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Draft horse for a first horse? Yay or Nay?

This is a discussion on Draft horse for a first horse? Yay or Nay? within the Draft Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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        12-16-2012, 09:34 PM
      #11
    Foal
    All very good advice here... I agree with the fact that it's a little intimidating. My wife's horse is like 15.2/15.3; I worked with her for about 2 or 3 months before I got the itch to start looking for one of my own. I'm 6'3/300lbs, so a) I wanted a horse that would be a proportionate match for my body size and b) I wanted the biggest baddest horse around (lol)...

    I finally found my Percheron mare Gypsy in GA which was about 8 hours one way. I fell in love with her in the pictures and my wife and I decided to make the trip to check her out. When we arrived, we walked up to her (and remember my wife's horse size up above), and she was a freaking GIANT... She's 17.1 and 2000lbs, we were blown away... How the f*ck were we going to deal with a horse this size, what if this what if that.....

    Fortunately, we had already done a lot of research on drafts, so even though we had our doubts, NOT ONCE did we think that we couldn't or shouldn't get her... I was in love and there was no way I was leaving without my girl...

    Funny enough, when we loaded her up, she bunny hopped into our aluminum featherlite trailer and we thought it was going to come apart, then we made it about 5 miles and a tire blew out LOL... we were like, what the hell did we get into!

    That was the BEST thing I've ever done.... Bottom line, it all depends on the horse you find. If it's a right match, you will hopefully click right off the bat. We were fortunate in the fact that Gypsy was actually the first horse we really went to see for me.

    Just make sure you're ready for a large commitment (a horse in general) and good luck!
    Oldhorselady and smguidotti like this.
         
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        12-16-2012, 10:29 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Thank you for sharing your story! :) and thank you!!
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        12-17-2012, 08:21 AM
      #13
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DraftGuy    
    When we arrived, we walked up to her (and remember my wife's horse size up above), and she was a freaking GIANT... She's 17.1 and 2000lbs, we were blown away... How the f*ck were we going to deal with a horse this size, what if this what if that.....
    I'm sorry... The reason I started this paragraph was never provided. I must have gotten side tracked while writing....

    When we first saw her, we were used to a normal horse size. She was ginormous, like a freaking MONSTER. Not only because of her height but we weren't used to a horse who weighed that much either.

    Fast forward to now and we really don't see her size all that much at all. I mean sure, sometimes as she steps out of her stall and onto the concrete floor, I'm like "**** you're a big girl". But for the most part, her personality is soooooo sweet that she really looks about the size of a puppy dog to me.

    That being said, she is NOT a puppy dog, so I do still keep my edge up and maintain my dominance in our relationship. She tested me once and I screwed up once early on. She stepped on my toe the first night (on purpose), thank GOD I had steel toe boots on, I just gave her some pressure and she stepped off. But the second time (which was an accident for her and my mistake), she was rotating around to exit the wash stall and stepped on, shifted weight to and rotated her mass on my toe.... Oh my freaking god I FLIPPED OUT, OUCHHHHH (no steel toes, only sneakers). I was surprised to see my toe attached after.

    Moral:

    They're intimidating at first, but if you find the right one and your personalities mesh, they'll be an over sized lap dog before long. Just don't let them step on your FEET!

    The only one small concern I have sometimes is for the safety of the other horses at the barn. She's not as laid back with them as I expected. She pretty much dominates over the 20 or so other horses (most of the time). I expected her to fall in towards the lower middle of the pecking order. Turns out she is (I'd say) in the top 3 in pecking order. So I get a little concerned that she might hurt a normal sized horse during a "discussion" with them.
         
        12-17-2012, 10:42 AM
      #14
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DraftGuy    
    I'm sorry... The reason I started this paragraph was never provided. I must have gotten side tracked while writing....

    When we first saw her, we were used to a normal horse size. She was ginormous, like a freaking MONSTER. Not only because of her height but we weren't used to a horse who weighed that much either.

    Fast forward to now and we really don't see her size all that much at all. I mean sure, sometimes as she steps out of her stall and onto the concrete floor, I'm like "**** you're a big girl". But for the most part, her personality is soooooo sweet that she really looks about the size of a puppy dog to me.

    That being said, she is NOT a puppy dog, so I do still keep my edge up and maintain my dominance in our relationship. She tested me once and I screwed up once early on. She stepped on my toe the first night (on purpose), thank GOD I had steel toe boots on, I just gave her some pressure and she stepped off. But the second time (which was an accident for her and my mistake), she was rotating around to exit the wash stall and stepped on, shifted weight to and rotated her mass on my toe.... Oh my freaking god I FLIPPED OUT, OUCHHHHH (no steel toes, only sneakers). I was surprised to see my toe attached after.

    Moral:

    They're intimidating at first, but if you find the right one and your personalities mesh, they'll be an over sized lap dog before long. Just don't let them step on your FEET!

    The only one small concern I have sometimes is for the safety of the other horses at the barn. She's not as laid back with them as I expected. She pretty much dominates over the 20 or so other horses (most of the time). I expected her to fall in towards the lower middle of the pecking order. Turns out she is (I'd say) in the top 3 in pecking order. So I get a little concerned that she might hurt a normal sized horse during a "discussion" with them.
    Lol...when I first saw Belle, I was shocked about her size. She is only 16.2hh and I had been around my girlfriends shires, so that wasn't so tall, but her chest width and her back length made her the tank she is.

