What are The Best Drafts for a Returning Rider
I have returned after not riding for 30 years and am having a ball on beautiful draft horse. I am still timid, and this horse is slowly restoring my confidence.
She is patient, calm, and highly responsive and seems to know when I am confused and sorts it out. I am really enjoying bareback riding and hope to do more. My dilemma....she is owned and of course they never want to sell her...can't blame them.
Idea are welcomed on the right kind of draft to look for.
What kind of draft is the horse you are currently riding? I like shires, Norikers and Clydesdales.
Thanks for the note. Ms. Molly is a Belgium rescue and a real doll of a horse. I occasionally even look like I know how to ride on her (she's good enough to cover my clumsiness and mixed signals!) I want to think there is anothe Molly out there....with someone looking for the right home.
Enjoying barebacking and the sitting trot. I rode English as as a child...but am hooked on the western approach now.
A lot of Draft horses have a relax/easy going personality and will be great for you. If you really like this horse you should look into other Belgians, and secondly I would vote you look into Percherons ( I feel these horses are most similar to each other but other might not agree ) or even crosses of the breeds.
I saw a very nice looking Belgian X Morgan once, and I have a Shire X Arabian mare who is the bomb.
What breed of horse is less important then the level of training that horse has. You need to look for a beginner friendly horse. One that is push button, not spooky and tolerant of the beginner rider. They are out there.
Are you looking at a draft simply because you are riding one now? Not trying to talk you out of a draft as they are truly lovely horses, just want to know what you are thinking there. I would suggest you visit some of the stables in your area, talk to the trainers and see if they know of any good options in the way of beginner friendly horses.
Also, what type of riding do you want to do from now on? Show, trail, dressage, western? You will of course keep that in mind when looking for a horse. You can have a beginner friendly horse that will be of a quality to show or is good on trails etc... Best advice I can give... take your time and make sure you get the right horse.
It really all depends on what you like. I prefer Percherons. I have friends that prefer Clydesdales. Try to spend time with each breed and go from there.
I agree that each person will have their own opinions on which breed is best. I have a Percheron and a Belgian and a cross from each. My Percheron and my Percheron x Paint are both much higher energy than my other 2. Both my Belgian and my Belgian x QH are extremely mellow and just take things as they come along without raising a fuss.
I think the biggest problem you'll likely find will be finding an affordable draft that is saddle-trained to your experience level. Since they aren't as common as other breeds under saddle, finding a good one will likely be fairly expensive.
The saddles are really coming down though. I found a beautiful aussie one on eBay for $325. I ended up selling it because I was always just riding bareback!
I would say the Perch's are a bit hotter than the others - but that's just personal opinion and not really applicable to my gumby pony! He does get excited at dinner though!
You don't state where you are but as stated, it's pretty rare to find a draft for sale that is broke to ride. Yeah, you can sit on them and they'll pack you around at a WT but that's about it. In the same breath, a horse that has been broke to drive and has probably done it for a living, isn't much of a risk for turning into a decent WT horse (let's be honest, their canters can be pretty sucky). In some areas you will come across quarter horse X drafts (typically Percheron or Belgian) that are bred for the hunting and packing industry that are great saddle horses. They will often look like a full draft (especially the Belgian X) but have a little less stature and bone.
I'll never discourage someone from getting a draft but don't be so limiting on what you think you want and need that the perfect horse slips past you because you weren't even considering that type of horse.
Of course, I am biased, and will say percherons! I adopted mine a year and a half ago. She is around 17 years old and was driven, but I don't believe ridden because she really had no clue at all once I sat on her. But she really does just go along with whatever I ask, or try to ask her to do...almost rolling her eyes and saying, "Whatever". She does have a very big gait, but such a trooper about everything. I also have a draft something or other cross....she is 3 and wonderful. Started this year....basically got on and just go, while displaying the "Ok, whatever you want" attitude.
I will say I do love Belgians too though.
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