Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Oooh, I love Drafts! I am definitely wanting to get a Belgian or Clydesdale down the road.
1. In general, Thoroughbred's would probably be more expensive since many of them are hard keepers and need extra feed, hay, and supplements to keep their weight up. And if you get an OTTB then you might be faced with more vet bills if the horse has leg issues or health problems. Draft's are usually easy keepers, though there definitely are many exceptions.
2. That's a tough one. On one hand, most Thoroughbred's need extra feed to keep their weight up. But on the other hand, Draft's are huge animals and it takes a good chunk out of the pocket book to feed them. I'd have to say it's a tie.
3. Draft horses are most notable for their size, strength, docile temperament, powerful weight pulling capability and proud bearings. The characteristics vary greatly from breed to breed; for an example, Clydesdales are being bred for a more refined and elegant build that still retains it's looming height and gentle dispostion. They have tremendous athletic ability and have the most elastic, animated gaits out of all the heavy breeds. Then you have Percheron's, who have Arabian blood in them which gave them the distinctive "dished" profile and less choppy strides that make them more suitable for riding then, say, the Belgian, who are more chunky and muscled. Belgian's usually have the typical draft strides; short, choppy, yet not so uncomfortable that they can't be ridden. Belgian's are bred more for strength and build then refinement and elegance. Many draft breeds have straight or convex profiles.
4. If your getting an OTTB, chances are that he/she is going to have higher vet bills then a draft. Obviously, it varries, but from my personal experience, Draft's are extremely easy keepers and as long as you get one that is somewhat conformationally correct, very sound, with good, hard feet (Draft's have a reputation for having not-so-good feet), and a thorough vet check then I do not believe that the vet bills will be any higher than any other horse (Just guessing, as it depends on the individual, and not all tb's are hard keepers and picky eaters and some Draft's are hard keepers as well).
5. I'm not familiar with the climate in Texas, is it very hot and humid? If so, then tb's would probably do better in the heat then drafts, which is a very generalized statement and there are definitely many exceptions.
I hope I was some help :)