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. :) Posted via Mobile Device