Drafts aren't too common around my area either, so I understand why you would consider breeding for your horse. HOWEVER, I don't think you should. I have had little experience with babies AND drafts, yet that didn't stop 13 year old me from falling in love with a green broke, 18hh, draft gelding. His previous owners had picked him up at a PMU ranch as a baby (young enough to where they carried him to their horse trailer). I'm not sure why they got him so young but they were definitely not prepared for how large he ended up being. Because of his size, they broke him at a year and a half instead of three years old. They figured since he was just going to be the horse the husband and random beginner friends would use on trail, they'd brake him by throwing the 300lb guy on his back and just letting him "figure it out". By the time I got him, I had some serious issues to fix. Most were easy. Some, however, he goes back to on a bad day. Drafts are smart like that.
My suggestion would be to find a GOOD, REAL draft horse trainer. Take them to a PMU ranch or an auction where the horses are cheap, have them look over the available drafts and draft crosses, then pick the one they suggest. AND HAVE THEM TRAIN IT. I couldn't be more adamant about that. Once the horse knows its size, it will you it's size against you when it wants to be lazy. And don't underestimate their smarts. My boy learned how to unlatch his gate a while back( luckily he doesn't destroy the pipe corrals by leaning on them anymore *knock on wood*) and he would let himself out for a midnight snack. It took us a while to figure out I wasn't leaving the gate open!
As for the competing, if all you're after is fun, go for it. But drafts are not fast, they are not nimble enough to make tight turns at fast speeds, and they won't be very good at soaring over jumps. My boy loves jumping knocked down barrels, but that's about as high as he goes.
Take my advice or don't. I just don't like seeing ruined drafts running rampant and making those already scared of drafts even more scared.
Just my two cents.
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