I am getting my first horse tomorrow and not only is it my first horse but it is a Belgian Draft Horse. He is amazing and I am in love already he is 17.1 Hands tall. I was wondering what should I feed him because different sites say different things that you shouldnt feed them sweet feed, and others say you should, but from what I was reading they don't metabolize the same as other breeds of horses and wouldnt metabolize sweet feed well? I did hear that Hay is most important to them. I am going to be riding him just a few times a week and nothing big and exciting just around a trail Im actually scared to run him because I'm scared he will get hurt :\ He isnt going to be used for any heavy work or anything like that. So does anyone know what would be a good way to start feeding him or should I just feed him the exact same way the previous owners did because I was told to feed a quarter of a cup of sweet feed? And If anyone has another other helpful tips on how to raise them properly please feel free to email me at Starburstangel8@yahoo.com I want to give him the upmost top care I can give him. And I know that some things are different between each of the different breeds.
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new horse! I hope to maybe see some pictures when you get him home.
Generally speaking, draft horses are very easy keepers, meaning that they keep weight well and don't need special feeds or copious amounts of feed to keep them at a healthy weight. Sweet feed and pretty much any other feed with sugars and/or molasses are a huge no-no for drafts.
My Belgian mare gets fed nothing but good quality grass hay and she stays very...ahem...rotund LOL.
Was wondering the same things! Have you ridden a draft before, are you boarding or do you have a place?
They can run just as easily as other horses! My mare keeps up with all the guys, even our mini Barney it's quite a sight. Will have to get some pictures. When you're standing by the barn you can hear the floor creak when she runs by! Riding her when she runs is like riding a couch, it's very different and she loves it.
Congrats on the new horse though! I just got Belle not too long ago, she was my first draft after my quarter/arab cross Charlie! I've been around drafts my whole life and one of the best pieces of advice I've been given is to treat them like any other horse! They don't need too much special treatment for being "big" and need to respect you and your space. It helps a lot! I'm small and it'd be easy for Belle to walk right over me, but she knows her limits and is bonding with me more every day. It's very rewarding, I'll tell you that and a very special experience to have and bond with your first horse. You WILL get frustrated, no horse is perfect. Just keep your head up and work with him when things get tough. Would LOVE to see pictures.(:
This is my girl Belle, she had already known how to untie her self and walk around with the lead rope until you asked her to bring you the rope! A bad habit now fixed with some time, but was cute to watch!
Can't wait to see some pictures of your new boy! (:
Thank you everyone for all the helpful advice. He is broke we actually rode him bareback yesterday and he did amazing he is a big of a stubborn butt so my friend/trainer told me that I had to be more dominant over him that I couldnt lightly tug the reins I had to be more in control and show him I will not allow him to run over me because when she rode he went everywhere she wanted when I rode he wanted me to see that he would go where he wanted to. So she told me I was going to have to stop worrying so much about hurting him and be more firm with him. :\ I was worried the bit was going to hurt his mouth lol Im use to most horses riding with Hackamores and not bits so I was scared it was going to hurt his mouth. But other than that he just needs some fine tuning the lady who is selling me him says he hasnt had anything done with him in about six months so me and him are going to take some courses together, but if he is as good normally as he was yesterday I am going to be shocked. He was the most calm mellow gentle horse I've ever met. Which will be good because I have a three year old who likes to ride with us but most of the horses she has been one will have wild moments and it scares me. I would post pictures but I'm not sure how to do that yet lol. OH and he is 8 Years Old