Purchasing a draft :)
   

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Purchasing a draft :)

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  • Draft cross horse with choppy gaits
  • Purchasing a draft yearling

 
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    07-04-2010, 09:17 AM
  #1
Yearling
Purchasing a draft :)

So the time has come for a new horse and we're considering a draft because my Dad loves Clydies. I love drafts, but we're really not rushing into anything and we're not just limiting it to drafts, however I'd just like to get some information. So I have a few questions

1. I know this is going to sound stupid, but do they eat more then say a normal QH? What if they're just an easy keeper on hay?

2. Riding! I've heard that drafts are choppy to ride. Is this true? Would a cross breed or a certain breed of draft be more suitable for riding?

3. Competeing! So other than halter, what would be the options? I guess there's driving, which I know nothing about but what about rider classes, PC etc?

4. Price range for a well trained, mature, sensible draft? Btw, I'm in Australia. Also, is anyone aware of any breeders?

5. Mud fever. I know this is probably another stupid question, but with all those feathers around the fetlock, wouldn't they be more prone to it?

6. And finally, I'd just like everyone's opinions on drafts, your experience etc whether they are good or bad :)

Thanks :)
     
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    07-04-2010, 10:35 AM
  #2
Green Broke
1. I don't think they do, we have a Belgian (he's a bit smaller than normal size, but the point being) and he's gets as much as a 14hh Morgan and he's actually gaining weight ;-; he gets 1 scoop (about 3-4 lbs) of sweet feed and one flake of hay, he's also on pasture. So he's not really a hard keeper, he gets two scoops a day too.
2. The Belgian I ride (same as above) has the most amazing canter and run. <3 he's smoother than any of the other qh's and paints at the barn
3. Were getting our Belgian into gaming :) he's trained for cart and western pleasure though. I'm sure you can do just about everyhing with them, not saying they'll necessarily win though.
4. I have absolutly no clue about Australia, so I can't really help you there...but good luck.
5. I'm not really sure what the statistics or anything are, but Belgian above has never had it in his..7-9 years. You can always clip the feathers though, not sure if you'd want to with a shire or Clyde though..lol it doesn't look too bad on other draft types with a bit less feathering.
6. I, personally, will be buying myself drafts from my experience. The first horse I ever sat my ass down on was a shire, and even though it was just a pony ride, he was definitely a big part in why I decided to start riding more and more as I got older and understood. I'm sure it was just his training, but the look in his eye when I was five and sat on his back was amazing. Now I'm riding this Belgian, Dude, and he's an angel when he's comfortable doing something. Ai still can't canter him in the round pen or work him while the other horses in the arena leave, but we're working on it. Everytime I walk into the barn (and he's in his stall) he perks his ears up and watches me walk down to him, hehe. He's fallen asleep on my shoulder and let me lean on him in the fields while he's grazing. I think he's the best horse in the world, even if his training isn't the best, lol.

Hope I helped some. :)
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    07-04-2010, 10:43 AM
  #3
Weanling
1. I know this is going to sound stupid, but do they eat more then say a normal QH? What if they're just an easy keeper on hay?

I don't think so, my horse doesn't get much more feed than our small mare, though my horse is much smaller than most drafts. Our horses share two bales of hay a day and Remi gets about a half a scoop of senior feed and they're on pasture 24/7. My horse is an easy keeper in Spring, Summer and Fall but I have to keep an eye on him in the Winter because he will sometimes drop weight.

2. Riding! I've heard that drafts are choppy to ride. Is this true? Would a cross breed or a certain breed of draft be more suitable for riding?

Nope, that must be a stereotype, not ALL of them are. My guy has some pretty smooth gaits, smoother than a lot of lighter horses I've ridden. A cross breed will probably be more athletic, but that may not matter depending on what you're doing.

3. Competeing! So other than halter, what would be the options? I guess there's driving, which I know nothing about but what about rider classes, PC etc?

You can compete in any show that's not a breed show most likely, that's the way I do it.

