Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
Well if it helps at all I have a friend who has a REALLY heavy Percheron/Cleveland Bay/WB cross and he moves really lightly. York could be purebred Percheron just going by appearance, he's as wide as he is tall. Officially measured at 16.1 but gives the impression of being about 18hh!
FWIW, I like them big, the bigger the better... safest I've ever felt on a horse was on a 16.3hh [biggest I've ever ridden] FEI dressage horse. The big ones can move so amazingly. Orrrr they can be really coarse and flat, but Saddlebred/Clyde should float well enough. Clydies have good knee action IME and are surprisingly athletic for their size and bulk, Saddlebreds I have very little experience with except to say YUM YUM YUM. Some of them swing their hind legs out when they move, which reminds me of the movement of the Standardbred, but a good one that moves straight and correct is just... poetry in motion.
I'm used to seeing the GG being a Saddlebred/Friesian cross, but my understanding is that it's really Saddlebred/draft. Friesian is just the most popular choice of draft breed, because they have fewer "draft horse" characteristics. I don't like Friesians, but I do like GG's. Especially yours.
Interesting you mention some Saddlebreds moving like Standardbreds... Waaaaaay back in most ASB Pedigrees are Standardbreds, so that makes sense. I think they are often a breed sold a little short. I love all my purebred Saddlebreds, but I also love the more substantial build of the GG.
And yes, the GG is Saddlebred/Draft, or Saddlebred/Friesian - with up to 75% Saddlebred blood, or as little as 25%. While the Friesian seems most often used, we chose the Clydesdale because of the fact, for a heavy draft, they tend to be very athletic with a way of going I find more appealing. (They don't tend to have the very upright front end present in most Friesians). I like the F1 generation of GG's but I am REALLY loving the F2 that is starting to make an appearance now. I like the Clydesdale and Shire crosses, better, on the whole... But more than a few with Friesian have certainly caught my eye.
This is the sire of our colt, with less than 30 days undersaddle. (Apparently the only set up conformation shots I have of him, handy-like, are as a gangly colt) After he was gelded he was sold, I had a lot of solid interest from dressage and pony club riders ... In the end he went to a woman who just wanted a really nice all around horse - for her own enjoyment (she doesn't show) simply because he seemed to really like her best. (I'm a bit kooky like that, they just had an immediate "click" that seemed missing from some of the others who came to look. It made me feel better about parting with a horse I really really liked)
The woman riding him in this photo said he was by far the coolest horse she had trained as far as how quick and easy he learned - and his movement. She a rides and shows hunter/jumpers (with more emphasis on jumpers) and said she if she could have, she would have taken him home because he would suit both, with flair.
This is the colt's dam, showing even the big drafts can have get up and go... (unfortunately the last time I took conformation photos of her she was about 2 or 3, right in the middle of a growth spurt... Something to do when I think about it will be getting new ones now that she is 9 and she is what she is.). She was started for harness, but just didn't seem to enjoy it (she'd do it and everything, but you could tell it was because she's good natured)... So now she is ridden instead. We just do basic flatwork and trails. She has nice movement, especially considering her size, and a fabulous temperment. When a young lady borrowed her for a riding lesson (her own horse had pulled up lame) the coach said "she is just a lovely mare, I'd like to steal her. I love her way of going and you can't beat her mind."