I think I fell in love with draft horses! I met the sweetest Percheron gelding yesterday. He was so sweet and calm and well behaved (they had to stick a tube up his nose to scope for ulcers). All of you that have draft horses, what discipline do you use them for? The Percheron was used for vaulting. Are they good jumpers? What are their personalities normally like? Thanks
Drafts are amazing! I am hopelessly in love with them! I have 2 draft crosses and really want a pure draft just to trail ride. My mare is a percheron/thoroughbred and we are training for lower level eventing, and my older gelding (same cross as my mare) used to be my hunter before he got injured and can't jump competetivly anymore. I know pure drafts tend not to be the best jumpers, but it all depends on the individual horse. Drafts are generally super sweet and laid back, big ole' marshmellows! My dream is to have a breeding barn and breed draft sport horses!
I have volunteered at a bunch of hippotherapy and therapeutic riding centers and every single place had at least one draft horse as a therapy horse. They are always so calm and great with the kids. At the place I'm at now there are two Haflingers. Both are sweet as can be and one is only five years old but a perfect little boy for the really disabled children.
I have a 5 yr. Old draft cross (perch/clyde/paint/TB) gelding I adopted as a PMU yearling. He's grown to be about 17.3, 1800 lbs. I've done all his training myself and he has really been so easy. Not all draft horses are "sweet, calm and lazy" but I think if brought up correctly, they can be wonderful, sane horses. I use my gelding for trail riding, we're just starting to work more seriiously because I've waited for him to mature. My middle daughter, 13 yrs. Old has ridden him in dressage lessons and took him to competition and he was great, so safe. She also rode him in a parade recently and he loved it, was very curious about it all. He is very loving, friendly, follows me around, learns quickly and despite his size, is very handy on trail. We are a little vertically challenged, look out for those low branches!! I'd like to do some low level eventing some day but I think we'll be limited by his bulk rather than his attitude about everything. I've had to search to find tack that fits him and know where to go now. Luckily my farrier doesn't have a problem with doing his feet but I've heard that can be an issue. I'm working on getting my trailer modified to fit his length. If you're willing to wait, PMU's can be a great way to go!! Look up United Pegasus Foundation or Virginia Sport Horses. They bring them in from Canada. I got my guy from UPF.
Here he is with my daughter riding a dressage test-his first! I was taking pictures and he spotted me at his last halt!!
Here we are on one of our fun trail rides. Draft horse bonus-If you have a big butt-they make your butt look smaller!!
I love Percherons. My grandfather had a bunch of them when I was younger, they were all the older style of plow horse though. He still did some of his farming with them but they were starting to get up there so they were mostly pasture pets and baby sitters. I use to spend hours out there hanging on their necks and standing on the old downed tree so I could braiding flowers into their manes. They were all super docile and barely batted an eyelash at all the silly things I use to do (and since I was a kid I didn't always use the best horse sense).
I never really rode them so I can't really speak on their athletic abilities, but I have seen several really athletic percherons out there. With a lot of breeds they are slowly changing over time as more people want to ride their draft horse instead of have it pull a plow. If you want to really read up on them check out the eventing percheron blog. I know I would love to get a couple when I can afford a place of my own.
I love my Belgains!
I have a 28 year old 16.5, he was my first. He's now just pasture patrol, he was part of a pulling team. Now I just line drive him in the pasture a little just for a little one on one.
NOW, I have Junior. I got him he was 3 1/2 (just turned 5) 18.2 hds and have started him under saddle. It was about a week (3 days a week training) with his saddle before I tried to get on him. He's been great.
He learns so fast. His down fall is he's lazy, don't want to pick up his feet to walk, he's like a teenage with their flipflops dragging them. Drives me crazy. He's very curious and if he isn't if you just turn around and hide something from him he has to see what it is.
My downfall is I'm short, and he doesn't like to take the bit, but he's fine when he has it in his mouth. You can't just get off of him anywhere and expect to get back on, you have to find something to stand on.
Also, you can't just go down to your local feed store or Tractor Supply and pick up tack. 90% of my tack I had to get online. Regular draft size halters don't work for Junior, I have to buy XL draft size. Farrier work will be more also, at least double. That is if you can find someone that wants to do it. Also my younger biggest guy doesn't fit in just any trailer, a regular stock trailer he stands on the ground and his head is as tall as the trailer, now my old guy can.
You just need to think about that if you go to look at drafts, cause I didn't. Now I'm having to get a new trailer just for him. If I could do it over about getting my drafts, I wouldn't change a thing.
I'm more of a thoroughbred person, but I love my draft to pieces. His temperment is to die for. I'm hoping to start jumping him next year and show him someday. He goes over tort poles like a pro so far and hasn't refused once since I started him.