Can someone enlighten me in regards to Belgians? - Page 2

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Can someone enlighten me in regards to Belgians?

This is a discussion on Can someone enlighten me in regards to Belgians? within the Draft Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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        07-16-2010, 08:25 AM
    In all honesty, Our Belgians can stay plump over winter eating the same amount of food as it takes to keep the saddle horses healthy! They are really easy keepers(though it does depend on the horse). As for riding, Draft horses are naturally heavy on the forehand, and have limited flex in the pasterns, so it can be a really bouncy ride(I litterally brused my butt the last time I rode Roothie-I was trying to sit her trot). But its not bad if you post.
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        07-27-2010, 09:38 PM
    My 2 Belgians are really smooth movers. Quite the opposite of my Percheron. The trot is about average but their canter is a dream.
        07-27-2010, 10:52 PM
    I have had a Clyde/QH X for 17 years. I totally agree with the heavy on the forehand, and he is also nearly impossible to bend. I say he is like riding a refridgerator. He has an awesome slow trot, easy to sit to, but his canter is a bit like a rocking horse at times, until he gets rolling, at least! Bombproof on the trails, only looks at things if we "move the furniture" (a jump, or a new limb is down). He takes good care of us for sure. Used to do small shows-h/j and 4-h with my daughter, and did ok, if the judges liked drafts.

    He is the EASIEST keeper I have ever had, no shoes ever, and only gets a handful of pellets twice a day, just bc we feel sorry for him when everyone else is eating. He really should have a grazing muzzle on, but since he is semi-retired, I don't. He gets hay only in winter when there is no really good grass, and has the BEST personality ever. My big lap dog! We love his feathers, and have let them grow the last couple of years. You can look at my horses-he is the chesnut.
        07-28-2010, 02:58 PM
    I have ridden purebred percherons and they were LOVELY, and personally own a belgian/QH cross. My belgian cross is just a joy to be around. It took her a few years to 'smooth' out, but she has a nice trot I can sit VERY easily to, unless she's being 'funny' she can REALLY rough it up! Lol. If someone gets on her and tries to trot her and they do it 'wrong' she'll about bounce them out of the saddle! Lol

    In my personal experience I found that they tend to also lean on the bit a little, though I'm sure with proper training you could teach them not to. A percheron I used to own I gave to a woman who now uses him to pull carts down town, to weddings, he runs barrels for fun, trail rides, jumps, and shows in english classes. However, I would suggest a cross if you're looking to get into dressage simply because their bulk doesn't make them 'look' as good at that as some of the lighter breeds.

    Also, be prepared for the cost of farrier. Even if all you do is trims, it can get VERY expensive since the farriers I've dealt with charge more because of their size, and thus, the extra work to go into them. You'll need to watch out for flaring and 'pancake' feet if you get a very large one as well.

    On feeding...It totally depends on the horse. The percheron I owned ate me out of house and home (which is why he has a new owner now) but my beglian cross eats as much as the quarab I just sold and stays plump.

    It's best to have at least 3-5 acres for 'roaming' as well as I have noticed that drafts seem to get bored VERY easily in smaller pastures.

    And, just like the others said, cost of tack will be more expensive as well.

    Also, don't listen to people who tell you that draft horses are 'stupid' because they're slow. The thing I have learned and LOVE about the draft breeds is, while it might take just a little extra time train them, you only have to train them once. When I got my percheron back from the trainers I was injured at the time and it took me SIX months to get back in his saddle! He was only 4 and only had 2 months training. He was considered 'green' and you should never really let a green horse 'sit around' after it's trained....sure enough, 6 months later I'm feeling better and not 'as' scared (it was a horse accident where I broke my back, so I had lost alot of confidence as well) and that horse acted like he was a seasoned pro! I HATED having to get rid of him, but it was the best for him due to weight issues and the fact that I didn't keep him 'active' enough.

    Remember that while Drafts come off as lazy, they were bred to be WORK animals and some have a much higher 'working' drive than others.
        07-28-2010, 04:20 PM
    Originally Posted by Quedeme    
    Also, don't listen to people who tell you that draft horses are 'stupid' because they're slow.
    Agreed 100% !! My Percheron is extremely smart. She has, in fact, outsmarted me many times (does that just made me dumb? Haha!). She also learned how to take advantage of me, and began spooking *on purpose* just because she knew it would scare me, I would get off, and she'd get out of work. Fortunately we've moved past that!

    And in regards to the movement, you can't really judge a draft's movement by the breed. It has everything to do with conformation. My Percheron girl has awesome gaits, especially her trot and canter - it's because of a decent shoulder, not because she's a Percheron. She sort of "waddles" at the walk, though, because she's post-legged in the back. Nothing to do with her breed!
        07-28-2010, 04:46 PM
    Originally Posted by Quedeme    
    Also, don't listen to people who tell you that draft horses are 'stupid' because they're slow. The thing I have learned and LOVE about the draft breeds is, while it might take just a little extra time train them, you only have to train them once.
    Wow! That is a true statement for sure!!! I swear they can actually learn just by watching you. I turned the ground faucet on and off in front of them twice...and now they flood the barn lot whenever they want to play in the mud. We've had to install an extra cut off. They haven't figured it out .....yet.
        07-28-2010, 06:11 PM
    ^^That is SO great! LOL!!
        07-28-2010, 11:02 PM
    He sure sounds like a great horse!
        07-29-2010, 12:53 AM
    I had two rescued Belgians about 6 years ago. They had some bad experiances with people, but were still two of the sweetest horses I have ever met. Both were pullers so I never did more than sit on them.
        09-01-2010, 09:38 PM
    The very first horse I ever bought was a belgian and he turned out to be a dream, he did have his moments when he would get a bit rude but I believe any horse has those. I have also been around alot of percherons and I've found that with the horses I have been around the belgians were more easy going. A guy I knew had some monster sized belgians and he's this tiny old man and they are so great with him. I fell in love with the temperment of the belgians personally but all in all it has to do with what you like in a horse, do you want more laid back and mellow or mellow and yet still a little fiesty? I personally can't waite to get another belgian and would not buy another breed. Lol


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