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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
  • Big toy bridle percheron horse

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    12-18-2012, 11:38 AM
  #21
Foal
Thanks everyone! :)
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    12-18-2012, 11:47 AM
  #22
Foal
Oldhorselady is right, trailering is an issue. My draft is 19hh and more than 90" long chest to tail. He does not fit in a "regular" trailer. Also, you have to make sure that you have a bigger truck with a large tow capacity because weight of horse plus trailer is a big load.

As far as tack, I bought my saddle, a dressage saddle from Ebay and my bridle from a draft horse supply shop in NH, and the bit a 7" snaffle I bought at my local grain store. I did have to special order my dressage girth as I couldn't find one long enough at my usual shopping places. My halters, I have rope, which I made, and a "regular" which I bought at my local grain store, though it really doesn't fit his Percheron moose head. I do like longer lead ropes, 12', as the ones you mostly find are just too short and don't give you enough room when working with a big horse.

Draftguy is also correct in that working with a big horse can be a bit intimidating at first, just because of the size, you QUICKLY get over that, until they do step on your feet. :) Though I ride mine everyday, and once you get over the fact that your head is 10' in the air, you are fine!

My guy is the biggest in the field, he lives with 2 Belgian mares, both 1800+ pounds and 16-17 hands, but he is LOW MAN in the field. The mares are the bosses, normal. His size does not matter to them at all!

I LOVE my draft, but I don't think that they are for everyone. Though, I will never own anything else now that I have gone draft.
     
    12-18-2012, 11:59 AM
  #23
Started
Yes, forgot to mention cinch/girth....order those online too. I think biggest in the tack shops I went to or catalogues is 36" or 38"....mine wears a 50" cinch. No fancy roller ones either...just the plain ones. You take what you can get with them sometimes.

And reins....need the longer ones....if I buy the regular sized ones (non-split type), they end up being short like barrel racing reins.

And the longer lead ropes are good to. Sometimes I feel just like riding bareback and halter, making reins out of the leadrope, so if it is the shorter one, it won't work...too short.
     
    12-18-2012, 12:02 PM
  #24
Foal
And reins....need the longer ones....if I buy the regular sized ones (non-split type), they end up being short like barrel racing reins.

I forgot about my problem finding reins that fit! I did have to go with split reins to get a set that were long enough.
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    12-18-2012, 10:11 PM
  #25
Foal
I don't have a horse but will get one soon and i'll love to own a shire horse because they are cute looking
Bluebird likes this.
     
    12-19-2012, 09:12 AM
  #26
Foal
Somethings that you might want to think about, I'm a die hard draft girl. But there are a few cons that can be over come.
1. You can't just find tack anywhere, or just borrow someone's (unless they have drafts also)
2. Depending on how big a draft you get, don't always fit in a regular size horse trailer, so you can't just load up and go with just anyone.
3. Alot of farriers charge more for trims.
4. Depending on your size and the horse size, you can't just get off and on anywhere on the trails. When I get on my guy I don't get off unless I know theres something around to step up on, so I can get back on.

I wouldn't trade my guys for anything, I have just found these to be a couple of things to think about when getting a draft.
     
    12-19-2012, 11:24 AM
  #27
Started
Be prepared to buy lots of hay.

I had a really mellow Belgian mare I used to ride from time to time because I just didn't have much for her to do in harness. She wasn't particularly trained to ride, just didn't care because of her personality. I could turn her yelling gee and haw just as effectively as using reins. She was a veteran of logging yards so she was pretty unflappable. She used to take loads to the landing without a driver. Would just keep coming and going and the men would load and unload her once she had been shown where.

The one and only time she spooked was a pheasant breaking from the brush and literally bouncing off her face. I was in a greased shingle of an old style english saddle. I remember feeling the power in her body as she sprung into the air and headed for home. I tried to turn her head. I tried to pull back. (numerous times) Nothing. I grabbed a hunk on mane and hung on. Fortunately she regained herself after about 100 ft. But that feel of pure muscle and the fact that I was nothing up there... I can still see that bunched neck, white knuckles clenched around mane and feel that surge forward like nothing else I've ever ridden.
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    12-19-2012, 06:07 PM
  #28
Weanling
My first ever horse was a Clydesdale. I had only been actually riding for two years and had ridden all types of horses but never a draft! I got called mad, bonkers etc. A year later I bought a second horse to keep the first one company...and yeah, he's a Clydesdale too and I didn't care what anyone thought. It really is about temperament first and everything else second. There is also some really good advice on the forum but be warned, tack (very difficult to get stuff to fit) and feed bills will be higher. However, I have had not one moment of regret. You do get grief from 'normal horse' owners but I stand by the Heavy Horse Motto " If it doesn't weigh a ton, its just a hrose". Good luck and if you get a good feeling about a horse and it happens to be a heavy, then you go girl!
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    12-19-2012, 10:08 PM
  #29
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
My first ever horse was a Clydesdale. I had only been actually riding for two years and had ridden all types of horses but never a draft! I got called mad, bonkers etc. A year later I bought a second horse to keep the first one company...and yeah, he's a Clydesdale too and I didn't care what anyone thought. It really is about temperament first and everything else second. There is also some really good advice on the forum but be warned, tack (very difficult to get stuff to fit) and feed bills will be higher. However, I have had not one moment of regret. You do get grief from 'normal horse' owners but I stand by the Heavy Horse Motto " If it doesn't weigh a ton, its just a hrose". Good luck and if you get a good feeling about a horse and it happens to be a heavy, then you go girl!
Lol...I LOVE the grief from light horse owners. Actually most of mine has been quite positive and mostly just disbelief of sorts. When I show up to an event with Big Mamma, the mouths drop. I get the usual questions like "What do you do with her?" When I tell them I ride her, and then throw her lead line over her neck and climb up on her bareback while she stands like a statue....priceless. I get to take all the cool toys out and not worry about her freaking out while I ride her....flags, garocha pole, noodles, tarp...no worries. PLUS, she will drag, pull and push through just about anything. She actually seems to enjoy the challenges and the work.
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    12-20-2012, 02:29 AM
  #30
Weanling
Clydesdales are cuter...so are Percherons...Belgians....aw never mind...any heavy horse is cute! I want a whole herd of them. I now have two, only another 100 or so to go.
     

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