I have no experience with draft horses. Could some one give me some information on them. I will put list of questions below.
1. How much should I budget to get one. Preferable untrained as I want the experience of training one because I want to a trainer when I am older.
2. How expensive are they compared to regular horses to feed.
3. How do they tend to act, docile? Fiery? smart? Dumb?
4. Special needs?
My mare is half draft and with her confirmation reflecting that, I don't think I require the same needs as those who own full drafts. My mare does not cost me more than any other horse at the barn. Board is the same and as far as feed goes and because of how quickly she is growing, I am not currently giving her anything extra (tho I should seriously consider extra supplements to assist her joints and her growing). I use a regular farrier, tho she requires special and close follow up, the clyde in her causes her feet to flare out. Very minor but they are proportioned to her height and weight.
She is already using a X-full sized halter :lol: but that isn't an issue. She has lots of room to grow into it. As for other tack, she is only a year and a half so I won't worry just yet.
Her temper? I have never seen a horse (hmm maybe 1 actually) who has a temper like her. She is hot when she decides to be but is always manageable. After you show her something once, she behaves herself and she is VERY friendly. She is always the first one at the gate, and always put her head in the halter before you even have a chance to show her. Very easy to train as well. It took me 1 lesson to halter break her and she led to perfection. That's one of the first things I taught her and it has continued to be nothing but pleasure since. It took only 2-3 lessons with her feet, traffic doesn't bother her and my 4 year old nephew leads by himself without me being around and she is only 18 months old!!
I adore this mare. Everyone is telling me I would be stupid to sell her and I am currently considering keeping her (yes yes I know, once again :lol:) but I do think I would regret it.
If you know how to pick out nice ones, I STRONGLY recommend draft crosses. They are big and thick but easy to train, usually quite laid back and a tonne of fun to work with. I don't regret having bought her. The best tempered horse I have ever owned.
I'd recommend a full draft. I have a full Percheron. But that's my personal style. I love them. But you want to make a careful choice and you want to get one that is fully trained if you are new to horses.
New to horses and new to draft horses is not a good combination. They are bigger and more to handle. Don't fall for the gentle giant garbage. Gentle giants are made not born. It takes a lot of work and a lot of patience to get a good solid foundation on them but they are beyond measure when you do.
So I hope you'd reconsider and think about getting a broke one.
I paid $2800 for mine after she dropped the price from $3800. I've seen some for far lower and far higher.
They don't eat any more than a regular horse. If you got into pulling that might be a different story but for just regular riding they eat the same as most light horses.
Some drafts are really saucy and some are laid back. Mine is a combination of both, just depends on his mood. Dumb wouldn't be a word you'll associate with them! They are amazingly smart but sometimes stubborn.
Special needs? A few. You need to make sure you can find a farrier, most don't want to work on them. Bigger tack (easier to find now that so many people are riding drafts), bigger horse trailer, stronger fencing. Some different diet needs. Many owners follow the high fat diet recommended by Dr. Beth Valentine.
You should get her book Draft Horses an Owner's Manual. Can get it on Amazon.com. It is THE bible for draft horse owners.
If you can find someone in your area that has drafts, spend some time around them. Get to know the different breeds. I have always favored the Percherons over the Clydes, Shires and Belgians. I think they each have their special thing... something that might catch your eye.
But I caution, again, it's not a good idea to start out with an untrained draft horse if you have little horse experience. Best of luck on your search.
The last photo solon is stunning. I love his color and the length of his mane. Stunning :)
I've worked with 4 drafts in the time period of 5 years. I handeled my first draft when I was only 10. Yes I said 10! I'm 16 now. He was a percheron and wouldnt harm a person,. but you have to see that every horse isnt made friendly automatically. The price I would budget is around $3500. I've seen lower and I've seen way much higher. Drafts arent really for a first time horse person. Sam (my old horse) was a belgian draft cross. He was 16.1 hh and weighs 1500+ lbs. He was gentle but had lots of needs. He had a bad back from pulling, he had the issue with the fetlocks. I'd have to spray stuff on it and then I would wrap his legs when I would ride him.
Thats another thing. Riding a draft is different then a regular horse. They have more of a bouncier everything.
Feeding a draft is just a little more then a horse smaller then them. They are bigger so they eat a little more. Sam would get 3 to 4 flakes of hay father then the 2 flakes the smaller horses would get. But he would get about the same amount of grain.
Feet is another issue. They can have issues with their fetlocks because some have the hair.
Their temp depends. Big Ben was a belgian. He was high strung but he was also 17.2hh. Zeus was fun and he loved his energy. Sam was more calm and Tonka Truck was Shy. It all depends on how the horse was treated and trained.
My advice would not to get a green draft horse. There more high strung then other breeds because there bigger and if you have something over 1500+ lbs that isnt trained and you are new, thats not going to be pretty. I'd stick with getting a broke horse that you can spend time with who can teach you while your being tought.
I own horses, so it isn't like I am new to it. I want to be a professional trainer. (I am 15). So I want to be able train a horse and take some videos for my website when I am older.
if you want to train horses maybe get a horse who needs to be finished but i wouldnt get a draft jsut yet because they are bigger then your average horse. jsut make sure your read y to train a horse so the horse doesnt get screwed up. no offense.
No offense taken. I completely see were you are coming from. But actually I am training a mustang right now. She was wild when I got her but she is about ready to ride. But I do plan on waiting a few years for a Draft. I couldn't afford one now anyhow. :wink:
I still stand saying for a draft cross. You'll get the best of both worlds and get yourself a horse that is large but also one you can take out in the show ring. More and more draft crosses in jumper and hunter divisions. There are some really nice ones if you know how to search for them.
They are lots of work. Having brought up 2 large foals and still in the middle of it they do require more handling than you regular lightbreds. They are VERY strong and you can get yourself in a dangerous situation. I've raised my mare and colt on my own. I also had 2 registered percherons earlier this year for a few months. Got them used to people, halter broke them and sold them. They were HUGE and if not careful, you can get yourself in a very sticky situation VERY quickly and I don't put it lightly. Every time I went there I had a helmet, gloves, steel toed boots, a vest and someone with at all times.
Don't feed them grain.
Read up on the 'draft horse diets' - lots of info out there, but don't feed them grain.
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