    And true for me to, I don't think she is all that big now. Sometimes I will get a side view of her neck and then she seems kinda big, but mostly she just seems normal to me. She does try and remind me at times, when she argues to turn a direction she doesn't want to go, by swinging her neck and trying to turn the opposite way. This is why you have to remain the leader in the relationship, because if she felt I wasn't the leader, I would never be able to MAKE her move where I want her to go....it's a mind game really.

    Funny though, she is the bottom of the totem pole with all other horses despite her size. If she is near another horse, she gets worried and walks away immediately. She doesn't even seem to want to try and develop a relationship or see where she would stand. Even when we had her three year old filly with her, she could care less about the whole maternal thing. She is happy being a loner. When I aquired my other mare, who is very playful, friendly and childish....Belle was forced by her to like her because she wouldn't leave her alone almost like she thought she was her Mom. Belle finally gave in and they are buddies. Occasionally Snickers will try to be dominant and Belle will just stand there like, "Yeah right chica!" With that being said though, Belle will stick up for herself if needed though.
         
        12-17-2012, 10:52 AM
      #15
    Foal
    LOL, that's soooooooo not my horse.... Like, (for example) if there's any horses grazing on a sweet spot when I turn her out, she walks right over to them and tells them to take a hike. No matter who it is
    Oldhorselady likes this.
         
        12-18-2012, 03:15 AM
      #16
    Foal
    If I was to get a Draft, I was told that I would most likely have to order the tack. Where did you guys get your tack from?
         
        12-18-2012, 03:53 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    Not sure if these points have been covered, but other things to consider are farrier bills, which are often double (At least in my experience) and trailering issues. You'll need a special, tall trailer to transport a draft. 3rd, they eat more. They are overall just more expensive than a smaller horse.
    That being said, I think drafts are just incredible in their easy-going patient ways. She would be great for light trail riding and just having fun.
    It will be hard to order tack online, but I'm going to pipe down here because I have no experience in that department. I have only used drafts for driving and vaulting. When I rode them it was bareback because saddles are hard to find and that wasn't their primary use, so a saddle wasn't justified.
    Good luck though!
         
        12-18-2012, 06:58 AM
      #18
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RaigenB    
    If I was to get a Draft, I was told that I would most likely have to order the tack. Where did you guys get your tack from?
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tessa7707    
    Not sure if these points have been covered, but other things to consider are farrier bills, which are often double (At least in my experience) and trailering issues. You'll need a special, tall trailer to transport a draft. 3rd, they eat more. They are overall just more expensive than a smaller horse.
    That being said, I think drafts are just incredible in their easy-going patient ways. She would be great for light trail riding and just having fun.
    It will be hard to order tack online, but I'm going to pipe down here because I have no experience in that department. I have only used drafts for driving and vaulting. When I rode them it was bareback because saddles are hard to find and that wasn't their primary use, so a saddle wasn't justified.
    Good luck though!
    Good points... My girl is 17.1 almost 17.2 and she fits well (not cramped) into a standard feather lite trailer. You just have to be cognizant of the trailer height when you make the purchase of the trailer. For example, the ceiling height in a standard feather lite is 7ft 6in on the outter edge to 7ft 8in at the center. It's funny because people ask me "she going to fit in that thing", but a solid yes and quite comfortably at that. No issues at all...

    I bought my tack online sans some trivial stuff here and there. I was nervous about getting the right sizes, but I ended up doing a ton of research and taking a piece of solid core housing electrical wire and making a mold of her wither area so that I could get a good measurement for the saddle. Plus, I had to have an 18.5 seat on my saddle, so nobody local carried that anyway, although they could "get them", it would put me back into the same realm as just ordering online anyway.

    Bottom line, lots of research before you pull the trigger on trailers and tack LOL... It always always boils down to measure twice cut once...
    nvr2many likes this.
         
        12-18-2012, 10:46 AM
      #19
    Started
    For me and trailers, it's not only height, but length...she is almost 90" long from chest to butt.

    Farrier bill, where her shoes are made on the spot are $225-$275 every 7 weeks or so. Maybe you will get lucky and not need shoes, but from what I'm told, draft usually need shoes because of their weight? Not sure if that is true. So far, mine needs front shoes.

    My saddle I bought from a girl who had a Clyde. It is a Wintec Flex extra wide. If I need to buy another saddle, I would look at mule/gaited saddles. From what I understand, there is less of a twist in them, so they fit mutten back-type animals. Best thing to do is take a wither tracing made of wire and create a cardboard cutout to take with you everywhere...at least it's a pretty good start.

    Her bit and bridle I bought online on Ebay actually from an amish seller I guess. The bridle is handmade and I really love it...very heavy duty. The bit was a 7" bit, which are not sold anywhere. I bought it online, I beleive Ebay. It is a copper mouth roller D-ring snaffle. I've been mostly happy with it. I just want to get rid of the single jointed snaffle, so I am having Myler make her a new one....I'm estimating $200+. Her halter I either bought online or from a draft horse show. A while back I was looking for boots for her. Couldn't find them...if it says it fits her size hoof, they don't. Draft horses hooves are shaped differently. I did recently find someone that will hand make boots...I think around $400? The XXL fly mask from the tack store pretty much fits, but I've ordered them online. Flysheets/blankets will need to order online...she is a size 99.

    Here is one store that I've used....

    My Draft Horse Super Store:

    Hoof boot site....

    Hoof Boots | Horse Hoof Boots - Hoofwings
         
        12-18-2012, 10:55 AM
      #20
    Foal
    I don't shoe mine. No problems in my area with my type of riding. Farrier bill for her is $40 every 7 weeks.

    This is my saddle, but mine was a special order seat length: http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/1007/KS7800
         

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