PDA

View Full Version : Drafts (and draft crosses) in eventing?



hereafatty
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:27 PM
I've heard whispers here and there that drafts are usually considered unsuitable for eventing (size, weight). I'm sure in a lot of ways it's as individual as everything else, but in general, how do you feel about drafts in eventing?

I'm not at all educated in jumping in any form... so feel free to talk down to me. :cool: Lower... a little lower... that's perfect! Just don't scrape your chin on the sidewalk.

Personal stories and pictures would be lovely if you feel like sharing!

Thanks, all.

asterix
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:37 PM
I think full drafts are probably limited to the lower levels just due to their size -- gets hard to get them fit enough for that sort of work, and I think running and jumping is probably hard on them over time (plus you don't have a prayer of making time on them at Prelim plus).

That said, there is a horse locally who is definitely a full draft who competes at novice very successfully. I am not sure he's got the jump for Training but...

draft CROSSES, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of eventing certainly through prelim depending on the cross.

My 1/4 belgian just moved up to Training, and I don't think it's much of a stretch for him, as you can see:
Draft crosses, no good at eventing! (http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK00B26K0052&po=52&pc=69)

hereafatty
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:41 PM
He's lovely... thanks so much!

ACMEeventing
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:45 PM
My guy is 3/4 t-bred and 1/4 percheron. Athletic as heck but a little slow to mature. He just turned 8 but still has the mindset of maybe a 6 yr old. Going Training now and no doubt will make it to prelim. Not sure if he'll get beyond that. Definitely has the athletic power, but his mind might not have the spunk required of the UL. Hopefully when he gets to 12 or so he'll mature enough for the questions asked.

Lovable personality, though. Always entertaining!

three_dayer
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:47 PM
I've got a draft cross...he's gone intermediate and has done a training three day and part of the prelim three day(i completed the endurance day, but i jumped the wrong fence and got TE'd... that was very frustrating) He definatly isn't the easiest to get fit, but he now has a base so it should be a bit better...he's allergic to wood, and he has to use a belly protector cause his knees are so tight He is the horse in my profile picture...

deacon's mom
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:04 PM
My Clyde/cross jumps like he's got springs in his feet with a tight front end, too!! He loves to run and jump. We have to be careful not to go too fast. He's amazing.

eponacowgirl
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:12 PM
At the lower levels? I have a draftie cross right now that folks are in love with. She's got two (hard) BN under her belt and DRAGS me around XC (in a good way). Her dressage can be phenominal, but its a struggle- she is heavy in the front. She got a 36 her last time out and ended in second place with no jumping penalties. Novice will not be an issue for her... training heights shouldn't bother her- time and technicality maybe. She is not very draftie, however.

She is a Perch/QH cross, we think- got her out of a backyard, so who knows!
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=33919910&l=61a96fcd86&id=51801315
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=33919909&l=a8cb47f5ec&id=51801315
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=34115717&l=194620cc85&id=51801315
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=34115707&l=576dfe35d3&id=51801315
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=34115710&l=8cdc29702a&id=51801315

And here's my perchie cross with flypony_74's perchie cross- who both didn't do half bad that day. :)
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=33953813&l=b9dd7ab91c&id=51801315

ETA: She is coming 6 this year- and she has been under saddle for a year this week.

IrishWillow
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:12 PM
I have 1/4th draft mare (the rest of her is a mix of TB and quarter horse) that I'm hoping to event. She is very athletic, cute mover, and has a nice big jump. Very trainable and easy to ride. And she is still barefoot!

alval23
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:29 PM
i have a 1/2 welsh cob 1/2 paint mare shes all of 14.1 and i competed her training level

and another 1/2 welsh cob 1/2 tb mare who is 15.2 with shoes ( hehe) and shes currently going novice but shes young.. i expect her go through prelim.

both able to jump the moon and then so.

i also ride a belgian/ tb cross... not quite as athletic.. i mean he is big and dumb so hes currently going training.. but its not the most graceful think you will ever see.

but i love the draft crosses.. they seem stronger mentally and physically.

i know both of my mares are some tough cookies.

SkipChange
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:36 PM
My favorite horse to foxhunt ever was a Perch/Arab (I think he was a PMU rescue or something). He was like 16.3 give or take with a huge head and very thick (his booty was miles wide). The arab made him light on his feet and a bit hot but he settled down after a while and was a great ride. Very useful in the field as he plowed right through mud & comftorable jumping 3ft+ and went up to 4ft once or twice. Routinely jumps out of his pasture :lol:

HOWEVER, would I ever event him? Nope. Although he would've had plenty of speed & stamina for cross country, he as an individual just didn't have the dressage work and would not have been handy enough for stadium. I did love him for a hunt/trail horse though. I think you can definitely find some individuals that fit the bill though.

hereafatty
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:36 PM
My Clyde/cross jumps like he's got springs in his feet with a tight front end, too!! He loves to run and jump. We have to be careful not to go too fast. He's amazing.

