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paulaedwina
May. 15, 2011, 07:44 PM
So I've had this argument with folks before. I have a thing for drafts and am looking for a draft cross that can do dressage, competitive trail, hunter paces, hill topping, etc. I've not looked at many full drafts because they usually have a hard time doing things like a canter depart without running into it, they have a hard time bending, and their straight shoulder lends itself to a hackney trot and prohibits extension.

I know I know; drafts don't do dressage. Believe you me I've had the dressing down on another board :D Thing is I like riding big ole drafty horses. Am I looking for a dressage horse? No I'm looking for a horse that can do dressage, among other things. So that rules out straight shoulders, heavy drafts that can't use their butts to lift themselves into a canter, and can't flex at the poll or bend. Like I said: I've been looking at crosses, hoping to have my cake and eat it too.

Well. I saw an ad for a full Belgian mare, 6 years old, 1250lbs. That's pretty darned light for a Belgian so I emailed the seller and asked about whether her horse was a light as she sounded and whether she could do the things I wanted her to do. She said yes. So I went to see her at her trainers on my way to Meeting today. Couldn't ride because of course I'm in my church/meeting clothes.

Well. She's been in training so she's a little light right now. However:
1. Sloped shoulder extended trot (as much as she was trained to do). No high knee action. (You've seen that knee action in Haffies and Belgians).

2. She's about 16 hh. Not downhill. She might even be a hair uphill, but let's call her level.

3.Solid WTC. Harder to pick up her canter on the left side.

4. Bends (cowboy did a side pass - the Western equivalent of a half pass except you're traveling in the direction of the outside curve).

5. Flexes. Relaxed topline.

6. Not ploddy. Energetic, forward.

Soooo did I just meet a supple, forward, dressage....Belgian?:eek:

I'm going to test ride her next weekend.

Paula

NCSue
May. 15, 2011, 08:25 PM
I had a full Belgian mare, 17.2H, that did up to 3rd level dressage, jumped very nicely although I didn't let her go much over 2'3" on a regular basis, had as much endurance, forwardness, and athletic ability as any of the TBs in my barn. Keep in mind that just because the horse is a draft it doesn't mean that the horse is dead calm, unathletic, and cumbersome. My girl was very supple, had an excellent shoulder, laterals and collected work were very easy. Extensions/lengthenings took a little longer and more effort. Sadly she developed an allergy to biting bugs so had to move up north for her health. That was a sad decision.

I now have a 15.3H Pinto draft mare that has only been under saddle for a year. Her conformation isn't quite as good and she's much wider but as far as heart, willingness, ability to learn, athletic ability, acceptance of contact, suppleness, bendability I have no complaints. Any issues we have under saddle are strictly baby issues. We score, usually, in the low to mid 60s on training level tests.

While neither of my drafts showed signs of EPSM I still fed them a low carb, high fat diet with additional vit E. I also keep them on joint supplement and shod on all 4.

You may run into a judge that is a little opinionated but I've found a well ridden test is scored as a well ridden test. Anytime I've received a lower score it was deserved.

I do present my draft with a pulled mane and clipped feathers. That's my own personal choice as I think she looks neater, is cooler. and the braided traditional mane makes her neck look longer.

paulaedwina
May. 15, 2011, 08:42 PM
Thank you so much, Susan. I was wondering whether I was seeing things. I knew I had my bias for the heavy horses, coupled with not knowing much about conformation beyond the obvious (uphill/downhill, sickle hock, etc). Thank you also for the information on EPSM. Were you able to keep her in good muscle with your low carb/high fat diet?

You pull the mane as opposed to braiding or are you saying braiding is also a good effect? I have to admit I find clipped feathers much more tidy.

One thing with this gal - she was docked so she has a short tail. Would you tie such a tail up?

Also I have heard feedback from people that Belgians are not nice horses. She seemed like a fine girl to me. Have you heard such a thing?

BTW I'm going to take a trainer with me when I ride her.

Paula

hundredacres
May. 15, 2011, 08:56 PM
Also I have heard feedback from people that Belgians are not nice horses. She seemed like a fine girl to me. Have you heard such a thing?

BTW I'm going to take a trainer with me when I ride her.

Paula

I don't have much to add, but I think you should buy the horse that will make you happy, and ignore stereotypes when at all possible ;). A sound horse with a good mind, a good heart and a good attitude is worth it's weight in gold, no matter what you decide to do with it or what breed it is (in my humble, non-competitive opinion if it's worth anything!).

