I am a little confused. I come from a ranch and cutting horse background. I have trained horses for more than 50 years. People always brought me saddle horse stock to train to ride and draft stock and draft crosses to train to drive. Ranchers fed with feed team but I never saw one try to ride a draft horse or cross. I have seen many saddle horses that were broke to drive, but never the other way around.
It seems that many people, mostly newcomers to horses are now buying draft horses and crosses to ride. WHY?
I am not trying to be snide or mean, but, as a trainer, I cannot imagine what they can do as well as horses that have been bred for many generations to be good saddle horses. I understand that not everyone wants a cutting horse or a Quarter Horse or Paint [the breeds I have been mostly training], but for the life of me, I do not understand why it would be better, more efficient or nicer in any way to ride horses that have been historically bred for pulling. I understand why people like gaited breeds, even if I have had limited experience with them, but draft stock does not make any sense to me.
So please, would people that have a lot of experience with these crosses under saddle tell me what is so desirable about riding them. I may have missed something all together, but I have only looked at them as animals that I would want trained to drive. I even have preferred driving saddle stock if they only had to pull light loads and use the Drafties for heavy pulling.
The Amish around here use smaller Hafflingers or Standardbreds for light pulling and use the draft stock for the heavy farm work. The only ones I have seen ridden were ridden in from the field with someone sitting on them in harness. I never saw a saddle on one. I would not know where to even buy a saddle that fits one well or a girth that is long enough.
So please, without being snide or catty, tell me what I have been missing here.