The nay sayers I've spoken to aren't so much of the opinion that they can't jump as they are that the extra weight makes jumping harder on their joints than a lighter horse. :) And in some cases that while they CAN jump after a fashion, it can come down to a lot more work to get a draft ready for eventing, only to be stuck at the lower levels.

Thanks, all!

Allagash's mom
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:43 PM
crosses, sure! they can do a LOT if you get one with good conformation and willingness.

but full Drafts? most are limited at BN, maybe Novice. they simply do not HAVE that big of a 'jump' in them.

JER
Nov. 28, 2009, 09:51 PM
I've had two.

The first was 3/4 TB 1/4 Perch, a mare that was competitive up to 4'3" in jumpers. Nice dressage and also foxhunted. Had a rodeo-quality buck.

The second was a dubious mix of Belgian, TB and Saddlebred. He was successful at Prelim, could have done Intermediate. Excellent showjumper and fieldhunter. Never recognized dressage as a legitimate discipline. I still have him, he's 26 and jumps the pasture fence for fun (or aggravation, depending on whose side you're on).

But for a draftX to succeed in eventing above Training level, you want to make sure they're not too heavy and don't overheat. I wouldn't want anything over 1/4 draft, although I've seen plenty of half-breds that can go all day in the huntfield and jump 5' gates with ease.

Foxhall
Nov. 28, 2009, 10:14 PM
My mother rides a Irish Draft Cross brought over from Ireland a few years ago. He competed at one or two prelims but didn't really have the speed for that level and wasn't quite as quick on his feet as he needed to be for some of the combinations at that level. However he is a fabulous horse for my mom, who will hopefully do her first BN next year. Honest as the day is long, very competitive in the dressage...

asterix
Nov. 28, 2009, 10:15 PM
you definitely need to be prepared to take time with their fitness, and time with their maturity. I know my guy grew substantially his 6 year old year (right out of his blankets) and changed shape considerably after turning 7 (growing mostly out of his saddles :()

And, the day he went Training for the first time it was quite hot (in the 70s in november, and even with a trace clip he is a fuzzy boy); heat is hard on him. Came home with plenty of go but took a long time to cool down.

I would take it slowly and devote lots of time to conditioning, They need a proper program even at BN and you cannot take shortcuts.

That being said, i adore my guy -- he is obviously snappy with his knees, has a great curious forward thinking mind, loves cross country, and can cart my husband around on a chaotic group canter-hack the day before scoring a 27 in dressage.

Can't beat that with a stick!

Lori T
Nov. 28, 2009, 11:14 PM
http://www.facebook.com/#/album.php?aid=2020704&id=1108760042

Tucker is a PMU foal I adopted when he was 6 months old. He is 6 1/2 now. He is Perch-QH and an absolute doll. Due to his size and maturity, I didn't start eventing until this past spring. He was awesome his first (and so far only) horse trial. We have done schoolings and clinics and everyone loves him. Jonathon Holling thinks he will be able to go to any height, though I think novice will be plenty for us! He has a very steady tempo and as you can see from the BN shots, he is just stepping over those and really does do better with more height!

eventer_mi
Nov. 28, 2009, 11:54 PM
My 1/2 Perch, 1/2 Morgan always placed in the top three at events, with dressage scores in the low 30s. He qualified for the AECs twice, but never made it due to flatweed poisoning (neurological disease). He could jump, and could jump well, but his canter was a LOT of work and he had trouble making time at Novice, due to his gallop being more up-and-down than ground covering. It was also very difficult to keep the weight off him - lots and lots of conditioning, even for Novice. Despite the weird mix of breeds, he actually took a regular wide tree saddle, normal/WB sized bridle (a mix), 52" girth, 80" blanket, and WB sized boots. Nothing special. He was also 16.2ish hands. He's now the dressage pet of a young teenager and has qualified her for Nationals for dressage, with dressage scores in the mid 70s. He also looks like a tank now that he's no longer being conditioned for eventing.

Here is Miles, going xc: The Ark, Novice (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1345474875053515467RWHoUa)
His dressage (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1345463777053515467yRRfCM)
Stadium (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1345469563053515467lKtbIM)
And being Superman (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1345471073053515467AHMEUl)

Personally, I would never own another draft cross unless it was only about 1/4 draft. THey're just too hard to get and keep fit. Btw, Irish Draughts don't really fit into this category - the ID are bred to jump, hunt, pull a plow, and take the family to church - not your typical draft cross. I am always amused when people bring them up in these draft cross discussions.

Donkey
Nov. 29, 2009, 12:34 AM
There are lots of nice draft crosses competing in my neck of the woods but I have to say I know several that have had problems with azoturia as they competed at higher levels (training+) so I would recommend being very very mindful of their diet and fitness as you progress.

