Draft Horse Questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'd love to, but the price is much higher than what I want to pay for a pleasure horse. =) I really do just ride for fun, so fancy breeding isn't a must for me. I just wanted to know others opinions, especially on the riding age and where to find them. =D
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post #12 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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BTW - He is stunning!
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post #13 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 03:34 AM
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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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post #14 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 07:00 AM
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Your questions are nearly impossible to answer (beyond "my horse does this," which doesn't tell you what any potential horse you might look at will do), since draft crosses are are a hugely variable type of horse. Both in terms of conformation, athleticism, and temperament. Some are heavy, lumbering beasts and others could pass for a warmblood if you chopped their feathers off. Some will be so laid back they are nearly horizontal, and others will be sharp as tacks. And all manner of horses in between. That's the nature of a crossbreed, especially one that can be any draft crossed with anything else. You should scan through the "Official Half Draft" thread and you will get an idea of how widely draft crosses can vary.

I would not recommend getting a draft cross as a foal because they can turn into real conformational disasters and you might not figure that out until it's two years old. If you get one, make sure it has already matured and you know what you have. Lastly -- and this might sound a wee bit harsh and if so, I'm sorry, but if you have to ask how old a horse needs to be before you back it, you're probably not experienced enough to own a foal or a youngster.

Last edited by thesilverspear; 06-21-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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post #15 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by DayDreamer View Post
BTW - He is stunning!
Sadly not mine.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #16 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 09:09 AM
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I wouldn't breed for one, or get a foal. First off breeding is a crapshoot. When you cross two different types of horses, even with good conformation, you really could end up with a shorty, draft bodied, horse with lighter bone and tea cup feet... Then what? Are you going to sell it? Work with what you have, though it might seriously limit your riding?

Also, proper care of a pregnant mare is going to cost WAY more money then buying and shipping a horse. Stud fees, ultrasounds, vaccinations, extra food, EMERGENCIES etc. I'm not a breeder, but ask anyone on here. Costs go into the thousands!! Then there is feeding a horse your not going to ride for 4 years. Even after you break him your gonna look at taking it slow, and jumping and all the other stuff will still be a few years off.

Your better off putting that money towards a horse further away and shipping it to you. Just be patient, the right one will come along! It took my friend a year and half to finally find the dressage horses she was looking for, and she is GLAD she waited. Your going to have a MUCH longer wait for baby, especially if you breed for one. In the mean time start preparing yourself through lessons and sure.
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post #17 of 44 Old 06-21-2013, 11:22 PM
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all I will say is please think about you and the horse what is better for both of you to be happy training is not a part time job take it from me

ride a draft and see the world differently
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post #18 of 44 Old 06-24-2013, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, the "easiest" way to find a Draft in my area is by going to the Dixie Draft Horse Sale, its a twice yearly auction. But buying a horse at auction honestly scares the living mess out of me!

I appreciate your advice I've definitely been considering all of the negatives, and positives.
Conformation not being stellar isn't deterring me a whole lot, I'm not competitive and as long as it doesn't cause lameness issues, "pretty" is secondary to sound & willing!
What worries me is OCD's, foaling issues, accidents, etc. And, once fully grown, the damage done by jumping. I love drafts, but it worries me that I would hurt them if I ever wanted to jump over 3'. Especially the heavy work types. I've seen some lightly boned (usually Belgian) mares that have about the same amount of bone as many Draft X's. Those "type" I would feel more comfortable jumping and running barrels with I think. I'm definitely going to talk to the breeder and get her opinion also, as she is very understanding that I can't afford 2 horses(one adult to ride, and a baby to grow!), and also my current barn is a no foal zone, so I would have to find another barn...

Thanks ya'll I really appreciate the advice!
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post #19 of 44 Old 06-24-2013, 02:52 PM
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I love the drafts.. I've never been a small person and love a horse that makes me feel small. (I am also confident and assertive enough though, not to be taken advantage of by them). I also like how much more level headed the majority of them are. I was very fortune to find a lady in my area who wanted a second pair of hands breaking her two drafts. I have learned so much from her. I recently bought my first horse - shire/percheron cross and couldn't be happier. Drafts won't fully mature until they're 6 - really shouldn't be ridden heavily until at least 4 or later - never jumped before 6! I would recommended not breeding - I agree with other users - just never know what you'll end up with plus - 4-5 years is a long time to wait to ride if you don't have access to other horses! I'm sure Ares is the exception, but I found him at 3 years old on Craigslist - he was everything the owner said and more. He's a favorite around the barn and his training is coming along wonderfully - he's quite light, flexible and responsive.
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post #20 of 44 Old 06-24-2013, 03:00 PM
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Oh, as for vet, farrier, ect... Farrier only costs a little more for shoes than regular horse, trims are the same cost at my barn. Vet services only cost a little more as well, just when extra meds are needed. I've gotten all my tack at a really reasonable cost - all used but in good shape. I ride english so I have a wintec AP saddle with interchangeable gullets - so the saddle can "grow" with him. Bridle and assortment of bits came cheap at a consignment sale.
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