4. Price range for a well trained, mature, sensible draft? Btw, I'm in Australia. Also, is anyone aware of any breeders?

Sorry can't help you, I have no idea what the horse market is like in Australia. Remington was $2200 and he was a little green.

5. Mud fever. I know this is probably another stupid question, but with all those feathers around the fetlock, wouldn't they be more prone to it?

I don't know, that's not a big problem around here. Just try and keep them clean.

6. And finally, I'd just like everyone's opinions on drafts, your experience etc whether they are good or bad :)

Well I own one, and he's a sweetheart, so my opinion is obviously good. He's calm, quiet, and great in new places. I literally brought him to the barn the day that I got him on trial at 10:00 PM and the next morning rode him in Pony Club camp, and he was a perfect boy.

     
    07-04-2010, 10:58 AM
  #4
Yearling
I have an 18 hd. Draft cross, Cody. I don't profess to be an expert but in my experience at least:

1. He eats about 5-6 flakes of grass hay a day, gets 4 lbs. Of pellets w/ supplements in it. My paint gets the same amount of pellets but eats less hay. I basically give them all the grass hay they will eat and Cody is almost always wanting to munch on anything so at least for me, yes he does eat more!

2. Cody is wonderfully smooth at the walk, trot and canter although it is taking much longer to get him balanced at the canter, able to canter smaller circles, etc. I think it really depends on the horse and their conformation more than anything.

3. We go to regular horse shows, don't do very well in halter because most times we are competing against QH's and that's what the judges know and place. They don't know what to do with a draft! We also do open shows and have done OK w/ jumping. We're getting into eventing, did our first dressage show last week! We certainly get attention for being so big which is good and bad. Hard to hide faults on such a big horse!

4. In CA you could get a decently trained draft for anywhere from $1000 up depending on experience, conformation, breeding.

5. I'm assuming mud fever is the same as scratches? My draft cross (perch) doesn't have much in the way of feathers, we don't get a lot of rain so no issues but I know that can be a problem if they are in mud a lot.

5. I have only experienced Cody but he has been wonderful to train-done it myself. He's smart, quick learner, so friendly and draws people wherever we go :)

Goodluck in your search :)
     
    07-04-2010, 11:13 AM
  #5
Yearling
Thanks everyone :) I really appreciated that, and I will definitely be doing my research.
     
    07-04-2010, 11:40 AM
  #6
Foal
1. I've heard they CAN be hard keepers, but every Draft I've ever met was the exact opposite, and ate less than "normal" sized horses and got fatter than the normies.
2. The draft/x I just bought is a dream to ride, but again, he's a mix. I've heard that the full-sized ones often have nice walks, but faster than that can get choppy.
3. Don't show.
4. I paid $370 for mine. Around here, a draft goes for about $800+ if it is broke, sensible, etc.; you can EASILY get one for less at an auction, if you're up for the challenge. I know someone who paid $170 for a broke to ride, broke to drive Belgian mare who had a foal at her side. She was skinny and her hooves were horrible, however. Now? She's beautiful. They made their money back selling the colt when he was weaned.
5. Not sure.
6. I love 'em. I've wanted a draft or a draft/x since I was young, and I'm thrilled I finally have one. Only thing is, now I want another one, haha. I just wish I hadn't gotten all those normal-sized horses now, so I could get a fleet of drafts.
     
    07-05-2010, 11:40 PM
  #7
Yearling
1. Our two Clydes really don't take any more feed than do most of my light horses (and less than my hard keepers). They tend to be prone to obesity, can be founder prone. They have shown a slightly higher tendancy towards being insulin resistant - which means you need to watch how much sugars they get in their diet (this means sugars in hay and other feeds... not just "treat" sugar).

2. Quality of gaits is directly linked to conformation. If you have a conformationally correct horse, regardless of breed, it will "ride" better than one with poor conformation. Many drafts have conformation that is not "ideal", having a hindquarter conformation which is steeper and straighter than what we'd want in a riding horse (these faults can also be seen often in the QH breed... just as another example), they can also tend to have a more upright shoulder - which can be another reason for a choppy gait.