Meredith Clark
Nov. 29, 2009, 12:39 AM
http://www.facebook.com/#/album.php?aid=2020704&id=1108760042

Tucker is a PMU foal I adopted when he was 6 months old. He is 6 1/2 now. He is Perch-QH and an absolute doll. Due to his size and maturity, I didn't start eventing until this past spring. He was awesome his first (and so far only) horse trial. We have done schoolings and clinics and everyone loves him. Jonathon Holling thinks he will be able to go to any height, though I think novice will be plenty for us! He has a very steady tempo and as you can see from the BN shots, he is just stepping over those and really does do better with more height!

i LOVE your horse! I've always wanted to adopt a PMU baby and then I got into the CANTER horses. I really want to have a "baby" but I don't want to add to the over population of unwanted horses so a PMU may be on the horizon for me after all :yes:

KMErickson
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:11 AM
We've had a Perch/TB PMU rescue in the family for 9, going on 10 years now. He was first my father's horse and then mine, and is now transitioning to being my father's again. In the time we've had him, he's done scores of Prelim HT, 2 CIC*s, 5 CCI*s (3 long format), and a handful of Intermediate HT. He was difficult to get fit for his first CCI* (we had a professional take him and she did an amazing job getting him ready but it was definitely an all year task) but then he really did keep that base and has held it forward to today. Now he's really very fit and easy to keep going, and just today went on a 3 mile beach gallop in a 25mph headwind after having been mostly let down for the past three months and was hardly blowing at the end. He's amazing!!

GMHA Prelim Showjumping (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142960114/)

Galloping (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142203603/in/photostream/)

Galway Intermediate XC (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142960006/in/photostream/)

Steeplechase (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142203493/in/photostream/)

Intermediate Showjumping (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142203459/in/photostream/)

:)

hereafatty
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:13 AM
These responses have been fantastic... THANK YOU! :) Please keep them coming! What a beautiful bunch of horses you all have.

Bravestrom
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:23 AM
Both my sons event 1/2 drafts currently - we have some 1/4 drafts and 1/8 drafts on the way for future event horses.

My 16 yr old son was Reserve Challenge Series Young Rider Pretraining champion for the Ontario Horse Trials Association this year - first year pre-training on a 1/2 draft.

Lots of pics here of both my sons and my self eventing draft crosses:

Both of them are going training next year.

www.hotelfun4kids.com/horses.htm

lwk
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:19 AM
Our draft cross is a good solid BN horse but much happier as a field hunter/trail horse. And it takes a lot to get her fit - even for BN.
We don't know her breeding - she came out of a kill pen in upstate NY. My guess is Belgian/quarter horse. She does not have a good natural canter - we had to work and work and work on canter.

I think it is better to have some TB "hot blood" in these draft crosses.

Thomas_1
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:23 AM
I've heard whispers here and there that drafts are usually considered unsuitable for eventing (size, weight). I'm sure in a lot of ways it's as individual as everything else, but in general, how do you feel about drafts in eventing? If they're typical of a first cross of horses that are true to type then they sometimes do o.k. at the lower levels.

yellowbritches
Nov. 29, 2009, 12:57 PM
We've had a Perch/TB PMU rescue in the family for 9, going on 10 years now. He was first my father's horse and then mine, and is now transitioning to being my father's again. In the time we've had him, he's done scores of Prelim HT, 2 CIC*s, 5 CCI*s (3 long format), and a handful of Intermediate HT. He was difficult to get fit for his first CCI* (we had a professional take him and she did an amazing job getting him ready but it was definitely an all year task) but then he really did keep that base and has held it forward to today. Now he's really very fit and easy to keep going, and just today went on a 3 mile beach gallop in a 25mph headwind after having been mostly let down for the past three months and was hardly blowing at the end. He's amazing!!

GMHA Prelim Showjumping (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142960114/)

Galloping (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142203603/in/photostream/)

Galway Intermediate XC (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142960006/in/photostream/)

Steeplechase (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142203493/in/photostream/)

Intermediate Showjumping (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39999856@N08/4142203459/in/photostream/)

:)
I have met this charming guy and LOVE him. :D He is the poster child for how great these crosses CAN be.

That being said, they aren't my choice, but can be quite nice. I've seen asterix guy around (cutie pie), and have ridden and loved a few myself that have been great in their own right. We have one with us now who is VERY big and VERY drafty (I believe he is a Shire/TB/Cleveland Bay cross). My first reaction when I first saw him was "Oh, dear Lord." However, he is a bundle of surprises! He is a rather nice mover (that was TOTALLY unexpected) and is a dandy little jumper. His owner's ultimate goal is training level, which is totally in his range...if we can get him fit and lean enough (he came to us a good bit overweight). Every now and then in a jump school he even looks like prelim material. But, the challenge is going to be getting him fit and keeping him lean. His mass is going to be his biggest hurdle to overcome. He has a great mind and a willing heart and seems to love his job. He wouldn't have been my choice at all but he's his mom's love and if she puts the work in, he'll be everything she wants. :yes:

KMErickson
Nov. 29, 2009, 03:36 PM
I have met this charming guy and LOVE him. :D He is the poster child for how great these crosses CAN be.


