Draft horse for a first horse? Yay or Nay? - Page 17 - The Horse Forum
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post #161 of 195 Old 12-28-2012, 03:58 AM
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Does that book only talk about the draft's diet or other general info also?
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There are no books which tell you how to feed a Heavy Horse because it is almost impossible to write about. Most books will give you a 'rule of thumb' as to how to feed any horse but you will need to adjust the diet according to the horse's breed, weather conditions, living conditions. Nothing too complex there then...LOL
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post #162 of 195 Old 12-28-2012, 10:09 AM
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There are no books which tell you how to feed a Heavy Horse because it is almost impossible to write about. Most books will give you a 'rule of thumb' as to how to feed any horse but you will need to adjust the diet according to the horse's breed, weather conditions, living conditions. Nothing too complex there then...LOL
I agree, every horse is different...even amoungst the same breeds. My guys are boarded, where they are fed the same amount as any other horses. My boarding facility also doesn't skimp on hay either. They are fed well. They do also have a private pasture, but I don't always have it open. No grain, just vitamin supplement for grass hay eaters.

Before moving here, I fed my own horses. There was my percheron, my draft cross, my QH and another QH all together. The two QH's ruled the pasture. I put out about 8 flakes of hay per feeding...roughly two per horse. My percheron obviously has a larger mouth and takes in more at a time. However, she was bottom of the totem pole and pushed away too. It was spread out between three piles.

My guys do not need any weight on them AT ALL. You can almost feel their ribs, but you have to try. They are ridden almost daily. But they are not ridden hard, just pleasure.

But, the books and advice are guidelines really, because your draft may be completely different.
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post #163 of 195 Old 12-28-2012, 10:10 AM
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You will have to just learn everything you can, and then apply the knowledge to your horse individually.
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post #164 of 195 Old 12-28-2012, 01:47 PM
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A little note that happend to me the other day.....

Big Mamma's shoes were a little loose, so I was not doing too much with her until the farrier comes out to fix them. But she still needed SOME exercise...so I decided to hop on her bareback with her halter and ride her around the grounds

Big Mamma stands next to the three step mounting block for me to 'jump' up on her. To do this, I put one leg over her back and jump off of the other leg.....since she stands like a complete statue. However.....this time......I forgot that I left my spurs on my boots from my other horse. I put my leg over her back (which is like three feet across)....and jumped, forgetting about the spur that I just jammed into the side of her back! She tensed and trotted about ten feet. She stopped, blew her nose out at me and looked at me like, "What the heck woman!" I held onto her mane, half way on during this moment. She seemed to look back at me as she trotted those ten feet to make the decision if she should continue that trot or stop because I was on her. It truely seemed like she was concerned, even though she freaked out. Well, she decided to take care of me! Poor Mamma. SUCH A GOOD HORSE!!!!! She stood completely still, let me get situated on her, while having the attitude like, "I hope you are done with your silly antics now...lets continue on, as normal."

Oh xD What a good girl!! I think her and my mare must be separated at birth.
My mare has had me on her a total of 3 times, with just very little rides, essentially a pony ride the first time and the next two were just learning leg=move. Then we moved and she had a few months off, I decided it was time to start her again, but I had no mounting block at our new house. Three times I tried to mount from the ground, without scaring her. She stood like a stone as I took sad leaps in her general direction, the third time I kicked her in her bum - which just let out a huff and gave me a look as if to say 'just what is it you're actually trying to do?!' - but continued to stand still. Finally I tried lining her up with our fence, which was tough as she hadn't learned yet to stay where I put her, she constantly wants to face me. So I'd line her up and move toward her back and she'd turn to face me. Finally I got her to stand while I climbed stupidly up the fences half facing her, I rubbed and pat her back and she stood quietly so I put a foot on her back (which was a good distance off), she continued to stand patiently, so I went for it! I just jumped, landed on her, she jogged a step or two then stopped to look at me "really?! that's all you wanted?".

