Buying my first Draft (: - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Solon View Post

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!!
I beg to differ on this. My Percheron has been eating grain her entire life, and has never once been lame. EPSM is only an issue if you're feeding WAY too much grain. She also eats about twice as much hay as the other horses at my barn.
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 08:33 PM
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The high fat diet is an excellent prevention diet. EPSM is a metabolic disorder and studies have shown it's because the horses can't handle the starches and sugars in grain and other sweet feeds.

Dr. Beth says, " Fortunately for draft horses and their owners, feeding the horses a diet that is low in soluble carbohydrates and high in fat appears to effectively control signs of EPSM. A diet change prior to the onset of any serious problems is much preferred and is part of good draft horse management".

So, while it's great your horse hasn't exhibited any issues, overall it is just good practice to go with prevention and feed a high fat diet. Plus there are tons of other great reasons that it's beneficial to the horse (or even light horses).

From her book:

High fat:
  • Decreases body heat production with exercise
  • Decreases risk of colic, founder and gastric ulcers
  • Provides a ready source of energy that does not have to be chewed
  • Provides high energy feed in a low volume
  • Improves respiratory function in horses with chronic respiratory disease
  • Enhances oxidative metabolism
  • Controls or prevents EPSM
  • Avoids OCD (a joint disease)
  • Improves haircoat and skin
  • Possibly protects from post-anesthetic muscle problems

So there are a lot of good reasons for draft owners to use it other than EPSM prevention. It doesn't mean that it will keep your horse entirely from getting it, but it's better to try then to have the horse end up with it.
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 08:43 PM
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I am with Solon here. Though you really shouldn't focus on breed so much as temperment and level of training, I am all for the Perch's. They are wonderful and so sweet. And Solon made my jealousy rise so I have to share a pic as well. This is Big John after his 3rd ride ever.


He is on a free access alfalfa and good grass hay diet. He is not fed so much alfalfa now that we have fresh grass here. He gets no grain whatsoever, all forage for him.

Farriers are a bear to find and when you do find them, be prepared.......EXPENSIVE!! Especially compared with regular horses.

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 #14 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 09:31 PM
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What a handsome horse! I didn't realize you had a Perch!! WOWZA!!!
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post #15 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 09:35 PM
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Yep, he is my stud. :( (I need to have him cut.....bad) I haven't been able to ride him at all recently because I don't have a saddle to fit and he is still green so bareback all the time is not an option. *blushes* I started him in my FQHB roping saddle. It worked until he started building more muscle in his back and got really round. LOL And thank you. I think he is pretty sexy too. ;)

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 #16 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 09:47 PM
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You should look at the Frontier Equestrian sellers on eBay. A friend of mine got one of their draft saddles and loves it. They have a nice wide gullet and it's a nice saddle for not that much money.

When I ride in a saddle I use an English one with a 10" gullet. But I hate saddles. I broke him to ride bareback and in his halter because I couldn't find a bit/bridle big enough for his big huge head!

Your boy doesn't look like he minds at all. I really like his look.
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post #17 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 09:59 PM
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He had already been several miles that day under saddle. :) English is not an option for me, I am less secure in an english saddle than I am bareback LOL. It won't hurt him to have a break, he is only 4 and has a bit more growing to do (SCARY). He is already huge. But at least now, he kinda knows what to expect in the next couple of years. Hehehe };)

I think that he is much more compact than Solon is. Yours looks more long and lean whereas John is compact and thick.

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 #18 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 10:01 PM
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I agree with Solon and smrobs, you will just find your horse when you meet. (: I found my big boy, Henry when I was not looking around. Caught me with his big brown eyes and I was hooked. He is a Belgian and I just love him. You can see his picture if you click on my horse link. Oh and they do eat ALOT!! I have two quarter horses, and he eats more then they do. I also noticed that alot of drafts are more comfortable in tie stalls then boxed stalls. When henry first came to my barn, he trashed his box stall all the time, till we fixed it into a tie stall.

What can be said, about feeling free? The rush of the wind, the beating of your heart and the sound of pounding hooves echoing in your heart and soul. Leaving the world behind with it's worries and ties, just your horse and you.
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post #19 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 10:12 PM
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Solon had his last growth spurt when he was 7. I was like, STOP growing already!!! So I bet Big John still has a lot of growing to do.
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post #20 of 20 Old 06-09-2009, 10:35 PM
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I keep telling my guy that! He just turned 5 and is about 17.3. I tell him he doesn't have to prove anything to anyone anymore, he's the biggest horse for miles!! Hope he doesn't have a growth spurt like Solon left in him! John and Solon are gorgeous. Cody's daddy was a black/white paint/perch, gorgeous.

Goodluck in your search for your new trail buddy.

Dana
Riverside, CA
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