Aw Amanda you're too sweet. :) Dually misses you guys!

gardenie
Nov. 29, 2009, 04:58 PM
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/album.php?aid=10169&id=1197026548

Quarter Perch, Quarter App, Half Arab

asterix
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:48 PM
yeah, the fitness thing is huge; if they are crosses (mine is allegedly 1/2 tb) it is totally doable but you must give it time and don't feed them too much :lol::lol:

My trainer (who is uber-conservative) blithely said something today about prelim next year. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor bc we just did our first Training (and she knows how much of a chicken I am -- took me over 2 years at T with my other horse to move to P), and I do think she's being a bit rosy on the timeline...but it's already clear he's got the athleticism.

Speed, maybe not, but again, the crosses develop this with time if you do your homework. Within reason, of course.

Most of our horses, as much as we love them, top out somewhere, for some reason. We just need to make sure our expectations or ambitions are the right size for our partner's abilities...

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:59 PM
yeah, the fitness thing is huge; if they are crosses (mine is allegedly 1/2 tb) it is totally doable but you must give it time and don't feed them too much :lol::lol:

My trainer (who is uber-conservative) blithely said something today about prelim next year. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor bc we just did our first Training (and she knows how much of a chicken I am -- took me over 2 years at T with my other horse to move to P), and I do think she's being a bit rosy on the timeline...but it's already clear he's got the athleticism.

Speed, maybe not, but again, the crosses develop this with time if you do your homework. Within reason, of course.

Most of our horses, as much as we love them, top out somewhere, for some reason. We just need to make sure our expectations or ambitions are the right size for our partner's abilities...


LOL...so much for being the husband horse! Glad he is going so well!

Ajierene
Nov. 29, 2009, 07:05 PM
I would not expect any full draft to really be able to do more than Training, maybe with enough luck and fitness, Preliminary. It is not the jump that is the problem, so much as the fitness issue and the fact that 1500 pounds going over a jump is much more wear and tear than 900 pounds.

Draft crosses all depends on the individual. Is your horse a Belgian/Thoroughbred that looks like a Belgian, warmblood or thoroughbred?

Asterix's horses remind me of warmbloods - more bone than the thoroughbred, but still showing athleticism.

Take Blue, here http://www.saltforkstables.com/blank.html , as an example. Really, if he is a draft cross, how much do you see him making it over even a 2foot jump and how much work to keep him fit enough to do a Beginner Novice course? What about any form of collection, balance and movement for dressage?

As stated before, take Asterix's horses into account. They do not like as sleek and ready for action as a full thoroughbred, but they do look like they can do the job.

It was harder finding one that really looked like the thoroughbred side, but Elegance, here http://www.flyingwfarms.com/H%20REF/references/H_Reference_Page_02.html , was pretty close. The main difference between Elegance and Asterix's horses would probably be the ease in getting the fitness level needed, ability to keep it and ability to get the speed needed for the level.

The heavier the horse, the more you have to be careful about jumping, also, due to issues mentioned earlier.

Drafts and draft crosses can be great and often have a more forgiving and calm attitude than the 'sensitive' thoroughbred. For the amateur looking to enjoy their horse, who is not in a hurry to move up, they are great. For the pro or highly ambitious amateur, you have to be much more careful how you pick them.

Meredith Clark
Nov. 29, 2009, 07:13 PM
Take Blue, here http://www.saltforkstables.com/blank.html , as an example. .

I think Blue there might be a draft cross... with another draft!

that or one of those genetically altered beef cows (http://www.pollsb.com/photos/o/207146-schwarzenegger_super_cows.jpg).

Ajierene
Nov. 29, 2009, 08:21 PM
I think Blue there might be a draft cross... with another draft!

that or one of those genetically altered beef cows (http://www.pollsb.com/photos/o/207146-schwarzenegger_super_cows.jpg).

he he he. Yeah, I was going with what the website claims!

And those supercows are SCARY!

Flipper
Nov. 29, 2009, 08:41 PM
That being said, i adore my guy -- he is obviously snappy with his knees, has a great curious forward thinking mind, loves cross country, and can cart my husband around on a chaotic group canter-hack the day before scoring a 27 in dressage.

Can't beat that with a stick!

Asterix - I adore your guy too.... can I have him when you're done?:D

CookiePony
Nov. 29, 2009, 08:56 PM
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/album.php?aid=10169&id=1197026548

Quarter Perch, Quarter App, Half Arab

Hey, I've seen you guys at the shows. Blue is cute! :cool:

PhoenixFarm
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:40 PM
We've bred four out of the same draft/TB cross mare. The first two were by an Anglo-Arab stallion called Quartermaster who evented through the CCI** (and had the same TB sire as Touch of Class). The last two, who I still have, are by Denny's Reputed Testamony.

