Thinking of Buying a Belgian QH. My FIRST horse. ?'s - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Sainte Genevieve, MO
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Question Thinking of Buying a Belgian QH. My FIRST horse. ?'s

I am new to the forum. Heres my story.
I used to ride when I was 14-16yrs old. Back then I was under 200lbs obviously and able to ride anything. Once I got into high school and my friend stopped boarding her horse at the barn we went to, things died down and I didnt ride after that.

Its been 13+ years and I am married now and have a 6 yr old little girl. We just recently moved onto 16 acres with a 100x50 ft barn with 7 stalls in it. Its always been my dream to get back into the horses. I recently bought my daughter a small pony that is GREAT! He has been wonderful for her and we are starting 4H with them together.

Throughout all this i have been dying to get back on a horse. Problem is, I am now considered a LARGE rider. I am too big to ride an average quarter horse or any other "normal size" horse.

Before i get people telling me to lose weight and yada yada---I want advice about the horse, not advice telling me to lose weight. I saw a forum post once on a diff forum and people totally ripped on this woman because he husband was 350lbs and wanted to learn to ride.

The horse I have found is a 14 yr old Belgian Quarter Horse. 17Hands bout 1800lbs. I met him today for the first time. He is beautiful. I have to say I was extremely intimidated. Kind of shakey in the knees about it, I got up on the back of a 4wheeler and climbed on him (took me about 20 minutes to convince myself that i could do it). It felt "right" but being that he is so large I really want to know PROS and CONS of this type of horse. I have been learning a lot with the pony, but thats like childs play compared to a big horse like this.

Is someone more or less likely to fall off such a large horse? Is there anything I need to know about owning a larger horse other than a normal size horse. Other than the obvious costs of feeding, costs of tack.

Are vet bills MORE on a bigger horse simply because of the size?
Is there a health problem associated with these types of horses?
See where im going---I am just looking for any input on this horse.

OH OH OH---AND---does anyone know of any super great websites to buy draft horse stuff and does anyone know where i can buy a MOUNTING RAMP that can be tall enough for someone 5'4 to mount a 17H horse.

I appreciate all the help and look forward to meeting you all!
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Sainte Genevieve, MO
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Also, what is the life expectancy of these guys?
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
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First off...welcome to the forum and welcome back to horses.

Most people will agree that as long as you fall between 15 and 25% of a horses weight, you are safe. I could only imagine that a horse that size would have no trouble carrying around a larger rider.

You wont get any sass out of me on the weight thing. At 30 I am 5'8 and 220#. I just recently sold my QH gelding who was 14.2 but around 1200#. He carried me with grace and tossed me on my butt when he felt like it.

As far as draft questions go...I am new to drafts myself. I am my friends draft cross. There are lots of people on here with lots of experience on draft horses and their care. I can tell you that rosie does not eat as much as other horses as she is over weight. I know she requires more hay in the winter but never gets more grain than your average QH. Her hoof care costs the same. Her worming gets tricky as she needs atleast 2 tubes to cover her weight.

I have recently discovered that draft horse tack is rediculously expensive. Finding a good saddle is hard. Right now I am looking at used on ebay or on classified sites like and this forum (tack and equiptment classified) If you would probably be best to buy his saddle from his owners along with him. As long as it fits you reasonably well...finding a draft saddle that fits is proving to be difficult!

Good luck in the world of horses!
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-11-2010, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks -
I really appreciate the reply. They have a saddle that is large enough for me and very light weigh as well. I am definitely between the 15-25% of the weight so thats good.

When I got on him today he didnt budge. I was worried he would shift his weight or think to himself..."hey lady get your fata$$ off of me" but he didnt. He accepted me and held still so I could compose myself.

I look like a goon on top of him. But all in all i smiled because i was back on a horse. Felt good. I missed it. Im bringing my friend back on Thurs to look at him with me. She is a Farrier and is going to school to be an equine vet. So I wanted her personal opinion as for his health. Make sure I dont miss anything. She has not owned a draft and tells me what she knows but I thought it would be good asking the forum.

Looking forward to more replies.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Riverside, CA
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I have a 6 yr. old, 18 hd. percheron draft cross and LOVE him! I got him when he was under a year and he just kept growing, but he is mostly very sweet. Like all horses, they have their days when they can be less than cooperative but mostly, he is just wonderful and people are drawn to him because he's so sweet and huge! I'm 5' 9" so he fits me pretty well, still look sort of small on him. He carries me and my daughter double on trail rides sometimes and that's a combo of about 250+ lbs and he just trucks along, you'd never know, plus a heavy saddle.

