What is the Best and Worst about owning a Heavy Horse? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum

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post #31 of 62 Old 12-11-2012, 10:22 PM
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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.
Oh so true....you say whoa and they look at like you like, "Oh, ok then...not a problem!" Mine is like a statue too.
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post #32 of 62 Old 12-11-2012, 10:24 PM
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[QUOTE=smrobs;1794981]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.

QUOTE]

My girlfriend has Shires and they have problems with scratches and they live in an extremely dry climate.

Belle had issues with it when I first got her. I cut all her feathers off to treat her feet and she has been fine since.
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post #33 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Clipping feathers on a heavy horse is sacriledge! (LOL) I live in Surrey England and we have wind, rain, snow, ankle deep mud then hot dry weather. My boys being Clydesdales have beautiful feathering. Rather than be a curse, it actually has helped protect their feet/ankles from the worst of the weather. However, my boys are stabled overnight and are bedded down on wood shavings which brings their feet and feathers up beautifully clean without resorting to hosing down legs which can cause a spread in mud fever. Fingers crossed, I have had few problems.
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post #34 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 07:00 AM
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My percheron mare had scratches when I got her. I had to clip her feathers to treat and haven't had problems since. Her feathers are growing back nicely.
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post #35 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 10:17 AM
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My percheron mare had scratches when I got her. I had to clip her feathers to treat and haven't had problems since. Her feathers are growing back nicely.
My percheron's have grown back fine too....I have not destroyed her image...lol.
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post #36 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 10:24 AM
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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.


Taken 5 months or so ago...



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post #37 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
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.
I've worked with a number of drafts, Percherons and Belgians mostly and my Canadian mare. I find the super feathered ones are less likely to get it, as the moisture stays on the outside and with good bedding dries easily. While horses with moderate feathering, like Perches and Belgians, get wet to the skin, then don't dry easily to the skin. I also find that their own physical health makes a HUGE difference. The only horses I've ever seen get serious scratches have had other issues - improper diet, worms, not a well bedded stall.
Some people say copper (in the diet) helps prevent scratches - but I haven't tried it. I used Desitin on my Belgian with serious scratches, just parted his feathers and tucked covered it in cream. It worked - unfortunately I could only be there once or twice a week so little difference was made.
My own mare has light feathering and started to get it a little bit this mud-season, so I when I bring her in I rub her legs down with dry sawdust bedding and brush it all off after I've fed her dinner.
There's no need to clip their feathers unless they get it really seriously and need to be treated.
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post #38 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 01:28 PM
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I've worked with a number of drafts, Percherons and Belgians mostly and my Canadian mare. I find the super feathered ones are less likely to get it, as the moisture stays on the outside and with good bedding dries easily. While horses with moderate feathering, like Perches and Belgians, get wet to the skin, then don't dry easily to the skin. I also find that their own physical health makes a HUGE difference. The only horses I've ever seen get serious scratches have had other issues - improper diet, worms, not a well bedded stall.
Some people say copper (in the diet) helps prevent scratches - but I haven't tried it. I used Desitin on my Belgian with serious scratches, just parted his feathers and tucked covered it in cream. It worked - unfortunately I could only be there once or twice a week so little difference was made.
My own mare has light feathering and started to get it a little bit this mud-season, so I when I bring her in I rub her legs down with dry sawdust bedding and brush it all off after I've fed her dinner.
There's no need to clip their feathers unless they get it really seriously and need to be treated.
There may be truth in that. When I got my percheron, she had a horrible diet and no care hoof wise in years and no exercise. I'm sure that would have definitely contributed to her problem. No problems since. Still trying to perfect the diet, but she is definitely much healthier.
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post #39 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 01:35 PM
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There may be truth in that. When I got my percheron, she had a horrible diet and no care hoof wise in years and no exercise. I'm sure that would have definitely contributed to her problem. No problems since. Still trying to perfect the diet, but she is definitely much healthier.
Ditto... although, my mares hooves weren't nearly as bad as yours. Mine had, bad diet, worms, bad teeth, feet were freshly done but had some cracks. The trader I bought her from was a farrier so I suspect that he cleaned them up before I saw her.
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post #40 of 62 Old 12-12-2012, 01:39 PM
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I'm certain that good health, feeding and management are the key to things like scratches
Having spent most of my horse life in the UK where its very wet = lots of mud and also has a mild climate the conditions are perfect for it yet I've never had single case in any of my own horses or horses I've had control of, this includes feather & non or clipped. I try to keep my horses in top health all the time but also make sure they have somewhere dry to stand for a good part of the day when it is wet/muddy either stabled or on a hard footing with a shelter
I know a couple of people who have gyspy cobs and Dales ponies in the UK that have found that if a horse with feather does get 'scratches' it seems easier to treat if the legs are clipped - their experience only.
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