You can see the mare, and her various babies here. (http://www.phoenixsporthorses.com/page2/page2.html)

Scroll down to see Calypso.

You can see the babies here. (http://www.phoenixsporthorses.com/page3/page3.html)

Cruiser and Seeker listed under sold horses are by the Anglo. Phoenix SParrow and Phoenix Torchwood listed under currently available are the Rep babies.

I'd reiterate what most here have said, lack of jump is rarely the problem as much as lack of stamina as you move up the levels. All of mine jumped 3'9 like it was nothing, but I don't know that they would have it to do a two star. But I know some draft crosses have gone through the CCI*** level, so it just depends on the individual attributes.

That being said, every draft cross is different. I have two sets of full siblings, and there are pairs of each of the half siblings more similar than the full siblings. IOW, I think her first and third foals are more similar to each other, and her second and fourth are more similar, rather than the actual pairs of full siblings.

Fitness is key, and we start early--they are ponying on the hills here as two year olds.

My breeding goal was to take the wonderful reliable temperament and work ethic of the dam, and tart it up with more sportiness, drive, and athleticism. I'm quite happy with the results!

fatorangehorse
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:12 PM
Begin trot sets early in their lives - and never stop - no matter what the discipline. I have one that went intermediate. He is fairly leggy for a draft cross - great gallop stride. It took me 2 years to build his fitness base - but never been hard to keep fit since then. He had colic surgery @ one point and came back very quickly. I would jump sparingly though. The heavy horse tend towards the suspensory and collateral ligmanet injuries on the front end if you pund them over fences. He is a fabulous mover. We do straight dressage now. High 60's @ 3rd level. I still do trot and gallop sets as a part of his program - He is fitter than any of the horses I ride with.

enjoy.

asterix
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:40 PM
so, just for the record, my "big man" in the profile is a proper German WB (he is a dressage refugee -- I certainly didn't import him!!!), and although he is taller and bigger (bigger girth, bigger shoes) than the baby/husband horse (you are right bornfree, he has graduated. hubby still rides him but, damn, I like competing him!), the husband horse is a draft cross and certainly looks it -- shorter neck, thicker body, and those telltale feathers (which Linda Zhang once told me to shave off, "that way no one will ever know...").

That being said, people constantly think he is related to my coach's retired **** horse, a Canadian sport horse ("people" here including Jimmy Wofford and the local sport horse vet), so I do think I got the more fortuitous piece of the draft cross blend...

But I agree with everyone else; they often have the jump, and sometimes the movement, and they have a GREAT amateur brain...but you cannot take their fitness too seriously, and too carefully.

I have no ambitions for either horse beyond prelim, so their obvious limitations (neither one could ever hope to have the speed beyond that) in that respect don't bother me. I have watched many an amateur like myself struggle with the super-talented nutball horse while I enjoy my "limited" horse, who taught himself to self-load, falls asleep at horse trials, jumps around like a champ, and can and has won the dressage if mom gets her body parts aligned :winkgrin: Rolex? Never in a 100 years. Total blast for me? Yep.

jumpingpercheron
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:44 PM
I have a very modern full Percheron mare that has responded beautifully to conditioning. We do strength, long slow distance, interval, and speed work. I have a HR monitor on her every ride and input all my data into Polar Pro Trainer 5 Equine Edition. That mare recovers faster than you would ever guess after a gallop, a couple gymnastic lines, etc...
I am a jumper rider but I bet you money my Perch could do well in the lower levels. Obviously, like others have said a full draft would be limited.

Here is a pic of us yesterday:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/rallycarskickass/112801.jpg

Here is another pic from last week, gives you a better idea of how she is put together:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v631/rallycarskickass/021.jpg

Bobthehorse
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:03 AM
For the lower levels they are great, hardy and usually quite and forgiving. However they are heavier, and do not have the stamina and speed that lighter breeds have, so they will be harder on themselves when it comes to higher level competition. Thats true of any heavier horse though.

It seems full drafts do ok through Novice, *most* 50/50s do ok through Prelim (the ones who take more after the draft probably not, the ones who take more after the TB for sure). Above that the ones ones who seem to make it are the ones that really dont even look like draft crosses at all, either because they are 3/4 TB, or they just got super lucky and took after the TB side.

They are just not my type. I like the look of TBs and light WBs, and I like the hotter guys too. But for someone wanting to have a good time at the lower levels or mid levels without as much stress, they sure look like a good time.

hereafatty
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:44 AM
Would it shock any of you to hear of an eventing trainer with a strong bias against drafts, then? :)

jumpingpercheron
Nov. 30, 2009, 03:35 AM
But for someone wanting to have a good time at the lower levels or mid levels without as much stress, they sure look like a good time.

