Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian
Mark's right. But I was curious to hear about breeds that I haven't worked on. And maybe some interesting stories about quirks or behavioral tendencies of different breeds.
Fair enough. As MissMarie has already suggested, drafts probably rank high on the least desirable to work with. The reason is simple. It's dangerous by an order of magnitude as compared to working light horses.
The big heavies are just that. Tremendous mass and even more muscle to match. A farrier can be seriously injured when a draft does things that we better tolerate from lighter breeds. Pulling a leg back or suddenly dropping a foot isn't that big a deal on the light breeds. When a draft does it, the results can mean a trip to the chiropractor.
The drafts tend to get handled less and are often shod via use of stocks to avoid the risk and hassle of training. In my view, this serves to make things even worse, particularly when stocks aren't available.
Had a 19 hand mare fall on me a year ago. I'm usually pretty quick at spinning out from under them but this one caught me off guard. A trip to the hospital to assure my back wasn't fractured; 3 months of chiro work and I'm still not 100%. Probably never will be again. All that for a $65 trim.
Most farriers charge considerably more to trim/shoe a draft horse. Even then, it's rarely worth the risk, effort and materials involved. Where I can shoe a quarter horse in under 2 hours, a draft may easily require 3-4 hours to do the job right.
As to risk, work and expense, the heavies get my vote for most difficult.
Donks are probably a close second.