Do Drafties Have the Best Horse Sense? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-14-2013, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I don't know, Clementine is one of the smartest horses I have ever seen. Everyone who meets and can work with her comments on her ability to catch on to things incredibly quickly. She only needs to be told a few times for the most part, unless she's intentionally being naughty.

Then again, she's only a half draft. So, that intelligence may be her non-draft half :)
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 11:08 AM
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My Ardennes is clever enough to break out of her paddock, but is still a bit stupid by thinking I won't notice her literally tip toeing past me to the stable, a 750kg horse is a bit hard to miss! I think she plays dumb to get her own way sometimes but suprises me every now and then. She knows what her job is, and she'll start chasing after a heifer before I see it, scurrying away from the dairy herd. She's also VERY inquisitive, and even when something makes her jump, she'll always turn around to find out what it is, rather than running a mile. I love my Draftie :)
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 02:32 PM
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breaking out of a paddock is easy! I have a welsh B who can break out of a stable even when the kick bolt is done up.
I also had a show pony who could take his own rug off without undoing any of the straps or damaging the rug.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #14 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 04:12 PM
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I think many things, might determine whether or not a horse or breed is more intelligent. Or at least 'intelligent' by our standards.

Certainly, draft breeds on the whole, are more unflappable. This because of their use in the past. When they were used for farm work, farmers certainly didn't want a horse who would flip out when pulling a plough, for example. So because of this, the wild ones were seldom bred. Through the generations, with only the most calm and reliable being bred, it was obvious that entire breeds became more calm and reliable.

In Gypsy Horses, all had to be very calm and reliable, since they travelled the roads all their lives, pulling incredibly heavy and expensive caravans, holding everything the family owned. Even foals had to follow along, without running off or spooking at things along the way. They had to be tethered by the side of roads in the evening to graze and with often the young children looking after them. They were members of the family with often, many young children, crawling around the camp. No unreliable horse was kept or bred. So through selection, Gypsy Horses today, have mostly become quiet and sane, easy to handle and reliable.

Wild horses, have their own brand of 'intelligence'. They must learn when wild animals are about, when to safely graze and when to flee. The young learn from their elders.

Without doubt, the more proper training an animal has, the more he might appear to be intelligent. Training makes an animal think. Gives him a sense of responsibility, for want of a better word. Take two litter-mate puppies. Both are showing very bold personalities. Put one in the back yard alone all his life. No interaction with other animals or humans. Take the other and thoroughly socialize and obedience train him, make sure he has enough exercise and give him a job to do. The first dog to many, will appear 'dumb'. He doesn't know anything, probably bites without provocation and barks and digs all day. The second dog, will appear intelligent. He knows his manners, is reliable in all circumstances and safe around visitors and other animals. Neither dog was necessarily more intelligent. It had just been brought out and directed properly in the second.

It is the same with horses. Well trained horses, often will cost more. Somebody has put time into them. Often, lots of time. We must be willing to pay for that. Every day on CL and elsewhere, we see tons of ads for unhandled, untrained horses, for little money or free. Somebody didn't care enough to bring out potential and all animals have some potential.

I do think, just like humans, some animals have more potential to learn, than others, so we must adjust our training, go slowly and not ask more of them than they are able to give. Again, genetics and careful breeding, will have made a difference.

How animals react and their appearance of intelligence, is almost always, their background (genetics) and training - or lack of it.

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post #15 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 12:15 AM
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all horses are intelligent even draft so if somebody tell you there are slow tell them that is part of them being smart and keeping them self for the long haul

ride a draft and see the world differently
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 12:55 AM
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Any answer to that question will be correct, because any breed can produce easy or difficult animals.
The best working horse I ever had, bar none, was a QH mare. It was like she was born already knowing how to work the cattle. The smoothest and most fun riding horse I ever had was our TWH stallion. My current older Friesian/Saddlebred is certainly one of the 5 easiest horses I've ever started under the saddle, but also one of the most head strong. The Percheron that was the horse I was taught to ride on (forever ago and we didn't own) was easy going, but also a bit of a dead head which almost certainly contributed to it being a good horse for a child to learn to ride on.
One of the most difficult horses I ever dealt with a draft mix and another was a QH, but they both turned out good horses in the end.
Horses are like people and the breeds are like ethnicity or nationalities. You'll find some of everything in any of them.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-06-2013, 01:09 AM
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And don't let anyone tell you all drafts are slow. Many of them can put on quite a head of steam, when in the mood, or asked to. Enough to make the ground shake and make you run for cover.

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