Yessir. Bobthehorse, well said. You're absolutely right. I wouldn't trade my Perch for the world. A farm in Findlay, OH actually offered me $25,000 for my Perch this past summer after seeing some pics and video of her jumping and I politely said absolutely not. She'll never be for sale. They also INSISTED she MUST have some type of Warmblood in her and just COULD NOT be a full Perch. I made sure to show them her pedigree as well as her PHAOA registration, meaning there's no other chance she's anything but 101% Percheron.

His Greyness
Nov. 30, 2009, 04:05 AM
Would it shock any of you to hear of an eventing trainer with a strong bias against drafts, then? :)

It wouldn't surprise me at all that there are eventing trainers that are biased against drafts. Breed prejudice isn't illegal and is rampant in the horse world. On the other hand if said trainer came anywhere near His Greyness or Baby Belgian I would have them step on his or her foot.:D

His Greyness was an obviously Percheron Thoroughbred cross from a PMU farm who did jump 4ft 6in on one occasion. Baby Belgian isn't far enough along in his jumping training to know how high he can go.

As previous posters have pointed out, in the right context a draft or draft cross is an ideal horse. You are never going to win big competitions with one but you can have a lot of fun. I described His Greyness as the adult's version of a kid's pony.:)

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 30, 2009, 09:55 AM
Would it shock any of you to hear of an eventing trainer with a strong bias against drafts, then? :)


Nope...and there is nothing really wrong with a trainer having a bias against a breed type. They know what type of horse they prefer. I have no desire to ride or own a draft cross.....but understand that others may like them. It just wouldn't be my choice for an eventing partner for a number of reasons (often they are really not my sort of ride).

I can also see a trainer not wanting one for a student whose goals are a certain level but who is inconsistent in their program and didn't have the time to put in long slow work to build up fitness. They also are often smarter than their riders....not always the right match for some riders.

A trainer can have a preference for breed type and a preference/bias against a certain breed...that doesn't make them a bad trainer just one that knows what sort of raw material they like to work with. Although ultimately, you need to be judging the individual horse...not their pedigree.

Personally, I don't think it is always fair to ask a truly heavier type of horse to run and jump. Even if they have the heart for it...they are not built for it and you could cause them damage asking them to do the job. (I'm talking about recognized levels of eventing...pretty sure just about anything could trot over a little 2' elementary course....even that beef cow!). So you really have to look at the individual...how they are built and how they carry themselves. NOT all horses should be event horses.

asterix
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:32 AM
Totally agree, bfne. 100%.

Let me use another example. I have a friend whose gelding jumped in a very unorthodox way. To me, and, more importantly, to her coach, this horse did not look like a good fit to take her preliminary (they were doing novice at the time). Coach has a real bias, and it is a bias, against certain types of horses. Her bias is based on thinking this sort of horse is not safe/athletic enough to fix the inevitable amateur mistakes on its own. Rider felt coach was being unfair, coach just liked the type of horse she (coach) tended to buy, etc.

On paper, this story can go either way. Coach is narrowminded, perhaps wants secretly to sell student horse she finds, etc etc. OR, student cannot see truth about beloved horse, who is a good egg but hangs legs like a stork coming in for a landing. Coach does not want to be there when the ambulance carts student off.


Full drafts, ideal for eventing? No. Specific horse X, for specific rider Y, sights set on the lower level? Sure.

If you are having a real issue with your coach about this, and you have a horse or have a horse in mind, go get the horse evaluated by one or more other reputable coaches. That should help you sort out whether your coach has "blinders" on, or whether she is giving you sound advice about whether you can achieve your goals with the horse in question.

caffeinated
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:55 AM
I'm not sure I should respond as I haven't actually evented my horse yet, but I'm planning to start next year.

I have a 3/4 TB 1/4 Perch I got from a PMU farm as a baby. He is very TB-ish in lots of ways - has a great "go" button, and the work ethic of a plow horse. The horse will just keep going as long as you ask him, regardless of fitness. So I would ditto everybody regarding the careful conditioning.

He is physically capable of jumping pretty big, I think, the big challenge has been to teach him he doesn't need to leap over a crossrail like it's ten feet high with monsters living under it. :)

fatorangehorse
Nov. 30, 2009, 11:12 AM
When you get to half or less draft - It all depends on the horse. They pick up very different elements of each breed. Mine is big, but not that heavy. He is leggy and has a very long stride.

I never had problems with the time - not that i made every time - but was always in the middle or above the average. Truthfully, I felt like it was easier for my horse than others. Once he learned his balance, he could gallop a 20 ft. stride. Of course i'd rate him before the jumps, but he made light work of the galloping. We would compete against some of the smaller pure TB types, and I felt like my horse had to take about 1/3 less strides. On up through intermediate, his rounds on video looked like he was cantering a hunter course. He just covered a lot of ground. It always looked kind of slow. On the less technical courses, I was usually fastest. My bigger issue was shortening is jump stride to ensure he didn't eat too much ground on the landing side with upright vertical bounce coming etc.

