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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm trying to talk my parents into getting a horse and I'm interested in getting a Draft but first I need to know a few things about them and I was hoping some of you could help me out.
#1 Boarding. Does it normally cost more to board a draft? Will most boarding centers even allow you to board a draft horse being that they're so big?
#2 Cost. Does it cost more to care for a draft than a lighter horse. What does it coast annually on average?
#3 Shoeing. Do draft breeds have to be shod, or can they go barefoot?
#4 Riding. What age are drafts able to be ridden and are they good for riding? Do they have good gaits?
#5 Tack. Do many places carry draft tack? Does it cost more?
#6 Temperament. Are they generally gentle or more excitable than lighter horses?
#7 Grooming. About how much longer does it take to groom a draft?
#8 Breed. What are some of the more common breeds? What are the ones that you like most?

If there is anything else you can think of that I might need to know, please please tell me. I'll add anything else that I can't think of right now.
Thank you.:)
 

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I am rather new to owning a draft but I have several friends that have had drafts for years.

#1 Boarding. Does it normally cost more to board a draft? Will most boarding centers even allow you to board a draft horse being that they're so big? -- > the barn that they used to keep their drafts at they where charged more since they consumed more hay and grain than the other horses


#2 Cost. Does it cost more to care for a draft than a lighter horse. What does it coast annually on average? I know that my draft costs more to feed as she does eat more than my other horses that I have.

#3 Shoeing. Do draft breeds have to be shod, or can they go barefoot?
That depends on the horse. My draft is barefoot but she has good feet and I do not ride where it is really rocky or anything

#4 Riding. What age are drafts able to be ridden and are they good for riding? Do they have good gaits?
Riding my big draft is so smooth she is GREAT. I was told when i had a draft cross (he passed away from colic at 2 years old :-() that you should break them later due to the slower maturity rate. But my draft that I have now was broke to ride, drive and work when she was 4

#5 Tack. Do many places carry draft tack? Does it cost more?
I have found that the tack is more but not by that much.. i have been able to find everything that I want on ebay at very decent prices

#6 Temperament. Are they generally gentle or more excitable than lighter horses?
All of the draft horses that I have ever met are the most laid back easy going horses.
#7 Grooming. About how much longer does it take to groom a draft?
Take me only a bit longer than my other horses.

#8 Breed. What are some of the more common breeds? What are the ones that you like most? I have a Belgian and my Mac (RIP) was a Percheron/TB
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was also wondering about how much it would be to buy a draft?
I'm interested in Clydesdale's and Shires. Is there an average price for these breeds in particular?
 

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#1 Boarding. Does it normally cost more to board a draft? Will most boarding centers even allow you to board a draft horse being that they're so big?

I don't board my horse but I've heard most places charge more due to the potential damage a draft horse can cause to the facilities.

#2 Cost. Does it cost more to care for a draft than a lighter horse. What does it coast annually on average?

I'm not sure exactly what it costs to feed my guy annually but he goes through about 1/2 a 100 lb. bale a day in hay and bales run $13-$19 a bale for good grass hay. Some draft horses can't be fed alfalfa due to a metabolic disorder that runs in drafts. You might have to pay extra if they don't feed grass hay.

#3 Shoeing. Do draft breeds have to be shod, or can they go barefoot?

Not all drafts have to be shod. I live in CA where it's very rocky and have to keep my gelding's front feet shod. Luckily my farrier charges me the same to do his big feet as he does to do my other horse but that's very unusual. Some people have a hard time finding a farrier who will care for their horse-very hard on their backs and toes I've been told!

#4 Riding. What age are drafts able to be ridden and are they good for riding? Do they have good gaits?

My gelding is 5 and hopefully done growing. I waited until he was 3 to get on and only did light trail riding at the walk, started trotting more at 3 1/2, increased the demands on him and did a little arena work at 4 and finally cantered him at 5. He is a draft cross, well-proportioned, longer legs, neck, more angle to his shoulder than a full-draft and his walk and trot are lovely. His canter is very unbalanced right now but still not bad.

#5 Tack. Do many places carry draft tack? Does it cost more?

Not too many places carry draft tack around here so I've had to order on line and once in a while something shows up at my local consignment store. It hasn't cost me any more except that I had to keep getting new saddles while he was growing...... finally I think we're done in an XL tree!

