What is the Best and Worst about owning a Heavy Horse? - Page 3
 
 

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What is the Best and Worst about owning a Heavy Horse?

This is a discussion on What is the Best and Worst about owning a Heavy Horse? within the Draft Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • What breed of draft horse is the meanest

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    11-30-2012, 10:11 AM
  #21
Foal
Best thing: WOW, I don't think that there is one best thing. So, I guess that there's just more to love. Snuggling a draft is the BEST!! Riding a draft is a blast, though I have to agree I do A LOT of ducking in the woods!

Worst thing: Finding a trailer that my guy will fit into. Finding a farrier that likes the big horses as much as I do.
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    12-01-2012, 08:25 PM
  #22
Weanling
Thanks, you guys, for your great suggestions. I have attached a pic of Ahab with saddle, but there are a few things different...

DSC_1363.jpg

... Such as, I saddled him quickly for a photo but did not ride; normally I put the saddle farther back, not up on his withers like that. Also, I have replaced the Navajo pad with a thick 5-star wool pad, and the neoprene girth with a mohair "Y" girth so now there is a buck strap, of sorts. The fit has been checked by my farrier and by my vet, neither of whom are probably that proficient in it. I also sent of tracings to the guy who built the saddle, and he said it would be the saddle he would have made for Ahab. All that being said, I can't help but agree that it might be pinching his shoulders. Also, I am having a chiropractor out, for sure. Finally, I think a second horse may be in order... Dream on, dream on.

But, another best thing about drafts is how they make you laugh. I was at a local show, and a woman on a HUGE Percheron cross (beautiful) was up to jump next. They went into the jumping arena, the gate closed behind them, and the Percheron took one look at the jumps, turned, and calmly walked back out of the arena, right through the gate... broke it into smithereens, and didn't even slow down. He slowly walked over and took his old place at the ringside, like nothing had happened. No hysterics, just determination.
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    12-01-2012, 08:47 PM
  #23
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Evil    
Thanks, you guys, for your great suggestions. I have attached a pic of Ahab with saddle, but there are a few things different...

Attachment 120171

... Such as, I saddled him quickly for a photo but did not ride; normally I put the saddle farther back, not up on his withers like that. Also, I have replaced the Navajo pad with a thick 5-star wool pad, and the neoprene girth with a mohair "Y" girth so now there is a buck strap, of sorts. The fit has been checked by my farrier and by my vet, neither of whom are probably that proficient in it. I also sent of tracings to the guy who built the saddle, and he said it would be the saddle he would have made for Ahab. All that being said, I can't help but agree that it might be pinching his shoulders. Also, I am having a chiropractor out, for sure. Finally, I think a second horse may be in order... Dream on, dream on.

But, another best thing about drafts is how they make you laugh. I was at a local show, and a woman on a HUGE Percheron cross (beautiful) was up to jump next. They went into the jumping arena, the gate closed behind them, and the Percheron took one look at the jumps, turned, and calmly walked back out of the arena, right through the gate... broke it into smithereens, and didn't even slow down. He slowly walked over and took his old place at the ringside, like nothing had happened. No hysterics, just determination.
Beautiful horse Captain! That story is so true with the big guys! My percheron has the same type of personality. She will push through a brick wall if she wants to, no questions asked. I was in the arena one day, had to get off of her for something and walked away from her for a brief moments. She turned around, walked slowly to the gate, swung it open and went to eat grass! Basically gave me the finger, but ever so calmly.
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    12-02-2012, 07:17 AM
  #24
Weanling
I love the comments about the more 'stubborn' side of draft horses. I have a lovely story to share about Patrick (1ton of Clydesdale) and hooves the size of dinner plates. It is a job and a half for me to pick out his feet. Sometimes he is an angel and I have no problems, other times he decides he is going to be awkward. You know how none-draft horse owners like to give you advice about what you should and shouldn't do when you handle your draft (even though they have only ever been around ponies or TB)? A few months ago I was trying to pick out Patrick's feet and he was giving me hell. Refusing to pick up, leaning in...sound familiar? I was being watched by the yard 'know-it-all-expert' who owns a 12hh elderly pony. What he doesn't know about handling horses isn't worth knowing and he can handle any breed or type....(Ring any bells?) So he walked over to me and said "Shall I leave you to struggle or would you like me to show you how to pick a horse's foot up?" Well I couldnt resist. I was really grateful to him and asked him to show me. I walked round to Patrick's ear and whispered sweetly "If you pick even one hoof up you are going for dog food!" Patrick seemed to understand. Mr Know It All bent down and said to me "Watch and learn..." I smiled and nodded eagerly. Well that poor guy tried and tried to pick the front hoof up but Patrick planted. He then went to try the back hoof and pulled, and pushed, and nudged, and cajouled, and worked himself up into quite a frenzy. Patrick didn't move a muscle. In the end Mr Know It All came down off his pedestal and said "Ok, I admire you. I'm so sorry for being a patronising $%*" We did have a good laugh about it and one of the best things about a draft horse, is the way they help you take nothing for granted and keep you humble!
     
