Originally Posted by Barry Godden
Of course drafts can gallop - just it takes a big man up there to sit it out. Going round corners is the tricky bit.
Draft horses are descendents of the chargers used by Knights of Old - all that Agincourt history stuff. Then in later centuries they were used for farm work. In the UK many are still used for work up amongst the forests.
If you seek a draft horse then look up the Internet for the UK horse magazines - draft horses are unlikely to die out as a breed.
Suffolk Punches, Clydesdales, Shires, Percherons, Irish Drafts, Friesians - they are all to be found. But they don't come cheap (by US standards).
When you find what you want, then ship it over to the US - it is possible.
But whatever you do, make sure you've got a set of strong boots - those big fellas feel pretty heavy when they stand on your foot.
The ancient destriers weren't near as big as the drafts we have today. They were fairly short and stocky. They were generally about 14-15 hands whereas many drafts today are way over that up into the 18 and 19 hand range. I got a lot of flack for using my 18 hand percheron in medieval reenactment because he wasn't a 'period' horse. But we had fun anyway!
And I'm sure you were jesting when you said it "just takes a big man up there to sit it out".