Complete NOOB to the Draft world... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-12-2009, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 30
• Horses: 2
Complete NOOB to the Draft world...

Hello all! I have gone through the post all of you have posted 2 to 3 times now soaking in any and all info I can. I found a Belgian Mare for sale recently. I am physicaly going to look at her this afternoon and hope to go on from there. If I get her or not I am getting a draft very soon. My fiance and I already have an Arab gelding and have noticed in our research of drafts the world is different. I have some questions for yall.

Feeding: I have read a lot of info on this forum about the feeding and differences etc. In all I have gathered this much, low protein and high fat. If you even think about replying please be as detailed as possible all the way to weights and brands. My biggest questions are: She is currently pasture only and shares a round of coastal with 2 zebras and a water buffalo. She is not worked or riden at all. She is not stalled and lives on the pasture only. I plan to turn her in and out during the day and night with feeding in the stall or paddock. With this I am sure her diet must change when I begin to put her on a work out to get her in shape and in training. I would preffer to cut some of the coastal out of her diet and go with oats, complete feed, etc in small percentages. Coastal prices are through the roof right now in Texas due to the gruling sumemr we went through. So please when answer to my post please keep in mind we NEVER see snow on the ground here unless it is a freak once in 10 years 1 inch. I welcome any and all feedback but have found a lot of information for people up north to be slightly different than down deep south where we see consistent warm days toping 100 and dippin on average low as 60. So long story short the coastal fields have been destroyed over the summer here. Our pastures (30 acre just horse pasture) are green again but once again I would like to slowly wean her from pasture as the primary food source (unless you can justify why not to). I have read myself blind on the EPSM risks, diet, etc. Any and all info you ahve please share as detailed as possible.... I want the best care for her as we all do.

Supplements: Brands, reasons to use them, frequency of use, etc?

Vitamins/Minerals: Same questions as supplements.

Getting her back in shape for riding only she will never be hitched. Do you recommend any thing supplement, feed, anything about everything,etc..? She is in shape now so please dont take me as using that as a weight loss term I actually want to build her muscles back up, endurance, while at the same time working her manners, and see what hint if any formal training is there. She will lead, saddle, etc but I will be the 3rd owner and the 2nd owner has no knowledge of formal training.

Part 2 of this is....: She might be of Foal.... a.... Hybrid foal at that. 1/2 zebra. She has not shown signs of heat in 2 to 3 months now. The current owner has not had an ultrasound or any formal check, so is unsure. If this is the case I am aware of the high risk with hybrids but am totally opened ear to anything you have to say. This takes me back to diet... If she is of foal what do I do food, supplement, vitamins??? This is an area I dont know much about other than what books have said. I will hire a vet to take care of this one if she is knocked up. Anyone here with knowledge of this process either horse or hybrid is welcome..

Sorry for the long post, look forward to hear what everyone has to say. If I sound rude or brash in my post I am not at all and probably the goofiest person you could ever meet. I work on the legal/regulatory side of the oil and gas biz, and I swear that has caused my text typeing to come off as EVIL or rude.

Thanks ALL!

P.S. I purchased the Draft Horse Owners (Amazon) book today based on most of yalls recomendations.
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Last edited by ffdfrontman; 10-12-2009 at 01:37 PM. Reason: spell check is not my friend
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-12-2009, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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I'm a sucker for drafts and I love her color! I can't offer any help with part 2 (the possible pregnancy) but here are some thoughts on part 1.

The draft owner's book is really good or at least it helped me understand some draft basics. My gelding is 15mths, a little over 14 hands and about 850lbs. He came from mountainous pasture and was a little thin when I got him (about 85lbs lighter than he is now). I used FeedXL to help me calculate and balance his food. Since he is young, still growing and not working (just learning some lunge basics) he gets pasture 24hrs a day, 4lbs of soaked alfalfa cubes divided into 2 feedings, vegetable oil or coconut oil, vitE/selenium supplement, free choice sea salt & mineral. I'm in the south too. Our pasture dyed early in the summer, came back and is starting to fade again from the torrential rains and cooler nights we have had lately. We'll replace the pasture with 8-10lbs of good mixed grass hay per day. I'll be keeping up with length, height and girth measurements every month so I can adust his feed as he grows and matures.

