OUt of interest: What to look for in a draft horse as a riding horse. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 12:47 PM
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He was not a Gypsy Horse. Galway Warrior was a Drum Horse. Before coming to the US, he was owned by HM Queen Elizabeth ll in England. Sadly, he is gone now. And Gypsies are NOT necessarily 'vanners'. Only a few who happen to be registered within the Vanner registry. The term 'Vanner' was coined by a fellow in Florida, who happened to start a registry by that name.

In recent years, several very good Gypsies, have been sent to S. Africa. Drafts don't suffer from the heat, any more than any other breed. It's all about keeping them comfortable and with shade in the summer months.

When choosing a draft for riding, you would need to know the breed and be able to spot conformation faults, just as in any other breed. Incidentally, Gypsies, Clydes and other heavy horses are not necessarily 'cow hocked'. They have a 'set' which is quite different.

Lizzie

Last edited by FeatheredFeet; 11-15-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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post #12 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 12:57 PM
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Well, true, native drafts around here (Latvia) don't tolerate excessive heat during summers too well - of course, they are better off, if provided the necessary shade during daytime, but they feel better during cooler seasons all the same. But I guess it is connected to what temperatures a horse gets used to.

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post #13 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 01:05 PM
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Drafts do tend to have much bigger coats and they are more suitable for colder climates - are you sure a draft would feel good in the climate of South Africa?
Bigger coats? Not sure what that is LOL. That's a new one on me and I have been around heavy horses most of my life. Their coats are no different to any other horse breed. They grow thick coats in the winter...like other horses....and shed in the spring ready for summer...like any other horse. My Clydie was out in tempereatures of 30C in the summer in england. He found the heat tough going like every other horse and moved to the shade like every other horse. He did enjoy a cold shower when I brought him in on an evening. At the moment we are moving into winter in the UK and he has grown a thicker coat. It is no hotter in South Africa than some of the temperatures reached in parts of the USA and their heavy horses are fine. If the weather remains hot and your horse grows a winter coat (unlikely) - you can do what other horse people do, give him a clip. He'll be fine!
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post #14 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 01:10 PM
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My daughter has owned several adult horses, who came straight from the northern UK, into our extreme heat of S. Cal. Certainly the horses like all breeds, don't like our sometimes 112 degrees, but it doesn't affect them more than light horse breeds.

Lizzie
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post #15 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 01:16 PM
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He was not a Gypsy Horse. Galway Warrior was a Drum Horse. Before coming to the US, he was owned by HM Queen Elizabeth ll in England. Sadly, he is gone now. And Gypsies are NOT necessarily 'vanners'. Only a few who happen to be registered within the Vanner registry. The term 'Vanner' was coined by a fellow in Florida, who happened to start a registry by that name.

In recent years, several very good Gypsies, have been sent to S. Africa. Drafts don't suffer from the heat, any more than any other breed. It's all about keeping them comfortable and with shade in the summer months.

When choosing a draft for riding, you would need to know the breed and be able to spot conformation faults, just as in any other breed. Incidentally, Gypsies, Clydes and other heavy horses are not necessarily 'cow hocked'. They have a 'set' which is quite different.

Lizzie
I love Gypsy Vanners (they are a type of horse not necessarily bred by gypsies thse days). I was also not referring to the obvious heavy draft horse shown in the photograph (He is not a gypsy vanner - far too big) even though he is probably a cross breed of other heavies ratehr than a pure bred native. I am not surprised he was a drum horse. Beautiful creature he was. One thing I must correct you on is the 'cow hocks' in Clydesdales. These are actually a breed standard and only in Clydesdales not in other breeds or types of heavy horses. Strange I know but very true. If you want to find out more, have a look at the breed standard for Clydesdale horses which is available from The Clydesdale Horse Society, Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Both my Clydies have cow hocks and I purchased the older one from the UKs top Clydesdale judge LOL. Native heavy breeds in the UK are different from generic drafts or heavy cobs and each one has its own breed standard which in showing circles, has to be adhered to 100%. The standards may differ somewhat in the USA but not usually when it comes to Clydesdales.
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post #16 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 01:28 PM
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Thanks Bluebird! Yes I definitely still want one!

They are relatively rare here in South Africa, hence my ignorance about them. Adult draft horses are also hard to find for sale, but there is a large farm I heard about recently that seems to breed quite a few heavy breeds. I was looking at their available colts and fillies online... which is why I suddenly felt out of my depth that I didn't know what I was looking at... Do draft horses tend to have quite the spectacular yearling fuglies? lol.
You won't regret it. Just another couple of tips - if they are rare in SA, you will probably find that you will be buying a Shire as they are more common. They are fabulous horses and come in all colours and sizes. Size doesn't matter if you want him for riding only as long as he/she is above 16hh and has a nice temperament. Whatever you do, under no circusmtances be persuaded to buy a stallion - no matter who tells you he is just a big *****cat. If he senses a mare nearby, you will never be able to control 1 tonne of horse with his hormones raging. Leave stallions to experts! Have a look on this website too. Its a UK horse dealer selling only heavies but you will get a good idea on what to look for. You could ofcourse buy a horse outside of SA and import but it would possibly put another thousand £ or so on your bill! Have a look at the link and be prepared to want them all - LOL
Matthew Gregory King Ltd. - Shires and Clydesdales | index.php
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post #17 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 01:33 PM
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This is my 'baby' Clydesdale taken in August 2012 when he was 15months and 15.3hh. Note the bum higher than the withers. He has 4 left feet, legs far too long, back all over the place and walks like Bambi on ice. Try and judge conformation from that ...LOL Open shoulders to trot and canter? It takes him all his time to walk in straight line. Anyway, I bought him and he is doing just great.He now stands 16.2hh and is just achingly sweet. Still has 4 left feet so I am hoping in another couple of years, he straighten out and I can ride him!
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post #18 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 01:36 PM
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This is 'Patrick' who is broken to ride, does dressage and was being ridden here as a 3.5 year old.
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post #19 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 02:30 PM
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Bluebird, I actually still don't consider the 'set' required on good Gypsies, the same as true cow hocks, one sees in many breeds. I always thought other draft breeds also called this type rear leg, a 'set'. Maybe it's just a Gypsy thing. I used to have a really good pic, showing a set, vs a cow hock. I knew Jeff had written something about it a long time ago. I finally dug it up. You can see it here...

Conformation in the Gypsy Horse

I did incidentally, see something someone had written a while ago, deploring the 'set' required on Gypsies and presumably, what is called and required as cow hocks, in other drafts. Can't find it now. If I do, I'll post a link to it.

Lizzie
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post #20 of 28 Old 11-15-2012, 03:18 PM
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I would also think you would have to look at the different breeds individually as they are built different.
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