To buy a clydesdale? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 08-08-2013, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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To buy a clydesdale?

I just have a few questions for Clydesdale owners! In a couple of years I'm going to be looking for another horse (due to my mare being up there in years). I've always had an affinity for Clydesdales and draft horses. I was thinking in general about different breeds their temperaments (I need something that will do just about anything) and thought I would ask people who owned/worked with clydesdales to add to my research!

So here are my questions (I know that each horse is an individual I'm just looking for in general what have you guys experienced):

1. I need a type of horse that can do everything from western to english riding, driving, trail riding and babysit little kiddos and put up with all sorts of schenanigans. Are clydesdales really this versatile?

2. How are they with just plodding along on a few hours trail ride (with good conditioning)? Or will they be dead tired after 1 hour of work?

3. How do they do with a few months off? (Like during winter) Do they go back into the riding schedule easily or is it an effort to get them back in the spring/summer?

4. How are their gaits? Am I going to die or be surprised? And how trainable/intelligent are they?

5. And lastly: Do they have good, easy going, kind personalities? For instance, are they spooky like some lighter breeds are or do they just kinda plod along and go with the flow?

Thank is advance and if anything need clarifying don't hesitate to ask!
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-08-2013, 05:06 PM
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I will send you a pm.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 09:35 AM
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I ride my Belgium like any horse he has to be in shape to do the work you ask but I have found that draft horses are a lot different them smaller horse

ride a draft and see the world differently
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 10:26 AM
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1. I need a type of horse that can do everything from western to english riding, driving, trail riding and babysit little kiddos and put up with all sorts of schenanigans. Are clydesdales really this versatile?
Most often yes, but you need to evalute temperment, training, etc first. My cousins have percherons and they do all that well.

2. How are they with just plodding along on a few hours trail ride (with good conditioning)? Or will they be dead tired after 1 hour of work?
Fine. They were bred to work(for the most part pulling) and thus they can work all day, at a slow pace. With all that bulk they were not bred to go fast, turn quickly or do endurance races, but for most people they would have more than enough for typical recreational riding.

3. How do they do with a few months off? (Like during winter) Do they go back into the riding schedule easily or is it an effort to get them back in the spring/summer?

Like any other horse, only keep in mind their extra bulk. A thoroughbred, that is naturally very active and lean, will be far easier to condition than a 2000# pasture puff that likes to lounge around.

4. How are their gaits? Am I going to die or be surprised? And how trainable/intelligent are they?

I don't find the gaits too bad, but I'm used to my arabs horrendous jack hammer trot. I *think* that clydes were bred for more knee action than some of the other drafts, which may make them a bit rougher at the trot. I've ridden belgian crosses, percheron crosses, pure percherons, pure suffolk punch, and I've always found them about average on the roughness scale. They are typically very trainable and easy going, but like any breeds, individuals differ. My cousins have three, a mare and her two foals. The mare is not terribly smart, but a decent riding horse. Her filly is smart as a whip, and super trainable. Her colt is smart, but flighty, with a nervous side. Romeo, the clyde I just sold, was very smart, extremely respectful, and very easy to train, but a bit on the nervous side.

5. And lastly: Do they have good, easy going, kind personalities? For instance, are they spooky like some lighter breeds are or do they just kinda plod along and go with the flow?

generally, they are very laid back, but I have known some flighty ones. Just like any breed,they are individuals. I have known thoroughbreds that only experienced riders could get on, and ones that were perfect for beginners.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveduffy View Post
I ride my Belgium like any horse he has to be in shape to do the work you ask but I have found that draft horses are a lot different them smaller horse
In what ways? I thought of feeding wise, conditioning wise, and athleticism wise but can you specify?
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 06:49 PM
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I can answer your personality question

I think below says it all


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post #7 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 06:57 PM
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Now keep in mind that I have no experience with Clydes specifically, but we've had drafts in and out of our barn my whole life (mostly Belgians and Percherons). As far as I know, none of them had ever been ridden until I started riding ours that we currently have.

My experience with drafts and half drafts is this: they aren't greatly different than standard horses as far as varying temperaments and gait smoothness goes. Some are naturally flighty, others are naturally calm, others are complete dead-heads. Some are super smooth, some are super rough, and some are average. My Belgian and her half QH son are much calmer and smoother riding than my Percheron and his half Paint son. Those two tend more toward a hot/flighty temperament and both have super rough trots (but their lopes are amazing).


I see no reason at all that a Clyde couldn't do everything you want and more. I'll never forget many years ago at a very large draft horse and mule sale up in Kansas, I saw a tiny little girl (if she was over 6 years old, I'll eat my shirt) riding a big old Clyde everywhere. I'd lay odds that horse was pushing 18 hands and they got along perfectly.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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OKAY!!! Lol I'm hoping I can get the funds/nerve to start seriously looking in a year or so. I love your clydesdale by the way! ;)
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-09-2013, 07:17 PM
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I have a clyde mare who is a combination. 16.3, so not huge, but a size 8 shoe. She wears normal large horse tack, but a 6" bit. Her gaits are very easy. Like riding a carrousel horse, there is a good up and down, but no bump at the bottom. She will carry my DH on a trail ride, I can make her look like a 2nd level dressage horse, or we can drive her pulling a wagon almost anywhere.

She is not a dead head, and while she will take care of a simple person, she will also carry someone who is not paying attention back into the barn. She must be TOLD what to do. She does not care to wander aimlessly on her own.

She really does not eat much more than any other horse I have(13 others), but she drinks twice as much water. My new trimmer does her feet for the same price as all the rest, but when I had shoes on her, the draft guy charged $200 for hot shoes, and he used leather pads. Really nice, but not necessary.

Nancy
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Last edited by greentree; 05-12-2016 at 06:50 PM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-23-2013, 06:47 PM
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I'm not really an expert, just a massive enthusiast, but Clydies are great fun from what I've experienced of them. I've never met one I didn't like. Plus they give the best cuddles!

I've heard of them doing dressage, XC, showjumping, endurance racing, trail riding and even therapeutic work with disabled kids. I've even had a crack at jumping on one myself - and it was the most fun I'd ever had on horseback!

So yeah, you can't go too far wrong with a Clydesdale, depending on what you want out of them!

Here's me last week, about to go out on a 2-hour trail ride around the Ayrshire countryside.

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Cheers,

Daren
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