You might want to check out the FeedXL site. There is a fee but it's not too high. The week before I picked up my horse, I think I spent an entire day trying out feed combinations. The program lets you specify breed, work level and specific health issues--for mares it includes several pregnancy and lactation adjustments. Hope some of this helps.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-13-2009, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas
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Yes! thank you for your response. I am posting under my fiances account. Feedxl does seem to have some really great reviews across a lot of equine forums. Just may check it out, its a small price (equal to what I am buying individual books for) so it doesnt hurt to see what it has to say. I spent about 2 hours today in the feed store checking out different products, ingredients, supplements, etc. I have also asked a lot of people and have managed to come with a GOOD general idea. I emailed 2 Belgian breeders in Texas as well for their input and one of them was very nice to respond in great detail.

Please anyone with any additional thoughts feel free to share.

I went and checked her out this afternoon and SOLD. I am prepping now for hopefully a weekend arrival. It will be a huge change in lifestyle for her. I dont think her feet have ever been worked with but look awesome! She is in a pasture with alot more than what I thought. 4 other horses 2 zebras, 6 water buffalo, dogs, cats, and the kitchen sink. Her manners are excelent for no (known) formal training. I wish every horse I have ever been around had the manners she does. She WAS a PMU horse. It seems in her 11 to 12 years they did something right with her cause she does respond well to non agressive and some verbal commands, also minds really well. She will give her feet up for a look and will lead on a halter. One cool thing I noticed is if you place the lead rope on her back she wont budge at all... Not even move her head to look. She was branded but with a freeze brand, thank god. The brand actually looks kinda cool if you ask me. She, as said before has no formal (known) training but responds to anything she may not know after a short time. Very eager to learn, and good god she will work for food! I pulled a horse apple off a tree and she was putty in my hands. She even side steps as if she was trained. Her footing is well with no favoring of any one leg. I was unable to test her out for bathing or reaction to running water, so this may be good or bad as the current owner has never bathed her. Her teeth look great! Nice and white and does show the 12 year line, stars are in the right place for wear of her age actually seem a lil lower than average. Her cheeks are very smooth inside so no signs of angled eating. She did not drop a single pellet of food. It is hard to believe this horse has been either in a 5' wide pmu stall and or a pasture for 12 years of her life and in this condition. I have her scheduled already for a palpation and ultrasound (if they find nothing when palp' we will ultrasound just to be 100% sure she is or is not prego). Have her set up for a head to toe exam as well. She has no record of vacs or coggins so the seller is taking that off the price and getting it done Wednesday.

So bottom line price for her is a whopping 850$. I hope the lucky streak continues with her at the vet with or without foal.

Sorry for my novel post.


~A woman's place is in the saddle~

Last edited by jensand305; 10-13-2009 at 12:21 AM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Central California
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Hi Jereme. That's unfortunate that the horse was SOLD. I hate getting disappointed. on the up-side, everything happens for a reason, and you guys will find the right horse that is meant to be.
You guys sound like you've done your research! Very impressed. i think ya'll will be perfect draft owners from what I see.
I have a young Clydesdale that was in pasture with cows. Same thing: no formal training, no feet training, especially.

I think you guys will be really happy with your decision once you get into training. My Clydesdale un unbelievably easy to train.... VERY smart, and I can't get her to spook, no matter what I put in front of her. I'm pastured with 3 other drafts, and the same can be said for them.

Now, I didn't have grass where I lived, so I couldn't wean her from pasture. Getting a nice grass hay... no alfalfa for now... will do just fine. I eventually started feeding her alfalfa/grass mix, but that has to be done over time. My girl was under weight, so I gave her a constant supply of grass hay.

After she settled into her new home, I slowly introduced feed. Don't feed drafts grain. LMF has a great no-grain feed... perfect for drafts. It is a Low-carb feed. Most feed stores carry it. My clyde looks great on it. Here is a link: LMF LOW NON-STRUCTURAL CARBOHYDRATE STAGE 1 :: LMF Feeds - LMF Horse Feeds - the finest feeds for your horses health

On top of that, I give her sand-clear. Actually, I use a cheaper generic brand called SandRid. Her weight really started improving because of that. I'm sure ya'll know about that stuff. Drafts do well with higher fat diets, so add a couple cups of canola or vegetable oil to his/her hay every day.