Neither of our drafts (Clydes) are choppy at all to ride, they're just bigger.

3. A draft is a horse. As far as I know you can enter them in any class - BUT, be aware that they are NOT bred to be riding horses. Their conformation and body mass mean there will be more wear and tear on their bodies when used as a riding horse than a light horse would have. I, personally, don't like seeing them in the hunter or jumper rings - I just cringe over the fact that many are obese and asked to jump... they simply weren't bred for it, no matter how much they seem to enjoy it, or how cute they are doing it.

That said, if you take the time to ensure they build the correct muscles and are ridden with balance they can do just about anything you ask. Just remember that extra body mass will wear them out a bit faster, and they can find it more difficult to do a lot of changes of gait. (They were bred to go slow, all day long... not change gears quickly)

4. Average price for a well broke, registered Clyde probably depends on your area. Up here in my part of Canada you'd be looking at $3500-$6000... that probably gets lower or higher depending on how many Clydesdales you'd find in your area, and what, exactly, you want for training on them.

5. No, not if they have some place to be dry(ish). Clydesdales were bred near the Clyde River in Scotland. They were used to bring barges up river... so bred in damp. The feathers actually help wick moisture away from the skin. That said, if your horse lives in muck all day every day it's at risk for mud fever - regardless of breed.

6. I really enjoy our two Clydes. They are very good at what they were bred to do. My mare LOVES going for rides, and especially has a fondness for children. They are both very smart, easy to train, easy to handle horses who really enjoy working. They have some energy, but generally keep a level head - even when perked up. As I've mentioned, they do have some challenges from a riding standpoint, but, in general I've found they are great members of our family, fun to ride or drive... they also help by doing farm work and logging.
     
    07-05-2010, 11:48 PM
  #8
Green Broke
1. I know this is going to sound stupid, but do they eat more then say a normal QH? What if they're just an easy keeper on hay?
Im pretty sure they eat more, just like how your dad probably eats more then you, its size.

2. Riding! I've heard that drafts are choppy to ride. Is this true? Would a cross breed or a certain breed of draft be more suitable for riding?
sorry, can't answer
3. Competeing! So other than halter, what would be the options? I guess there's driving, which I know nothing about but what about rider classes, PC etc?

I've seen a lot of drafts jump and do dressage and basically anything else a normal size horse can do. Theyre just bigger.

4. Price range for a well trained, mature, sensible draft? Btw, I'm in Australia. Also, is anyone aware of any breeders?
sorry, can't answer
5. Mud fever. I know this is probably another stupid question, but with all those feathers around the fetlock, wouldn't they be more prone to it?
I've found most horses with that much feathering, they don't get scratches near as much as a horse with normal feathering, because the hair is so thick (as long as the hrose isnt standing in knee deep mud constantly) that the mud doesnt even touch the skin usually.

Im no expert on drafts, but I hope maybe I helped, lol.
     
    07-06-2010, 02:37 AM
  #9
Foal
Rider, most drafts don't eat more than normal sized horses. They're just easier keepers.
     
    07-06-2010, 10:19 AM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broski1984    
Rider, most drafts don't eat more than normal sized horses. They're just easier keepers.
Yup. My Saddlebreds, idle, eat more than my drafts in hard work.

Remember these horses were bred for working farms and other heavy work required by the "working class" (as opposed to wealthy people who would have horses for riding)... they needed a horse who could work hard, all day, on a pretty small diet (I believe, a "traditional" draft diet was hay and some oats if they were working... along with a pasture of grass)

I thought I'd mention :

Don't forget that draft tack is usually bigger (there are some exceptions.. my Hubby's horse actually fits a semi-QH bar western saddle right now... so it's just his big head that requires larger than normal gear), sometimes harder to find (if you want it to fit right) and in many cases more expensive than what you'd get for a light horse. Because drafts were bred to be in harness they often have conformation which makes saddle fitting a bit tricky (namely really wide backs and HUGE shoulders...)
     

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