#6 Temperament. Are they generally gentle or more excitable than lighter horses?
My gelding has been extremely easy to train and 75% of the time, he is soooo calm and sensible but like any other horse, he has his moments of insanity. He's an amazing trail horse, loves water, very brave, easy-going, rides double, no fuss ever :)

#7 Grooming. About how much longer does it take to groom a draft?

Well, my daughter's complain when they wash him that it's like washing 2 horses and hard to reach his back so we need a stepstool. At 40+ I have great biceps!

#8 Breed. What are some of the more common breeds? What are the ones that you like most?
My gelding is a cross of perch/paint/clyde/TB. I think often drafts are crossed with TB's which makes a pretty nice riding horse.

I bought my gelding from a PMU rescue for $900 as a yearling and have done all his training. Don't know what he'd be worth now but I get compliments on him all the time :) There are a lot of needy horses out there right now at auctions and rescues so look in your area, call your local animal control/shelter, etc.

Goodluck!





Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/draft-horses/wanting-draft-horse-46441/#ixzz0e3dCFh32
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Another thing I wanted to add to riding was comfort. I've heard that because they're so much bigger they're much less comfortable to ride. Is this true?
 

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Comfort-Cody is like riding a big, smooth Cadillac! Bareback, he's great :) Depends on the horse. If you get a very stocky, steep-shouldered draft built for pulling, their gaits are going to be choppier than if you get one with longer legs, neck, better shoulder angle for riding. My guy has a nice, reaching walk, amazing trot from jog to extended you can sit it no problem, his canter is kind of like riding a freight train as we haven't refined it yet but otherwise, it feels good :)
 

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Like danastark said, depending on the breed or cross you get of draft, the trot can be pretty rough. IMO Percherons and Belgians tend to moved a lot heavier than Clydesdales and Shires. But that is very subject to the individual horse, and some of the nicest moving horses I have ever seen have been perch/TB crosses. However, even the roughtest trotter, in my experience, can be taught to collect back into a nice, lightfooted jog. My gelding is only 1/4 Clydesdale, but he is built very heavy - if I hadn't seen his parents I would think he's part Perch. He hit the ground like a jackhammer when I got him, but it took me less than a week to teach him to move much more lightly, and now I can sit his trot nicely. I have never rode a draft or draft cross that didn't have a great, rocking horse canter. I think because the gait hasn't been messed with much in the breeding, as it's not generally used for working purposes, it's pretty constant.

As far as comfort, in terms of their size, I presonally find them more comfortable than narrow, high withered horses, especially bareback. However this same feature can also make them much harder to fit a saddle to. Buying online is opened up a lot of doors for getting a hold of draft tack, but make sure you are aware of return policies if what you get doesn't fit - and make sure you have a professional help check fit on your saddles etc. I don't notice discomfort due to the greater girth, but I think some might.
 

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Well, if you plan on traveling with your horse, height/width can be a problem. My gelding is about 18 hds and I have to use 2 stalls of my 3 horse slant-load and there is no way he'd ever fit in a standard 2 horse trailer. I really need a taller, wider trailer but don't have the money for that right now so I'm limited on trailering, can only haul 2 at a time with him. He also limits what vehicle I can pull my trailer with. I have a Chevy dually which can pull just about anything but when I have to use my Ford Expedition, I have a weight limit of 6000 lbs. My trailer weighs 3000, then when I add my gelding, there goes 2000 lbs more and I can only add one more horse of 1000 lbs or less. I got my trailer floors redone with new wood and extra super welded supports for him.
 

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danastark mades a good point and one people don't tend to think about. Make sure you get an oversized trailer/ My gelding is only 16.2-3 ish but very high headed, and he can't load into a standard trailer, I had to get a 7 ft interior clearance one. Now he fits in the slant load stalls, but only just...he's 1800 lbs but then he's a cross. I have a 4 horse slant load, and chevy 1 ton and had to get special liscening for the weight of my trailer loaded. A full draft would likely need an open load trailer like a stock trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mmm, how much does a big enough trailer cost? We have a Ford F-250 that can haul practically anything, but getting a trailer might be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've been talking to my parents and they're considering letting me lease a horse, but most things I look at say for lease or half lease. How long is that?
 
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