Wow! How did I not see this thread until now?
I had the exact opposite reaction when I got my first horse! I had been a carriage driver for a few years working with Percherons and Belgians all 17+ hand substantial horses. When I was finally able to get my first horse (After 21 miserable horseless years) I KNEW I needed a draft - no questions asked, they're the best. But, having volunteered at a local rescue for 9+ years previous there was no way the BO would let me board my horse anywhere else. I was to be the only boarder in exchange for more help caring for the rescues. Sounded ideal to me - only problems, our stalls are huge - but the ceiling rafters are Low. Our 16.2 TB has to duck his head to get in and out of his stall, so there was no way I was getting a 17+ hand draft in our barn - I was heart broken, but didn't want to change my ideal horse just to fit the barn. I set out searching for my miracle miniature draft xD I was looking at haflingers and cobs, but they were all so lack-luster compared to my loves.
Then one day I saw on petfinder an ad with a tiny photo, of a black 'percheron' and it said '15 hands' I laughed and figured the owners were idiots, but I called them up. I drove 2 hours to prove to myself there couldn't be a 15 hand percheron. I walked out to their paddocks and spotted her a mile away. There she was!! 15.2 and sparkling black with a white star! I drooled like crazy and took her home the next morning! She fit into out barn. Turns out she's actually a Canadian horse, not just a tiny Perch :P but either way she's absolutely wonderful!!
The biggest issues I've had with her because she's a draft, she was never halter broke - but she knew pretty darn well she was bigger and stronger than me. So halter breaking her was a chore, she had a kind heart and tried as hard as she could for me, but when she got confused or overwhelmed she just trotted/cantered away leaving me clinging to her lead rope, flapping in the wind like a kite behind her.
I attempted silly things like chains over the nose and rope halters, but really patients and quiet training was the only thing that actually trained her. Don't fall for the crappy people who say 'that horse is too big, you'll need a chain over his nose' - a chain won't make a difference if they don't wanna do it - good training will however ;)
My farrier costs the same as any other farrier. She does eat a substantial amount of hay, but she stays fat off nothing for grain, so I put her hay in nets to slow her down. As for tack.. still can't find a saddle I can afford that'll fit her, but she's so comfy I don't mind sticking with bareback!
OldHorseLady ;) you rock- you're so right! I love going packing with my pony, he carries our lunches and water xD you should see the looks I get. People are funny ;)