And while I know little about Belgians, I always smile seeing non-traditional horses in dressage at any level...so please share how your ride goes and post pictures if you decide to buy her! Good luck!

paulaedwina
May. 15, 2011, 09:24 PM
Well I do have some pictures on my desktop from this morning. My friend plays with her camera alot. They are a bit blurry. She is skinny. She went into training and dropped alot of weight. Maybe I can post them to my flickr
et voila http://www.flickr.com/photos/52967336@N00/5724261481/in/photostream

Paula

SisterToSoreFoot
May. 15, 2011, 11:05 PM
If you like drafts, get a draft. Dressage=training, so train what you love.

I rode two draft crosses a while back, and one key conformational difference made all the difference in terms of their suitability for dressage, IMO. Maybe this will help you shop.

Horse 1: TB/Perch: Lovely head, neck, shoulder, bone, but the hind end had the steep downward slope that some drafts have, and the loin connection was so-so. Additionally, the horse's hindquarter was short {horizontally} in relation to its body. Overall, many people would love this horse's look--not drafty, pretty.

The ride: The horse was archy in the neck, but had real trouble getting past the false frame and coming through. Seemed to struggle with lower back strength.

Horse 2: Perch/Paint: Big draft head, short wedge neck, sloping shoulder, uphill with a fab loin connection, short back, and big round butt--no drafty "peak." Still, this horse would look like a plug to the casual onlooker. Much homelier than horse 1.

The ride: While the neck wasn't ideal, this horse had a great natural power and softness in his back. That strong loin/hind end produced an amazingly soft and adjustable ride, and the neck could have been worked around, since this horse was soooo strong in the back. This horse was wayyy greener than horse 1 but was further along and had waaaay more potential. The hind end/loin connection was the key.


Moving on to the picture you posted, the horse's loin looks good, especially for her being thin. It's a bad pic, so I can't tell if the hind end is really that short, or if the horse is angled a bit. The other pic is more flattering. You can't totally avoid the peak thing with the full drafts, but a good loin connection can help.

This awesome full perch is a good example of a classic looking drafthorse with a great loin--and thus good dressage movement. (http://jumping-percheron.blogspot.com/)

Check out this month's Equus--Dr. Bennett has a great article on what to look for in the hind end/how much of the horse's body it should ideally take up. Every good (easy!) dressage type I've ridden has had that combo of smooth loin connection and large butt in relation to the overall length of the horse. My own pony has that butt/loin and everything is 100 times easier... Of course we all know stories of confo trainwrecks succeeding...but if you're shopping, that's where I'd really focus.

ideayoda
May. 15, 2011, 11:25 PM
Imho the croup angle is problematic. And it really stands over the forelegs. And the pasterns...mmmm seem very angled. All good things for work in the field, but as a riding horse (esp in canter) not so much. What is the intention for its use? Imho perch crosses can be better riding horses.

paulaedwina
May. 15, 2011, 11:26 PM
I appreciate your taking the time to explain that hind end connection. What you're describing is probably why she was able to extend and travel so much at the trot? And probably why she didn't have to run into the canter.

I had to look back and forth between the two pictures but I understand now what you mean about the hind end looking short in the closer shot. You're right; she is standing at an angle there. The second shot (with her far away) was pure luck, but I loved it so much I grabbed my friend and made her snap it.

Thanks for the link to the Percheron. I watched the first video in its entirety. I have to say though that the Belgian I saw had a more fluid and relaxed topline and was more forward than this Percheron. At least this was the case under the trainer (cowboy). We'll see if that holds when I ride her next weekend. Of course the Perch had waaay more neck than the Belgian. My amateur eye says the Belgian is more balanced front to back than the perch?

I'll look for the Eqqus article. I appreciate the reference.

I'll tell you how it goes.

Paula

paulaedwina
May. 15, 2011, 11:32 PM
Imho the croup angle is problematic. And it really stands over the forelegs. And the pasterns...mmmm seem very angled. All good things for work in the field, but as a riding horse (esp in canter) not so much. What is the intention for its use? Imho perch crosses can be better riding horses.


Funny you both mention the croup angle. When I first saw her I thought she was downhill - that her croup was higher than her withers. But she isn't. She is at least level, perhaps a hair uphill. But her back leg just seem waaay longer than her front legs...yet she is not downhill. What is that? What are the implications of that conformation? If she was downhill I'd say - hard to collect, hard to train to use her hind end. But this is the first time I've seen that looong back leg thing. I guess the test ride will really tell.

One of the horses I exercise for my equitation trainer is a very downhill little QH so I really do know what it feels like :eek:

ETA what is the intended use of this horse: Fun. A bit of dressage, some competitive trail, hunter pace, hill topping, trail riding. Anything interesting that comes along.

Paula

ideayoda
May. 15, 2011, 11:37 PM
She can be level with a way too sloped croup (tail almost stuck upwards). Those hindlegs are to lock and stretch into the ground, form for function of slow plowing action. Combine with a shortish neck and it doesn't say riding horse. Definitely NOT a horse for distance riding, nor for any type of quality in canter.