Guess what I got for Christmas this year ;) (A Mounting block!) from my petrified Fiance who stood by watching as my very patient pony tolerated me XD

This is why all I'll ever own will be drafts! (ok and a few ponies and donkeys probably :P)
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post #165 of 195 Old 12-29-2012, 05:45 AM
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Just got to share this and why you really should get a heavy/draft. Went to turn my boys out into their field this morning and being early birds, they were the first two out. It was a bit windy but for the first time in a week, it didn't rain. Well once the boys got the wind in their manes, they decided to run for sheer joy. To see a couple of Clydes running free across the open fields is a sight to behold. That in itself made my heart sing but then as they turned and started running back towards me, they were joined by a herd of wild deer. It was an amazing sight and one of those moments when you wish you had your video camera! Anyway, I now know why I have draft/heavy horses, they make your soul sing and nothing can compete with that!
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post #166 of 195 Old 12-29-2012, 03:52 PM
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I started training my Belgian to ride recently, we're only walking and learning the basics for now as he's still young (not quite 3 but almost), but he is so calm and always has his ear forward and his head down. He enjoys his time and is easy to train. He stands next to the mounting block and doesn't move off until I have both feet in the stirrups and ask him to walk. Drafts are amazing. I wouldn't trade my guy for anything. I actually am pretty sure I'd choose him over my hubby!
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post #167 of 195 Old 12-31-2012, 08:44 PM
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I just adopted a Belgian gelding, just a coming 5 year old, saved from slaughter, only under saddle 3x.
He is a wonderful horse, just getting to know him this past 30 days, but am confident he will be a great personal horse for me for a long time. He is VERY smart, agreeable, yet wary since he's coming from a somewhat checkered background. I am taking my time, not pushing his groundwork as I am having to undo some bad "training" he has had. I would recommend a draft to anyone who is looking for a reciprocal relationship with a horse, not someone who needs to "bully" to get their goals met. These are very large horse and could do a lot of damage. Respect them, love them, and keep your wits about you.
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post #168 of 195 Old 12-31-2012, 09:09 PM
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I just adopted a Belgian gelding, just a coming 5 year old, saved from slaughter, only under saddle 3x.
He is a wonderful horse, just getting to know him this past 30 days, but am confident he will be a great personal horse for me for a long time. He is VERY smart, agreeable, yet wary since he's coming from a somewhat checkered background. I am taking my time, not pushing his groundwork as I am having to undo some bad "training" he has had. I would recommend a draft to anyone who is looking for a reciprocal relationship with a horse, not someone who needs to "bully" to get their goals met. These are very large horse and could do a lot of damage. Respect them, love them, and keep your wits about you.
That's wonderful!
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post #169 of 195 Old 12-31-2012, 09:19 PM
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Here is a link to some of Beth Valentine's draft horse diet information.

Beth Valentine's Recommended EPSM Diets

I switched Ahab to a 30% fat diet, even though he does not appear to have EPSM. There's no way to rule it out for sure without tests, but the diet won't hurt him. He looks much better than he has ever done, and my vet, (who didn't endorse the diet change), came out for shots, she couldn't get over how good he looked. "Did you give him a bath? Are you grooming him differently?"

He also is not fading to bay so far this winter, though of course, that may change, his dapples are prolific, and the massive gobs of smegma which used to run down his hind legs into his feathers, despite cleaning his sheath, not cleaning his sheath, having the vet clean his sheath, blowing through bottles of Cowboy Crud Buster, etc. is GONE!!!


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Last edited by Captain Evil; 05-13-2016 at 08:47 AM.
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post #170 of 195 Old 01-01-2013, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that info guys! :)

I talked to my aunt, who has 2 Quarters, who said I shouldn't get a draft.. She said "If you get kicked or stepped on, it's gonna hurt waaay worse." Wouldn't getting kicked by a horse hurt whether it was a Quarter or Draft?? *sigh*.. I even said to her all of the things I have learned from you all!

I'm too hooked on them! hahaha
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