size horse. Bigger horse doesn't equal more food (unless they are pulling horses or in some serious training like any horse that would need the calories for food).
5. It's recommended they are on a high fat diet no grain/no sugars.
6. Tack is getting easier to find now that more people ride them, if for some reason you get a horse under 5 don't invest in expensive tack! They'll likely grow out of it because they can grow until they are 8!
7. Keep in mind you might need a larger trailer depending on how big the horse is. There are different sizes of drafts - small, medium and super size.
8. They are NOT used just for driving. The friends I have don't drive at all but ride. So if you want a draft for a trail horse, a dressage horse, a jumping horse or whatever, they are quite talented!
I've been around each of the breeds and liked Percherons the best. They aren't necessarily as flashy as the big guys with more feathering but they just have that 'it' thing.
Thanks! This is the horse I rode for about 2 years. Walk, trot, canter, jumped about 2'0. He's 16.1 and 1600 lbs. I know the gentle giant stuff and trust me he'll bite you if you don't pay attention! He's a belgian draft too.
I lease a Percheron X, Solon is so correct-gentle giants are made. I have some fab pics of Sonny at the horse show but can't seem to download them?????? Sonny is a fabulous english pleasure mount and a real clown-he is loved and cared for and was extremely well trained and socialized as a youngster. If he ever figured out how strong he his I would be in big trouble, without that work as a youngster he would be dangerous.
We've owned Percherons, Belgians and crosses. I almost bought a Clyde filly this summer but decided against. As for the feeding. I've had Perchs that have eaten a LOT more than my light horses. Currently we have 3 draft crosses on our property. One (QH/Belgian) is on pasture only. (we don't need hay yet, this is Tx) the other (QH/ Belgian) is on 1/2 scoop 10/6 2 x daily. The other, (paint/Belgian) a growing boy that's only 3 gets 2 scoops 10/6 2x daily. They are on pasture 24/7. So basically, it depends on the individual horse. Unless they have problems they do NOT need a special diet. Pasture/hay is the best diet for all horses unless they are a special needs horse who needs a special diet ie ESPM, older, or extra hard working. Everyone in my family rides a draft or a draft cross on a regular basis. I have a bad back and the larger motion bothers it, so I don't ride them. But I would if I could. I do think that drafts tend to be the "gentle giants" that you hear about, but I also know that they are very smart, and WILL take advantage of you if they can.
We have two horses at my house, my quarter horse, and my moms Belgian.
We got Dolly from a PMU rescue in New Mexico as a 3 year old. As of now, she's only broke to ride, but hopefully will be broke to pull cart within the next year. She's currently 6, and her registered name is Schaefers Zia. We absolutely love her!!