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DayDreamer 06-20-2013 01:25 AM

Draft Horse Questions
 
Hello all! I am new here, and have read through several pages on this forum but have some questions that need answering still! =) I am planning on buying a horse in the next year or two, and would really love a draft, or half draft! I plan on show jumping, cross country, dressage, barrel racing, trail riding, and small local shows. Nothing competitive, just fun! But I worry about the size of a draft horse and causing damage while jumping, etc.

- How old do drafts need to be before being backed and saddle broke?
- How old before they can be seriously ridden, competed on, etc.?
- Would a light boned draft be suitable for jumping?
- I am considering buying a draft foal/having one bred for me. Would you go with a full draft, or half?
- Do you put your drafts on joint supplements?
- How do you find their temperaments?
- When did you find yours at? I've noticed it seems easier to pick one up at auction, than from a private buyer or breeding farm...Was this the case for you?

I'm sure I'm missing something! Thank you for any help you can give!!!

horsea 06-20-2013 01:43 AM

I love drafts!!! They are pretty much the same as any other horse, only they weigh more haha (But consider the extra cost for wormer, feed, medicines, tack, farrier...).

I backed a Percheron gelding and he was one of the best horses I had ever been on. A little nervous at first, but he just wanted to please and do his job: not a single buck or bolt or wrong step. That's what they're bred for though, working!

For eventing though I would suggest a draft cross. Draft horses are not generally that fast or nimble enough. Their large/ heavy body and legs also make them not the best jumpers. They can be, but it's just not what they are bred for.

However, crossing them with say a Thoroughbred or a light boned horse, makes an excellent all around horse. They get the strength, calm, eager to please head, and bone from the draft with the endurance, agility, and speed from the light horse. The perfect eventer!!! That is generally how warmblood's are created: crossing a cold blooded horse (draft) with a hot blood (Arabian for example) produces a warmblood type horse.

Some of the best horses I have ever known and ridden were draft crosses (TB, QH, Morgan were the most common I've seen). Good luck!!! :)

DayDreamer 06-20-2013 02:05 PM

Well like I said, I'm not going to be competing heavily, just for fun! =) I don't care if I win ribbons or trophies, I just like to have fun.

I do appreciate your advice! Thank you! =)

SlideStop 06-20-2013 02:41 PM

How much experience do you have with horses? Taking on a baby or a green horse could really be tragic for the both of you. They need special handling as they aren't big dogs. They do have the means to kill you, one misplaced hoof of a full grown, unruly "baby" draft horse could kill you.

Do you have a trainer who is familiar with drafts?

Also, everyone has their own opinions on this, but drafts weren't ment to jump, they were ment to pull. IMO it could lead to damage over time. With all their weight their bodies just aren't built for it. Even if you get half draft with lighter bone you would want to be careful. If they don't get enough bone to support their heavy bodies it can (and will) lead to stress on the joints. Same with hooves, you don't want 4 tea cups supporting 1,500+ pounds.

I'm certainly not trying to squish your dreams buy there are certain things you need to consider before purchasing. We have a lovely percheron/appy cross. She is EXTREMELY heavy on the forehand, but successfully rides dressage and loves jumping.
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nvr2many 06-20-2013 02:59 PM

Have you thought about a warmblood??

EdmontonHorseGal 06-20-2013 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SlideStop (Post 2850722)
We have a lovely percheron/appy cross. She is EXTREMELY heavy on the forehand, but successfully rides dressage and loves jumping.
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SlideStop, in your experience do you find draft crosses to be more heavy on the forehand than other horses? and harder to train to get off the forehand? the reason i ask is the horse i'm leasing is a 'draft/paint cross' (bloodlines unknown) and he is forever dumping himself on the forehand at pretty much everything but a walk. I'm working on lightening up his front end, but it is proving to be very very difficult!

SlideStop 06-20-2013 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdmontonHorseGal (Post 2851106)
SlideStop, in your experience do you find draft crosses to be more heavy on the forehand than other horses? and harder to train to get off the forehand? the reason i ask is the horse i'm leasing is a 'draft/paint cross' (bloodlines unknown) and he is forever dumping himself on the forehand at pretty much everything but a walk. I'm working on lightening up his front end, but it is proving to be very very difficult!

I'm no expert, but yes. Every draft horses I've ridden has been pretty heavy on the forehand. This one draft cross in particular is EXTREMELY heavy and very difficult to get off the forehand. It would probably be easier for her to ride you. Doesn't make for a fun ride in the least, though she is a fun horse!
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DayDreamer 06-21-2013 12:40 AM

I am going to meet some people in the coming months who are familiar with drafts, as I have very little experience with the big guys. =)

I have a trainer who is accustomed to young horses, but also, no drafts. =/ In our area, they are truly few and far between.

I have experience with young horses. Not a ton, but I have enough common sense and am, pardon me, but a Ground manners nazi. I don;t tolerate jack crud on the ground, from any horse. No matter the age.

In all actuality, I'd love to find a 6-10 year old draft or draft X, but they are so hard to find within a reasonable(300 or less miles) distance from me, that it would be easier to take the risk and breed for what I want. Which is why I am debating...

But like I said, any and all riding is for fun only. I'm not the competitive type at all. =)

The reason I am looking into drafts and draft crosses, I am 21, and 5' 11". Weighing about 180lbs. Being so tall(especially for a girl), I feel odd on the little 15h QH's and paint's that everyone has around here. I used to ride a 17.2h Appendix, LOVED his size, but always wished he had a little more thickness. Also rode a 15h foundation bred QH mare, LOVED her thickness, she took up sooooo much leg! But I felt like I was riding a mini height-wise. The more I looked and looked at what breeds/types I liked for height and thickness, the more I leaned towards drafts/crosses. In my perfect world - I would have a 1/4 draft, 1/4 TB, 1/2 Appy, spotted of course! But, that is going to be soooooooooo hard to find! So options as far as crosses and colors are completely open, but I feel like I need something bigger than your average QH. No matter the build, I always feel entirely to big on a nicely conformed QH, however the Appendix felt about "right" =)

I haven't considered WB's mostly because of the price range. =/

DayDreamer 06-21-2013 12:42 AM

SlideStop - pics of the Drafty Appy! LOL please? =)

flytobecat 06-21-2013 01:21 AM

You might want look into Friesian cross. They are more suited for dressage. Plus they are on the larger size. http://www.friesianheritage.com/imag...0%20042707.jpg


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