Your opinion...Do drafts/draft crosses make good trail horses? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 01-22-2013, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Your opinion...Do drafts/draft crosses make good trail horses?

I own a 5 yr old 18 hand quiet Friesian/ Percheron mare whom I'd love to get out on the trails with this summer. I really can't say I'm much of a trail expert but a couple people have told me that my mare would make a great trail horse. Any opinions on trail riding draft crosses... comments about their feet, stamina, etc?
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-22-2013, 08:27 PM
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Drafts on trails

I have a 16yo percheron mare of my own and train numerous other percherons in an array of disciplines. Trails seem very natural to the draft/draft crosses because they're normally more even tempered, willing to go thru, over or around obstacles and have the stamina to go the distance. My mare, Lady loves going out on the trails and quite often we'll ride for 2-3hrs at a time. As with any horse, you need to make certain that the horse is in fit shape for more grueling trails. Percherons were primarily bred to trot up to 30 miles/day but I doubt Lady would agree to that. She's good just hacking along the country roads in the woods.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-22-2013, 08:40 PM
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Nope. Too tall, imagine falling off that thing and trying to get back on. Not to mention all the spider webs and low hanging branches...

I'm kidding of course (kind of, still risks but you know)... I'll let someone more qualified give you an answer.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-23-2013, 02:30 PM
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draft crosses are Great trail horses !!! I ride and pack them
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-23-2013, 02:49 PM
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My percheron/paint gelding is the ultimate trail horse. Steady, sane, powerful, able to bulldoze through pretty much anything. He's almost 4, been doing light trails since the fall of his 2yo year and has never spooked, and we've gone over some...interesting terrain.
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-23-2013, 03:18 PM
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YES! They are fantastic, both pure draft and draft crosses. Steady and sane.

Not for those who want speed obviously, but they make great trail mounts.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-24-2013, 03:25 PM
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Since I tend to ride a lively breed of horse that moves out at a good speed, I would find them far to slow. I typically ride about 3 hours, take a 20 minute break and ride another 2 hours or so on most of my rides and we cover quite a few miles doing all three gaits. Many people like them though so it is whatever you want in a trail horse. They take bigger trailers. Tack and more feed, something to consider.
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-24-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G8tdh0rse View Post
Since I tend to ride a lively breed of horse that moves out at a good speed, I would find them far to slow. I typically ride about 3 hours, take a 20 minute break and ride another 2 hours or so on most of my rides and we cover quite a few miles doing all three gaits. Many people like them though so it is whatever you want in a trail horse. They take bigger trailers. Tack and more feed, something to consider.
Actually-not usually more feed.....at least the ones I know. Certainly your "lively" horse eats more than a handful of pellets 2x/day?

They are wonderful, you just have to be good at ducking. But-you can always be the one to trim the branches-noone will complain!

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post #9 of 22 Old 01-24-2013, 04:12 PM
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Drafts make excellent trail horses! Be sure to let us know how it goes :)
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-24-2013, 05:46 PM
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Was on my phone before, so didn't get to complete my answer.

Anyway, in regards to their feet and stamina...

My boy is barefoot and our farrier (and the one other farrier we've used a couple of times when ours couldn't come out) is certain that he'll never need shoes, regardless of the terrain. Aires was a little ouchy on rocks the first time we went out, but now he doesn't care. His hooves never chip and they grow extremely slowly, so we only have to have him trimmed every twelve weeks (per our farrier who is considered one of the best in the area).

As for stamina, he can go all day and barely break a sweat. Granted, we're not doing extreme trails or endurance, but my friend's endurance-trained arab gelding will break a sweat LONG before Aires does. We usually only walk and trot, but we do a lot of hills and rocky, interesting terrain, so it's not like we're just going on the flat.
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