Buying my first Draft (: - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 20 Old 05-31-2009, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Wink Buying my first Draft (:

Hello out there!
I'm new to the forum, but I can already tell I love it. I've been scanning through these posts and they are so informational!

See, I'm buying my first Draft in a few weeks. I've already been to a few local breeders, and I've "test-driven" (or should I say ridden?) at least a dozen amazing draft horses. I'm pretty psyched (: Plus, I found a great boarding stable that is less than two miles from my home that has perfect amenities for draft.

Can someone help me out?
I'd really appreciate some advice here! (i.e, what to look for when buying a draft!) I absolutely LOVE Percherons, but I'm still a sucker for the other breeds such as the Clydesdale or the Belgian, or even a Suffolk Punch.

Thank you so much!

P.S., last summer I leased a Gypsy Vanner gelding from a friend for about two and a half months, so I do in fact have some experience with drafts! He he he!
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-31-2009, 11:25 PM
Showing
 
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What are you wanting to do with your draft?

I just got back from a show over the weekend where I watched a full belgian doing a 2'6 Hunter Course and kick some butt. Won a couple classes which was neat to watch.

You won't likely be doing high level stuff, so the what breed of draft really depends as to what YOU specifically like. The way I see it myself is if you're going to get a draft, you need the feathers so I'll always vote Clyde.
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post #3 of 20 Old 05-31-2009, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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I'm into bareback riding. I'd love to do some trail work with the horse - I've ridden western nearly all my life - but otherwise I'd like to see how the horse did bareback around the stable. I MIGHT consider showing, but no fancy stuff (:

Most likely just bareback trail riding....

I'm just looking for a companion. I like to do exercises with my horses that really make them think, such as soccer.... (;
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post #4 of 20 Old 05-31-2009, 11:50 PM
Green Broke
 
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I've got a Percheron and I mostly only ride bareback. It's very comfy on them, once your hips get limber to 'couch riding mode'! We also do soccer.

As far as what you need to know, it's pretty basic like any other horse. Make sure you get a vet check to rule out any issues. Take a good look at their feet. Draft feet can be notorious for being bad.

As far as things to know here are some pointers:

  • Get the book Draft Horses an Owners Manual by Dr. Beth Valentine. It is THE bible for everything draft horse. Health, feeding and everything in between.
  • Many owners prefer to have their drafts on what is called the draft horse diet. It's a high fat diet that is said to help in the prevention of EPSM. Ask any potential sellers what they have been feeding the draft you are looking at. If they haven't been feeding high fat the transition is easy to make. NO grain!!
  • Be aware that finding a farrier can be a nightmare. Most farriers do not want to work on them. It took me a long time and several farriers to find the right fit for my boy.
  • Tack is getting way easier to find. English/Western/Dressage - everything.
  • The do NOT eat more than a regular horse unless they are real workers like pullers.
  • Vet care is similar to a light horse. They do not use more sedation but they do require more wormer paste. Yummy!
Perch's are just amazing breeds. I love them best of all the drafts.

Here's a picture of mine after I taught him how to shake.




This is a picture of him a few days ago - I was free lunging him in the pasture and asked him to come into the circle:

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post #5 of 20 Old 06-01-2009, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Oh, what a sweetheart! God, I LOVE Perchys!
What sort of diet do you stick to with your horse?
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-01-2009, 12:11 AM
Green Broke
 
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Location: Oregon
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Good quality hay
Lots of water
1.5 lbs. Packer pellets (a complete feed) (only at night)
1.5-2 cups Mazolla corn oil
2 scoops of MSM (for hooves)
Salt block

The corn oil is the high fat additive. He gets no grain. Very limited alfalfa. And treats like carrots and apples.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-01-2009, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Ah, I see. Thanks!
I'll definitely look into the Draft Horses an Owners Manual by Dr. Beth Valentine that you mentioned earlier.
Thanks again!
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-01-2009, 12:27 AM
Green Broke
 
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I got mine from Amazon.com.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-01-2009, 08:10 AM
Weanling
 
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If it's a trail horse & companion, I wouldn't focus on breed. Just keep checkin' them out until you find one that meshes well with you. Good luck!

Ask Often, Demand Nothing, and Reward Generously.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-01-2009, 08:22 AM
Showing
 
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Solon does have a gorgeous horse
my2geldings is offline  
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