calling all Percheron owners or even draft owners!
Im getting a percheron soon and although I have rode them before, I have never really trained them. I have trained QH and arabians but never a draft. He is 4 and half, they have started him with harnessing him but Im buying him to ride.
What I am trying to get at is what to expect when training one. Are they quick learners or does it take forever to get something in there head.
It always depends on the horse. The most important thing is ground work. Work on it, A LOT. Do NOT think of getting on the horse until they have complete respect of you from the ground. You can do ground driving, leading, everything from the ground. Make sure the horse understands your space and theirs. Depending on how big yours is at 4 they can be quite a handful if they don't have good ground manners.
I got mine at 2 and he was 16 hands and hadn't been handled. I spent two years of doing nothing to ground work and bonding then rode when I he was a little over 4.
Be patience and get a solid foundation on him and you'll have a good horse. Don't rush anything. Get Dr. Beth Valentine's book, "Draft Horses an Owner's Manual" you can get it on Amazon. It has everything you'll need to know about draft horses.
Good luck. And just remember - good solid ground work and respect.
He is perfect on ground I have met his and he is a sweetie! He well let you pull and tugg on him like it was nothing. He walks straight towards you in the fiekd and loves to be petted on.
Even so, you need to make sure he is completely respectful in every situation you come across. How big is? Just put good solid time in him from the ground. He's gotta get to know you and you him.
I've had my gelding since he was 11 mos old and he was pretty wild then but bonded very quickly. He has been extremely easy to train. Just remember not all draft horses are the same, just like people, they have different personalities and just because they are a draft doesn't mean they will be calm :) Like Solon, we have been doing groundwork since Day 1 and taking it slow. He's my first draft and the consensus I got from people I trust (vet, farrier, other draft owners) was to take it slow and let him grow. We do lots of trails, walk and trot, climbing up and down but nothing really strenuous, exposing him to lots of different sights and terrain. I plan on cantering him soon but waited until we had it balanced on the ground while lunging. We haven't done any jumping yet but next year. He's still growing at 17.3 so I figure he's still adjusting to his size and arena work can wait. Congrats on your new horse! Oh, I think the biggest adjustment is the tack!! Hard to find it at your local tack store.
I just started my 4 yo Percheron stud under saddle this month and it was not nearly as hard as most of the younger horses I started. Within about 20 minutes of catching him from the pasture, I was riding. The next ride, we went to the country, and the next ride, we went through town and bareback. I don't think that all drafts are that easy though. Like solon said, when your groundwork is perfect, then give it a try. The biggest problem I ran into getting mine broke is that I can't get my 40 pound saddle lifted up that high. LOL. My dad has to bridle and saddle him for me because I am not tall enough. Since yours has been driven some, the transition to saddle should be fairly easy because he should already have the stop and turn principles down. When I take all my horses to the country, I kinda let them go at their own pace to find what is comfortable for them. The first time that we went out, he just proceeded to do a lovely flat canter across the pasture. He was not scared or running off and the instant that I signaled for him to slow down, he did. That was such a rush. My dad made fun of me by saying "It sounds like there is a steam engine coming across the pasture."
Oh, and I want to mention that if you free lunge him in a round pen with the saddle on, I advise you to tie your stirrups up. John managed to catch one of mine on a panel and rip it clean off my saddle. LOL He kept trotting as if nothing had happened. Not even a flinch when the panel jumped and the stirrup leather ripped. (western saddle)
When I broke Solon I didn't have a saddle or bridle that fit him so I put two leadropes on his halter and jumped on bareback and that's how we trained until I did find the right tack.
But I'm entirely convinced that because I did not rush through the ground work and bonding phase things went REALLY well with the riding phase. Too many people want to ride so much that they skip over this and find themselves having to go back to it when problems arise (not just with draft horses).
Thing is, it's even more important to get the ground work down good on these guys because they are so big and powerful.
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that he already had impeccable ground manners with perfect respect even for a stud. LOL
my shire was pretty easy to train for carrige, i ride him mostly up in the mountains. i found it easy to train him, but i have never had a perchie, so im not sure about them;)
Hes 16.1 right now. Hes sire was 18.2 and hes mom is 18.3, so I have no doubt he won't be big. Its sounds like the hardest part is ground work.
Thats amazing Smrobs! He didnt act up at all?
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