    12-02-2012, 10:50 AM
  #25
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
I love the comments about the more 'stubborn' side of draft horses. I have a lovely story to share about Patrick (1ton of Clydesdale) and hooves the size of dinner plates. It is a job and a half for me to pick out his feet. Sometimes he is an angel and I have no problems, other times he decides he is going to be awkward. You know how none-draft horse owners like to give you advice about what you should and shouldn't do when you handle your draft (even though they have only ever been around ponies or TB)? A few months ago I was trying to pick out Patrick's feet and he was giving me hell. Refusing to pick up, leaning in...sound familiar? I was being watched by the yard 'know-it-all-expert' who owns a 12hh elderly pony. What he doesn't know about handling horses isn't worth knowing and he can handle any breed or type....(Ring any bells?) So he walked over to me and said "Shall I leave you to struggle or would you like me to show you how to pick a horse's foot up?" Well I couldnt resist. I was really grateful to him and asked him to show me. I walked round to Patrick's ear and whispered sweetly "If you pick even one hoof up you are going for dog food!" Patrick seemed to understand. Mr Know It All bent down and said to me "Watch and learn..." I smiled and nodded eagerly. Well that poor guy tried and tried to pick the front hoof up but Patrick planted. He then went to try the back hoof and pulled, and pushed, and nudged, and cajouled, and worked himself up into quite a frenzy. Patrick didn't move a muscle. In the end Mr Know It All came down off his pedestal and said "Ok, I admire you. I'm so sorry for being a patronising $%*" We did have a good laugh about it and one of the best things about a draft horse, is the way they help you take nothing for granted and keep you humble!
Lol, oh yes! Funny story. I was told that Belle wouldn't pick up her feet at all for the farrier before me and that was why she didn't have any hoof care for 3 years. Didn't believe that story, but that's what I was told. Belle USUALLY does very well for me. And, the few times she 'planted', she end up abscessing....so I'm thinking she was in pain. But, what she does fine for me, she doesn't always do for the farrier. About 95% of the time she is fine, but the few times she is not, are usually memorable. If she decides to take her foot away from the farrier, he usually ends up on his butt on the ground.

That's why I say that it's all a mind game....for horse and human alike...that the human is in charge of this 2000lb animal.
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    12-02-2012, 10:29 PM
  #26
Foal
I'm loving all these replies. I can't wait for a time when I can come back and add my own reasons.
     
    12-05-2012, 06:16 PM
  #27
Foal
Best: The cuddles. The size. The looks you get from non-horsey people when you ride past on what is effectively an elephant! Their hijinks (ever tried to stop a Clydesdale getting into a garden shed??). Their intelligence (see previous comment).

Worst: Low branches. Big feet. Bigger feed/farrier bills.
     
    12-11-2012, 08:18 PM
  #28
Weanling
Another good thing about drafts: you can put your entire brush collection up on their butts, go into the house, make a cup of coffee, grab an apple, and then go back out to the barn. All of the brushes will still be there on the horse's butt.
Bluebird and Oldhorselady like this.
     
    12-11-2012, 09:43 PM
  #29
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
The worst thing about owning a heavy horse is : food bill and mucking out.
My girl goes in one spot only... So I end up with like an 80lb mound of poo... Rest of the stall is relatively clean, all I really have to do is toss the bedding as she compresses it into particle board

Best: Everything!
Worst: I can't think of anything right now
     
    12-11-2012, 10:00 PM
  #30
Showing
Question for you folks that live in wet areas. I know that scratches are usually a problem when you have a heavily feathered draft, but would clipping the feathers (blasphemy, I know, but bear with me) help to prevent scratches if the horse doesn't already have them?

I live in an exceptionally dry area so I don't have to worry about it, but I was just curious for curiosity's sake.


Anyway, back on topic...

Best things: they are just so sweet, even when they're obnoxious LOL. It never ceases to amaze me that such a massive beast would willingly obey little 130 pound me. When I was riding my Percheron, I loved being on him bareback. He was just so broad and squishy that it was like riding a great big old moving sofa. Plus, we get lots of looks from the townsfolk when we come trundling down main street being pulled by 4000 pounds of horseflesh in front of the wagon.



Worst thing: Keeping their feet looking good. Farrier has a fight to get them done...not cause the horses are bad, they stand well, it's just that those feet are so big and it is so dry that it takes about 20-30 minutes just to trim 1 foot with the super thick and hard hoof walls. By the time he's gone all the way around on my 2 drafties, his rasp is pretty darn dull.
     

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