Minerals: good 'ol Salt block. I've always felt better about buying the red mineral block, but all the horses in my pasture will only touch the white salt blocks. lol

Suppliments. I don't much agree with suppliments unless you come across a specific problem. Then, it can be addressed with the right knowledge.

For my girls feet? Finding a farrier to do them CAN be a task, but I've had no problem. They're many farriers in my area. HOWEVER, that is her one major fault. The farrier gave up the first time I tried getting her trimmed. Their feet are huge, heavy, and powerful. They're dangerous. Start off with lifting the feet with ropes. It's taken us several weeks, but I'm finally picking her front feet with a hoof pick. Still no farrier, though.

Let us know how things go!
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 30
• Horses: 2
no no no the horse is Sold to ME!!
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 08:18 AM
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I'm new to draft ownership too so I'm not going to offer any advice but let me just say she is absolutely gorgeous!!!!
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 30
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at least I hope the owner has not sold her from underneath me. Only reson I say that is a area sheriffs dept. was scheduled to come look at her too this week. I hope the seller canceled that. I have spent a lot of money and time in prep work for her.

Ferrier: Lucky streak continues, I out of 3 ferriers I called 2 will do her regardless if she gives up her feet from them or not. Wont be very expensive either. The one ferrier is one we already use so that helps. He is gonna come look at her next week and see what the best plan is.

Anything we do diet wise we will take slowly and see how she reacts to it all. We are looking possibly into a couple feeds but literally only small handfull at maximum. I am in the round bail search now. I am not impressed with what crap is on the market right now for 80+ dollars here. I feel anyone with grass is taking advantage of the market and selling the crap 2 or 3 year old hay for stupid prices. I am going to look at some hay later in the week from a guy that seems to have a soild business and was recommended.

I agree to supplements.

She is gonna ahve quite an eventful weekend. Pick her up then straight to the vet. She will get a general physical, weighed, prego tested/ultrasound. Once all that is done she will go home to a nice condition stall and large paddox with the fences all new and fresh. She will learn then what an electric fence is as well. Depending how well she does with the gelding arab and paint mare we may turn her out to the big pastures saturday or sunday based on how well she is doing with the move and such.

Calm nature and no spook is her so far. When I went to check her out monday I sat there and watched the sellers 2 kittens climb up on her back. She didnt even budge with the kitten clawing their way up her flank. Than let them run around on her back the entire time I lead her around and checked her out. I got a good feeling about this. FOOD is her friend, she will do anything you want for anything eatable.

Thank for your reply.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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You did get lucky with the farriers! Before we got Caleb I called and emailed 7 farriers and only 1 was willing to work with a draft.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 51
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yes our farrier is AWESOME! if you know anyone in the bryan/cs/calvert area of texas let me know ill give you his number, he does an amazing job on Cass' feet (our arabian)

~A woman's place is in the saddle~
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-14-2009, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Alachua, FL
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She looks just like my Junior, very nice. Anyway, I personally wouldn't feed oats, because my guys , well now my 1 guy are not worked hard enough for that. I feed Seminole Wellness Perform Safe its 12/8. 1 scoop weights 3.5 pds so he gets 2 scoops twice a day. That is about .5% less than what he needs, but he on grass 24/7 and has a hay roll in the field also.
Horses all horses need something to chew 18-20 hrs a day. Their stomachs are different from ours we only produce acid when we eat, they produce it all the time, so they need forage all the time. I would have something for her to nibble on most of the time or keep her out and let her graze.
If she's not stalled now she might be uncomfortable not being able to move around much. But with stalling a regular size stall it might be to small for her, it would be for my Junior.
I'm not sure how big she is but if she's like Junior-18.2 hds. he don't fit in a regular stock trailer, he will fit in a 7 ft. but would be better in something a little taller. Whatever trailer you use make sure the flooring is good, she's going to weigh alot more than the average horse so make sure it's going to hold her.
Junior is a PMU baby, but his moma had him in Florida.
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