Did LOTS, LOTS of flatwork. Jumped him 1/2 as much as the other event horses I had at my barn. Flat work because it made him more elastic and the jumps better and flatwork because that's a big body landing on the otherside of a jump. He has a good work ethic, so I did not drill him. I practiced courses with poles or cavaletti. Frankly, it was harder than jumps because a big jump puts them on their hocks. If I could jump around nicely, with even engaged canter @ 2ft, I knew we were ready! I of course got him over height too. In season, I only did a couple of jumps @ 4ft or so rigth before an event. the rest was working the technical aspects at lower heights - even XC.

We had rails here and there, and an occasional stop xc @ the lower levels. By the time he wen intermediate, he was always clean xc. Lots of people I worked with thought he was a silly horse to choose to event. He loved it and they all apologized @ one point or another once we started cooking. . . . including Lucinda Green. ;-D

wildlifer
Nov. 30, 2009, 11:20 AM
I do have a problem with eventing full drafts or crosses that are built like full drafts. They are HEAVY horses. And I know more than one that is permanently lame due to ringbone before age 10 because owners insisted on jumping them. I do not think it is fair to ask a draft horse to perform a jumping career. CAN they do it? Sure, and many enjoy it. Small children also enjoy leaping off of tall objects. In neither instance do I believe they SHOULD be doing it. You can call it breed predjudice if you want, that's fine. But I firmly believe that different breed were developed for different tasks and it is not right to ask them to perform tasks that they are so obviously unsuited for. I love draft horses. I love to see them used as driving horses, trial horses, pleasure horses, heck ride 'em in the dressage ring, have a blast with them! But please don't jump them, ringbone and other foot and joint conditions are so painful, degenerative, and heartbreaking to watch.

As for draft crosses, well, there is SUCH variability there that one cannot make a general statement as they can be just about ANY shape and size imaginable.

fatorangehorse
Nov. 30, 2009, 11:36 AM
Wildlifer - I know a number of Draft crosses with those same leg issues as well. It's back to the same old issue. We make it more about us than the horse. There are lots of horses that get pushed and jumped far more than they should. I have learned that the hard way.

That is part of why i do not event my horse any more. I do jump him still on occasion. Not that dressage is necessarily better. Who are we kidding? Our horses learn to find enjoyment in all sorts of jobs, but truthfully wouldn't they mostly like to be left alone? Excepting regular deliveries of favorite treats of course.

I'm not saying we should stop all together. Just that it is important that we pay attention to what the horses are telling us - in their bodies and attitudes etc. Sensitivity and good judgement is generally a good way to go - and often our own ambitions can cloud those things. And when you make a mistake with consequences to the horse (and we all will continually) just try not to make that particular mistake again. Also, do your best to leanr from the mistakes you see around you.

Back to the topic, if your your draft or cross horse is heavy or unathletic, don't pretend it isn't. If that's not the case, just be careful not to hurt them.

Badger
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:01 PM
I know a percheron cross that was successful at advanced and long-format three-star. I've bred a perch/TB cross who competes with a pro at the intmediate/** level (doesn't make time). I am competing another homebred perch/TB at the prelim level myself. Here is a picture of him:

http://www.shannonbrinkman.net/horsesDetail.php?id=71744

It takes more to get him fit than a TB, yes, but I got him very fit for his first training (which he won), and then found it very easy to get him fit again. In fact, he had most of 8 months off (due to husband's injury during hunt season), got literally pulled out of pasture and put to work in August, and was fit enough to get a 5th in his first prelim 8 weeks later in early Oct. He is a great jumper (see photo above). With draft crosses, there is SO much variation that you really have to look at each individual horse in order to evaluate their potential.

Now, as far as a bias against drafts...I remember well a conversation with a now BNT about the local amateurs in my area vs ones in the area she was living in at the time. I asked her why so many of the ammys in her area were making it to prelim and intermediate when it was so rare in my area. She said that the horses were the difference: in my area, we were seeing a lot of draft crosses and quarter horses and hunt horses being brought to the events by the adult ammys. But in the area where she was teaching at the time, there were a lot more riders on OTTBs, which, in her opinion, had an extra degree of scope, heart, quickness to make up for an ammy's mistakes, took less time to get fit, etc., and were the reason more ammies were making it out of the lower levels there. And I think there is something to that.

It really depends on an individual riders' goals, but if you randomly pick a dozen draft crosses and a dozen TBs, I'd put my money on the TB group for having more horses that could jump around an intermediate course. But if you take a random dozen riders, you may not find even a single individual in that group that has the desire and drive to do what it takes to get a horse to intermediate or advanced... So for a whole lot of riders out there, there are plenty of fine horses with draft blood that are suitable and enjoyable partners for their goals.

eventersmom
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:30 PM
We have a 3/4 Tb 1/4 Shire mare that was bred specifically for eventing. She's eventing BN/N right now, schooling some Training/Prelim questions and doing a respectable job. She is bold and athletic; she can and will jump pretty much anything you put in front of her and we've heard "holy crap that horse can jump" on more than one occasion.

