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Bluebird 11-01-2012 10:39 AM

Why You Need A Heavy Horse
 
I adore my Clydesdale. I waited almost 45 years to get him and we are best buddies. He is a true gentle giant at 18.1hh. He has taught me so much but the reactions he brings out in other people are amazing. Here is a little tale which I hope will give you a little bit of 'feel good'.
I was riding Patrick along the lane by the farm when I was stopped by a chap who was out with his little boy aged about 5. The man asked if his son could stroke Patrick. Patrick obviously obliged and lowered his massive head down so the little one could reach it. The man told me that his son had seen Patrick grazing in the field and had got so excited because he believed the horse belonged to a giant (I am 5 feet 3") We had a little bit of a laugh at that. However, what happened next totally finished me off. The little boy looked up to me and said "Excuse me lady, when you sit on his back, can you see into heaven?" I said " Yes!" I waved them off and Patrick had to take me home at that point because I couldn't see. Heaven to me is the space between a Clydedale's or any horse's ears.

loveduffy 11-02-2012 12:13 AM

that is a great story I get question like that when I ride my Belgium the number one question is ( is he big or do all horse come that big)

Bluebird 11-02-2012 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loveduffy (Post 1741091)
that is a great story I get question like that when I ride my Belgium the number one question is ( is he big or do all horse come that big)

I think when you are owned by a genuine Heavy Horse (not USA draft) you do forget their size and think they look normal. You then go out riding with a friend on her 15.3hh normal size horse and think "Gor blimey! My horse IS a giant!" My Clydesdale is just over 18 hh and it is a long way down when you are 5foot 3". Would love to see your Belgian though

DarenC1 11-05-2012 04:11 AM

When I was riding Bracken or Mouse, everyone loved seeing them. The wee horses and ponies were fine, but people ALWAYS made a beeline for the big guys.

(Although the time Bracken mugged some poor old lady for her shopping....!)

ThatDraftGirl 11-07-2012 07:54 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by a "USA Draft". In America, our general term "draft" refers to heavy work horses such as Clydesdales, Shires, Percherons, Suffolks, Brabants, and Belgians. Most people who do not own a "draft" or heavy horse, just calls every heavy horse they see a draft horse because of their unfamiliarity with the different breeds. Halflingers and Fjords are considered Draft Ponies because of their conformation and ability to work as a heavy does. A horse that is half draft, lets say, half Clydesdale, is considered a Draft Cross or Half Draft, because they are a Draft/Heavy crossed with a lighter breed, such as a Thoroughbred or Arabian. Hope that helped? I have a Belgian and everyone asks me if he is a Clydesdale, they know he is bigger than the average Quarter Horse, but are not familiar with all the different Draft Breeds.

ThatDraftGirl 11-07-2012 08:05 AM

BlueBird, this is my 2 year old Belgian Draft Horse, Sam. He is the "American" version of the Belgian, meaning that he is sorrel/chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail and a wide blaze. He is still growing since he's only 2, right now he is about 16.2hh and weighs about 1600lbs.

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...89432379_n.jpg
http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...22424460_n.jpg
http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...71373198_n.jpg

Joidigm 11-07-2012 08:17 AM

By USA draft I wonder if they are refering to breeds such as an American Cream Draft or some such. Those horses still put up some amazing sizes. We have a cream draft cross filly in the barn and she is beautiful. She has a sooty gene to her too, from her dams side. Dam is a buckskin pinto clydesdale. Otherwise shes a solid white horse with dark hairs in her mane and tail, with pale eyes and she is huge!

Bluebird 11-07-2012 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatDraftGirl (Post 1747828)
I'm not sure what you mean by a "USA Draft". In America, our general term "draft" refers to heavy work horses such as Clydesdales, Shires, Percherons, Suffolks, Brabants, and Belgians. Most people who do not own a "draft" or heavy horse, just calls every heavy horse they see a draft horse because of their unfamiliarity with the different breeds. Halflingers and Fjords are considered Draft Ponies because of their conformation and ability to work as a heavy does. A horse that is half draft, lets say, half Clydesdale, is considered a Draft Cross or Half Draft, because they are a Draft/Heavy crossed with a lighter breed, such as a Thoroughbred or Arabian. Hope that helped? I have a Belgian and everyone asks me if he is a Clydesdale, they know he is bigger than the average Quarter Horse, but are not familiar with all the different Draft Breeds.

I absolutely get what you mean by draft but I have noticed that some people still call their horses 'draft' when in fact they are crosses or cobs. That is where I get confused. I just got the impression that draft was used in the USA to describe any horse that wasn't a purebreed and was bigger than 16hh. Thanks anyway.

Red Gate Farm 11-07-2012 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluebird (Post 1747847)
I absolutely get what you mean by draft but I have noticed that some people still call their horses 'draft' when in fact they are crosses or cobs. That is where I get confused. I just got the impression that draft was used in the USA to describe any horse that wasn't a purebreed and was bigger than 16hh. Thanks anyway.

Nah, we call a horse that isn't registered with some registry a "grade".
If it's crossed with a draft, we call it a "draft cross".
Of course, I'm Canadian, but close enough to the States to share some of the lingo ;)

PercheronMom 11-07-2012 08:41 AM

What a great story. I am best friends with a 19hh, 2200 pound Percheron (a true draft) that I ride everyday. People always stop me and ask if I can touch the clouds when I am on him?
I always answer with a Yes!, because when I am riding him, I do feel that I am in the clouds. We have so much fun together on our adventures.
Being partners with a draft makes all things better!


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