EqTrainer
May. 15, 2011, 11:42 PM
OP, the visual "confusion" over the hind legs/being croup high, level or uphill, may be that you are seeing a combination of long rear cannon bones and a straightish stifle angle. Picture the rear cannon shorter, and the stifle angle steeper and that may help you make sense of what you are seeing.

paulaedwina
May. 15, 2011, 11:49 PM
That was an interesting exercise; picturing the rear cannon bones shorter and the stifle angle steeper. You guys are really good teachers.

Paula

Zugabe
May. 16, 2011, 03:16 AM
I think it's great that you aren't falling into the 'must have certain breed' to do dressage. Kudos to you.

I have a really neat TB/Clyde cross that has been really excelling in dressage...so ya just never know till you try. :winkgrin:

gallopinggram
May. 16, 2011, 08:46 AM
Here is a pic of my Belgian/TB mare doing a training level dressage test.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23980697@N02/4860128473/in/set-72157624412067730

What she lacks in talent, she makes up for in personality! I am also drawn to drafty type horses!

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 09:00 AM
The "must have a certain breed for dressage" pressure is very strong but it helps for me to understand that I don't want a dressage horse, I want a horse that can do dressage. Also, the amount of time this search has taken, as frustrating as it can be, has been beneficial. Each time I begin to succumb to the "must have" feeling I get on a big old drafty type like my equitation trainer's 18 year old Perch/TB Lilly http://www.flickr.com/photos/52967336@N00/5602198910/ and remember what I like. She used to hunt with Lilly. Now she packs kids around the riding school and is a great ride for the disabled riders. She still likes to rip and tear with me, but she has a bad stifle (she had a hard start - starvation) so she can't do that as much as she used to.

But she informs my search; I want a Lilly, 10 years younger, and with a throat latch that allows flexion.

Paula

horsetales
May. 16, 2011, 09:14 AM
Although not a draft in the sense of US draft, if you like or need a larger horse with a kind, sensible personality, check out the Irish Draught/ID sport horse. They are great for dressage as well as being the ultimate horse for hunting (hilltopping/hunter paces). They were bred to be top hunt horses.

Our foal this year is out of my dressage mare & by Steeped in Luck who is competing with Olympian Tom Dvorak at I-1. Others such as KEC Double Diamond & O'learys Irish Diamond competed to PSG. I am breding to another dressage stallion this year. Several of my youngsters have sold dressage homes.

Wayside
May. 16, 2011, 09:18 AM
Also I have heard feedback from people that Belgians are not nice horses. She seemed like a fine girl to me. Have you heard such a thing?


I've never heard such a thing. My Belgian Draft horse passed away recently, and there's a thead if you'd like to read about him: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=303715

Of course, there are "not nice" horses in ever breed, but I used to show in draft shows, and the vast majority of the horses I met there were good citizens. A fried of mine breeds Belgian Draft horses, and most of them are also very sweet and great with her kids. Now, the really fancy hitch horses can be surprisingly hot for drafties, but it doesn't sound like that's what the girl you're looking at is.

Stan, my horse, had his strengths and weaknesses like any horse. He was never going to be a top competitor, that's for sure, but he was an easy willing guy. And at the lower levels, imo, having a horse that really works with you is often more important than innate talent.

Plain Jane
May. 16, 2011, 09:20 AM
I have never owned a draft, but I rode one for a few months a few years back and he was SUCH fun! Very willing, working to please, good mind, pretty decent mover. He was a Belgian/?? (PMU baby).

Go for what you love!

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 09:20 AM
Holy wow! Stan was a looker! Do you mind if I use that halter picture as my desktop background?

Okay, going back to reading the thread now.

ETA: Stan was your heart horse. You describe a relationship with him that reminds me of my relationship with my old ridgeback, Milo. He was your boy. I love the pictures; especially the ones of him with that leetle kid perched on him.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Paula

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 09:32 AM
I have never owned a draft, but I rode one for a few months a few years back and he was SUCH fun! Very willing, working to please, good mind, pretty decent mover. He was a Belgian/?? (PMU baby).

Go for what you love!


Riding a draft is like driving my Chevy Tahoe. All power, but so comfortable you forget how fast you might be going. Would it surprise you that my Tahoe has a name (Juan Carlo)? Of course not all people find drafts comfortable. The size can be intimidating, not to mention the perceived lack of control. I say perceived because drafts remind you in ways that other horse types do not, that horses are way bigger than you are and that you can't physically overpower them.