BUT...she is harder to keep fit than our full Tb's and she's really tough on the flat, mostly due to her sheer size (17hh) and her conformation. We don't jump her frequently because we worry about joint stress and she simply doesn't need much drilling over jumps. Dressage, however, is quite hard for her and she would be much happier as a jumper or hunt horse so we are contemplating making that change.

Everyone has an opinion about what breed they feel is appropriate for eventing. It is a bit discouraging to have people talk about draft crosses in a disparaging way both to your face and behind your back and there are trainers who most certainly have a negative opinion of draft crosses. However I don't feel it's any different than people who event or jump Arabians or other non-traditional breeds. If you're competing a horse outside of the norm for a specific discipline, you're bound to get an interesting reaction, some positive, some negative.

To me it's more about the horse and the partnership than the breed. A good horse is a good horse. If the partnership works, the pairing meets with your riding goals and the horse is happy then why not a draft cross or whatever breed makes you smile when you ride!

Here are some pics of our girl in action. We love her but she's not for everyone.
http://s672.photobucket.com/albums/vv88/eventersmom/Draft%20cross/

wookiee
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:48 PM
I event a Full Percheron. He's 16.3 and maybe 1500 lbs. Not big at all like that SUPER HORSE Blue above. Yikes!

I also ride first field in my local hunt here in NH and some of the fences are 3'9" (most are around 3' or less though) and we go about 10-12 miles in a hunt over varied terrain.

There is much more work involved with him than even with my geriatric (19 year old) TB mare. Trot sets and conditioning are paramount, diet must be monitored. You want them trim, but can't skimp on calories when they are in heavy work. You have to buy custom tack (when I started I could not find a jumping saddle to fit) and just try finding a 7" pelham! :lol:

As for the leg injuries, my horse is very sound *knock on wood* but I do get him xrayed every year. Front feet and hocks. I want to make sure I can track any degeneration before I cripple him. I am happy to say we are in year three of serious jump training (horse is 8) and no changes to either feet or hocks. But that's a big expense every year for "peace of mind".

It just takes more work and time to keep him at 100% which is where he needs to be to be competitive in Area 1 in BN and Novice. My old TB mare can cruise around Novice/Training at 60% (of course, we'd always be last in dressage). Is it worth the extra work??

That's the million dollar question. I love my horse, but if eventing was what I was going to focus on, I would not likely continue with him. However, I also foxhunt (where he is much more appropriate), backcountry pack, skijoring, a little of this, a little of that. And finding that kind of versatile mind with athleticism is a much more expensive proposition in a more "popular" breed.

In the meantime, we're having fun at BN/N and I am learning a lot in a safer package. He's easy on the eyes and careful with his knees and in this day and age, that's about all you can ask for. ;)

octavian_jazz
Nov. 30, 2009, 04:09 PM
My horse is a Clydesdale/Thoroughbed cross. We've had him since he was a two year old, (knock on wood), he's never had any lameness issues other than one bad farrier job and sore heels. He's done two CCIs, a long format and Young Riders. He's also 19 this year. He's extremely athletic and can get moving when he needs to. As far as fitness goes, before both CCI*s, he was doing 2X30s for trot sets and 3X7s for gallop sets. He was a bit warm afterwards, but came back quickly. Otherwise, I don't feel like he takes a lot more work to get fit, but then again, I guess it depends on the individual horse.

There have been a few other threads on this subject, and everytime I post I always mention Bonnie Mosser's Merloch, who I think is at least 1/4 draft?

mjhco
Nov. 30, 2009, 04:15 PM
For a draft / tb cross that did WELL in the long format, check the record of The Flying Dutchman and Grant Schneidman.

Not all are going to be that good or that sound. But not all TB's will do that well. Not all WB's will do that well.

wookiee
Nov. 30, 2009, 04:17 PM
As far as fitness goes, before both CCI*s, he was doing 2X30s for trot sets and 3X7s for gallop sets. He was a bit warm afterwards, but came back quickly.


That's very interesting data. At our peak this summer/fall, we were doing 3x5s for trots and 3x4s for canters at Novice speed. He did the work and recovered in less than 10 minutes, but was blowing.

At Groton House, on fence 15, the fence judge marked that he looked tired. I would think that doing those kind of conditioning sets 1-2x a week would be more than enough to fit up a horse for BN/N, but it just didn't seem to be enough to get us around fresh and begging for more. And of course, no one wants to ride a tired horse so I always worry.

I also treated for Lyme this year and lost a month of conditioning due to Typhoon June. Maybe we just had a rough year...