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How much more expensive are draft horses?

09:42 PM 09-22-2014
I currently have two horses and one is not working out (he was a rescue). My trainer has a horse she thinks would be perfect for me. He is a Shire/Thoroughbred cross and a big boy. How much more on average does a draft cost then an average horse? Vet bills, tack, feed, boarding, ect? I have had big horses but nothing this huge. Is there a huge expense difference? They would just give him to me but I want to know what I would be getting into. Thanks!
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09:50 PM 09-22-2014
Only thing that costs more with mine is that you need more wormer. But I have one that almost lives on air, so about as easy a keeper as you can get. I think some farriers charge more though. Mine does not.

Tack can be more, depending upon the build of your cross. Mine could wear a regular wide saddle, did not need a draft one, just a longer girth.
09:51 PM 09-22-2014
All depends on the horse. He's a cross, so he may not need some of the specialized draft tack and such.

My boy is a Percheron/paint cross. He's just about to hit 17hh as a 5yo. He wears a draft-size halter and bridle, a 5.5-6" bit (depending on the type of bit), and right now we can eek by in a FQHB saddle (western). Once he fills out, we'll probably have to go with a draft saddle. My farrier doesn't charge me any more than she would for a regular horse, mainly because he's barefoot. If he was shod, it would probably be a different story. Haven't had any vet bills (knock on wood!!!) and give my shots myself, so I can't comment on that.

The hardest part for me is finding draft-sized halters and bridles. I live where the QH is king and the Arab is queen. Everything is made for smaller-headed horses. I had to have my tack guy custom make me a bridle so that I could be sure of the quality, and I am already not happy with the style I chose, so that was $40 down the drain (doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're on a tight budget...).
09:51 PM 09-22-2014
The vet bills such as vaccinations and what not will be roughly the same as an average sized horse.

Board is often the same, especially if it's pasture board. Some may charge a bit more for extra feed if they provide the feed for the horse.

Shoes and farrier work will be a bit more expensive.

Dewormer, fly spray, supplements, and feed will all cost more due to amount needed for a horse over 1100 pounds.

The easiest way to figure this extra expense out is to calculate how much more of each you will need and price it.
10:03 PM 09-22-2014
He would need all draft size tack. He is a monster, make the 17 hh Saddlebred I had look tiny. He is barefoot and has never needed shoes even when he was used for eventing. My other gelding is cob sized so I would need new everything.
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10:19 PM 09-22-2014
Beyond tack and wormers, you'll have increased food costs.

If they are working, drafts eat a LOT more than a regular horse. Thankfully, though, they are considered cold or (for crosses) warm blooded, so don't need much in the way of grain. Shires, from what little I know of them, tend to be fairly easy keepers.

Shoes are a lot more expensive, so if you can stay barefoot, do.
10:43 PM 09-22-2014
He is 15 years old and was used for eventing. I was told hes a very good jumper. I cant even imagine a horse his size jumping. They say hes 100% sound but should I be worried about his joints and arthritis?
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10:54 PM 09-22-2014
I don't believe that drafts are more prone to arthritis and joint problems than any other horse though they are heavier, which means more strain on the joints. I probably wouldn't worry about it too much. I personally know a Percheron/Thoroughbred gelding who is 17hh + and jumps awesomely. Never had any soundness issues! Now, if your guy was a full draft I would be a little more concerned because not only are they usually tall, but beefy also. All that extra weight can be hard. Drafts are not meant for speed events! They were bred for power.
10:59 PM 09-22-2014
This was a very helpful thread as I too will be looking at drafts in the future. My advice to you is to make sure you get a vet-check before you buy.

Let us know what you decide to do, TrailxxRider!
11:01 PM 09-22-2014
I would be concerned about hauling him. What size trailer would you need? Our OTTB FILLS a warmblood trailer from one end to the other. He's only a hair over 16 hands. If we went with a larger horse, we'd certainly need a larger trailer. I can't imagine hauling a horse the size you are considering.