I got lucky w/ the western, was buying a bunch at a tack auction and happened to get a huge on that fits him. I got my English saddle online through someone who sells saddles for drafts. I would say the price was probably around average for a good quality saddle, no more than for a light horse. You just have to know what you're looking for. Because my horse is younger and still growing and changing, I have to keep getting the flocking adjusted. With crosses, sometimes it can be challenging finding a bridle that fits. My guy wears a combination of a warmblood and draft bridle with extra long reins. Used tack/consignment shops are your friend :)

He does eat a lot of hay but his caloric requirements are the same as my 15 hand paint, he just likes to munch so I give him a lot of grass hay to keep him busy, probably eats about 5-6 flakes day.

It can be hard to get a farrier to take on your draft horse I've heard but never experienced that myself. I had one farrier charge me extra for a "draft" trim but my current farrier charges me the same amount for all my horses :)

Vet bills are the same. When worming him, I give him a whole wormer and then the left overs from the rest of my horses to make up for his size!

You are maybe less likely to fall off of a draft horse just because they tend to move more slowly, be a little calmer although there are some pretty tempermental drafts out there. Depends on your horse. My gelding has only dumped me once and he just felt good, wasn't anything intentional. That's pretty good for having ridden him all these years and training him.

I think age expectancy is probably about the same, depending on the care they've received over their lifetime. I don't think they are like big dogs who tend to age faster.

Hope your 2nd tryout session goes well :)

Riverside, CA
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Sainte Genevieve, MO
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Well we decided we are gonna get him~~~~ Im so excited, and nervous at the same time.

I will be getting him in 2 months. Needed time to pay for him and get some things done around the barn before he comes. Also have to figure out HOW im getting him here. She said i will need an open stock trailer. Not many places rent out here. So Ill be looking for that too!

Ive been reading and it says life expectancy is 25-35 years. Thats a big gap. In all your opinions, is there an average?

I need a mounting block for sure!!! Still looking. Might need to build one because I cannot find anything. Im going to post a pic of him.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 01:52 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Building a mounting block isn't hard. My hubby built one so our tiny 5yr old could easily get on a 16h horse. It's 3 steps, he made them wide enough that I can bring my horse to the side and mount from the 2nd step so I am not climbing down onto my horse. If you make it out of solid wood, build it where you intend to leave it though, he didn't and it took 3 guys to move ours.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Delfina- We are thinking that is the best thing we are going to have to do.

TO EVERYONE---I have posted pics of our babies!!! Enjoy!
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 06:52 AM
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Well, after having a clyde/qh for 17 yrs-congrats! The draft crosses are the best! Mine is a super easy keeper-never shoes, never an issue, until about age 20, when he needed a supplement for his arthritis from being jumped too young.....
When I bought him, the breeder told me NOT to give him grain-apparently it can make these guys a bit hot. He has always gotten just a handful of pellets twice a day, since we feel sorry for him when the others are eating. He gets NO hay in summer at all, but has lush grass while he is out all nite. n winter he gets about the same as the other horses.
Vet bills are the same, farrier bills are too, at least here. I agree with the wormer-it does take more because of the weight, but if you have a pony, the leftovers may just cover it!
As far as tack goes, mine takkes a normal size headstall, and I went to a saddle (Bates) with an adjustable gullet. Works great, and is not just limited to him, should I want to use it on my other guy. Westen-I am thinking about a flextree or treeless, which may give you the width you need. They can be hard to fit, but my biggest challenge has been an english girth. Finding one long enough has been tough at times, and I now use an extender. Personally, I do not have the funds nor the desire to have tack that only works on one horse, which is why I have looked at the flexible options. I have also upgraded the pad to a supracor (LOVE them, but expensive) which helps I think.
Good luck and enjoy!

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-12-2010, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Riverside, CA
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Congratulations on your decision to join the wonderful world of drafties! I actually just use a plastic step stool that we bought at Home Depot, has 2 steps, easily portable. Don't know if it would be tall enough for you. I'm 5' 9" and getting on an 18 hand horse. Sometimes I use the fender of my trailer or a rock, depending on where I am!

Trailering is an issue. My horse outgrew my 3 horse slant trailer. I had the dividers modified so that the front one is longer. It is still a bit tight for him when I'm hauling 3 horses. When I'm just taking him or only two horses, I'll put the other horse in the front stall and put him in the back two with the 2nd divider left open and he fits just fine. I did redo the floor of my trailer and they put in extra metal supports for his weight. Make sure you have someone check the floor of any trailer you are going to haul him in! does carry a lot of good things for draft horses and their prices aren't too bad. My guy uses a 62 inch English girth. Can't just find those anywhere. I used an extender like franknbeans for a while. He's so much bigger than my other horses (15 and 13.3 hands) that there isn't much we can share!

Since you have a pony, feeding won't be such an issue as I treat my draft and pony the same-no grain, no alfalfa, plenty of grass hay, lower protein and starch feeds.


Riverside, CA
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