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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
  • Gee and haw for draft horses
  • I love my percheron cling

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    12-20-2012, 02:32 AM
  #31
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaigenB    
Thanks everyone! :)
Posted via Mobile Device
You do realise that once you get your own heavy, you are going to have to be prepared for lots of fun, lots of stares, lots of comments, lots of attention when you show up at public events, lots of 'criticism' but a whole ton of huge, hairy, sloberry horse shaped LOVE. Heavies are very interactive even when you aren't in the mood. Best therapists on the whole planet!
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    12-20-2012, 09:31 AM
  #32
Foal
Agree with BlueBird... Mine craves my affection, if I'm not doting over her, she pouts.
     
    12-20-2012, 10:36 AM
  #33
Started
Yes, and if she is not getting it, she will let you know it! Belle will nudge me with her head to be pet....and her noggin is powerful. She is not trying to be powerful and bulldoze you over, she just does. I can sit in my chair in the pasture, and when she wants her tummy scratched, she will walk over, every so slowly and try to be delicate, stand right in front of me. Perfect height, you don't have to bend over for her belly...lol. If you don't scratch she will, and it's ever so subtle, lean towards you with her belly. She is amazingly still and gentle about it. But she makes her point by becoming a wall.

Speaking of wall...one thing I forgot to say too....if you get a horse that was driven, they will know Gee and Haw. So when you are leading the big oaf and his massiveness is getting in the way of your turning....you can say Gee and Haw and he will turn by voice command. I was shocked to know how well Belle knows this. I gave her a refresher course while ground driving to see if she knew the terms and she seemed too just fine. Now I can use those terms while riding or leading and we can get through the tightest of spaces even though she is so huge.
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    12-20-2012, 11:46 AM
  #34
Foal
I've been criticized for even thinking about getting one so I understand what you guys mean there!

Are heavies allowed to go on public trails? I wasn't sure if that was frowned upon or not. I didn't know if they would tear up the ground more or anything like that? Do you take yours on public trails?

With the Gee and Haw, is Gee left and Haw is right? Or the other way around? Haha
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    12-20-2012, 12:09 PM
  #35
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaigenB    
I've been criticized for even thinking about getting one so I understand what you guys mean there!

Are heavies allowed to go on public trails? I wasn't sure if that was frowned upon or not. I didn't know if they would tear up the ground more or anything like that? Do you take yours on public trails?

With the Gee and Haw, is Gee left and Haw is right? Or the other way around? Haha
Posted via Mobile Device
Gee=right
Haw=left

That really freaks the light horse owners too....ground driving! A good freak out though. People are just so amazed when they see it, especially when they hear you directing them with Gee and Haw!

The other day I was walkiing Big Mamma on a berm and another person was riding her horse and wanted to go past us. Well, the berm was probably 10 feet wide and Big Mamma is scared of other horses....so I was a little worried to pass this this other horse with a tight squeeze. She was already a little nervous on the berm to begin with and I was leading her in flip flops and was standing on the edge of the berm. I just went slow and fine tuned her direction with gee and haw to keep her where I wanted her...not to close to the passing horse and not too close to my feet either! She was perfect.

There are no restrictions with trail riding. Trails are trails. I do have to make sure that things like wood bridges and cowboy curtains etc. are big enough for drafts when I go to little events though.
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    12-20-2012, 12:22 PM
  #36
Started
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 ;)
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    12-20-2012, 12:33 PM
  #37
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaigenB    
I've been criticized for even thinking about getting one so I understand what you guys mean there!

Are heavies allowed to go on public trails? I wasn't sure if that was frowned upon or not. I didn't know if they would tear up the ground more or anything like that? Do you take yours on public trails?

With the Gee and Haw, is Gee left and Haw is right? Or the other way around? Haha
Posted via Mobile Device
Of course they're allowed. I've taken them on state and national forest land as well as city and county trails. I take them to the open rides at the county fairgrounds indoor in the winter. I don't drive them unless I get there supper early and have the place to myself. I don't trust the other horse owners abilities to throw that into the mix.

The only way I keep gee and haw straight, is haw sounds like southpaw=left. I struggled keeping them straight until someone pointed that out to me.
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    12-20-2012, 01:10 PM
  #38
Started
Lol...yes, there is lots of room for packing things.

Here is a picture of my Dad riding her, he is a very beginner rider and he was in pain in the groin since she is so wide. She took care of him...



View of her back from the top....



Big Mamma's first time out being lead on the trails to the ocean....











Here I had to ask and be sure she would not crush their bridge at this cowboy challenge to raise money for cancer.....

smguidotti likes this.
     
    12-20-2012, 01:17 PM
  #39
Foal
Here is a neat little picture of me and my girl... This was from "Hoofin' for Heros" this past October in Cheraw SC...

Funny thing is, when we did this, she was just about 4 weeks weaned from her colt Ricky. The guy on the horse behind me in this picture was all nervous because Gypsy kept grunting and nickering (in her deep motherly voice) at his gelding because he looks somewhat similar to Ricky. I kept wondering what the heck Gypsy was doing until it finally dawned on me... LOL

     
    12-20-2012, 01:53 PM
  #40
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftGuy    
Here is a neat little picture of me and my girl... This was from "Hoofin' for Heros" this past October in Cheraw SC...

Funny thing is, when we did this, she was just about 4 weeks weaned from her colt Ricky. The guy on the horse behind me in this picture was all nervous because Gypsy kept grunting and nickering (in her deep motherly voice) at his gelding because he looks somewhat similar to Ricky. I kept wondering what the heck Gypsy was doing until it finally dawned on me... LOL

Gorgeous! How tall is she again? You look great on her, a great fit...but isn't she taller than Mamma at 16.2hh? Mamma makes my butt look small, so I love her for that.

Mamma blew out the other day walking across the berm because we were walking by another ranch where you could see the horses down below on hot walkers....so funny. Her blow was huge and loud! Sounded like an orca whale I imagine. Never heard it out of her before. She is a very quiet, to herself horse. She knickers softly when she sees my other horse, but that is it...never a whinny either.
     

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