Paula

Petstorejunkie
May. 16, 2011, 09:33 AM
Soooo did I just meet a supple, forward, dressage....Belgian?:eek:



VTHokie has a draft that can move like a ferret instead of a potato :yes:

Wayside
May. 16, 2011, 09:37 AM
Holy wow! Stan was a looker! Do you mind if I use that halter picture as my desktop background?

Thank you Paula. I'd be very flattered if you did.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 09:39 AM
I tried, but I can't save it from the website :no: You wouldn't have it in a file would you? If you do would you pm me please avec sugar on top?:D

Paula

Wayside
May. 16, 2011, 09:46 AM
I tried, but I can't save it from the website :no: You wouldn't have it in a file would you? If you do would you pm me please avec sugar on top?:D

Paula

I've got in on a cd somewhere, and I think on the media PC as well. I'll definitely track down a decent sized file for you, though it might take me a little bit, since I'm off to ride my mare in a few minutes here. If worst comes to worst, I have the actual print in a frame in my living room, so I can always re-scan it if necessary.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 09:51 AM
You're a darling. Please do go ride your mare. It's post finals week for me so I'm supposed to be grading exams :lol: This is way more fun.

Paula

carolprudm
May. 16, 2011, 10:03 AM
Although not a draft in the sense of US draft, if you like or need a larger horse with a kind, sensible personality, check out the Irish Draught/ID sport horse. They are great for dressage as well as being the ultimate horse for hunting (hilltopping/hunter paces). They were bred to be top hunt horses.

Our foal this year is out of my dressage mare & by Steeped in Luck who is competing with Olympian Tom Dvorak at I-1. Others such as KEC Double Diamond & O'learys Irish Diamond competed to PSG. I am breding to another dressage stallion this year. Several of my youngsters have sold dressage homes.
LOL, you beat me to it. Sophie is a BLAST to ride, forward (now that she had her go button installed) calm and willing

netg
May. 16, 2011, 10:29 AM
Just like about anything, draft crosses can be ugly dumpy things who can't move, or very nice.

I know of two perch crosses (pmu babies) who are pretty different, but both really nice in their own ways. One is a TBx and other than his bone and hoof size you wouldn't know his sire was a perch. 15.2-16hh, very nice mover, only really going now in his mid-teens as an eventer (after a past as a cow horse) and schooling prelim.

The other is a 4year old who has paint/qh in there, too, and she is built fairly similarly to this horse you're looking at, with a less steep hip angle/longer hip. She doesn't have the suspension of purpose-bred horses, but develops more and more as she gets stronger. She still gets 7s on her gaits at rated shows even with the tougher judges, and she is a complete and total sweetheart. She's pretty much not phased by anything, and developing quite nicely with an owner who isn't pushing her at all - faster than you would typically expect a baby to improve with an owner who is more motivated by the relationship with the horse than moving up levels. In essence, perfect for her owner who is also a total sweetheart. :)

This is an example of a place breeding some nice draft crosses, to give yourself some standards to compare to, and look at their builds and see what you think with horses you look at.
http://www.fisherranchwarmbloodsandsporthorses.com/

I like this guy (http://www.fisherranchwarmbloodsandsporthorses.com/thor.htm) best, but he and my TB share some common lineage so I'm biased. ;)
And video of him under saddle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g8-tZQSHKk

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 10:53 AM
Wow, Thor is beautiful. What's going on in that last picture at the bottom? He's got a "What you talkin' bout, Willis" look on his face :lol:

I've also seen some Irish Draught. They are also beautiful, but just not drafty enough :lol:

I think my love of drafts was informed by the Fire Mares in Krull http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHWpi-5TjFQ :D

Paula

boosma47
May. 16, 2011, 10:57 AM
Boo is a Belg/Appy X with more evident QH characteristics than Appy. She has a gorgeous head, built uphill, straightish shoulders, short,thick neck, good length of back, apple butt/no draft slope. She is 15:2, a tank, lightish short cannons, fabulous bare feet, locking stifles when out of work and slightly sickle hocked. She is a decent mover and jumper,very athletic and quick as a cat, forward, light, supple and very flexible. Great lateral work, rides beautifully off my seat. She has a fabulous work ethic, but can be a tad intolerant of stupid rider errors.
I wouldn't ever consider her anything more than a superb all around horse perfect for my needs. We are tentively planning our first beginner novice horse trial for July.

Boo has hunter paced, trail ridden, done 1st-2nd level movements with ease and joy, jumped around a 2'6" course carefully and has shown little concern for 'scary' obstacles. ( But can be silly and spooky) She would excell as a driving horse if I wanted to do that. She has allowed my 7 yr old grandson to ride her by himself on his first ride. I roach her mane in the summer because her crest is 1 1/2" wide!

All this said, she was very opinionated and sometimes beligerent when a 4 yr old.

And I'd trust her with my life.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 11:14 AM
This, "I wouldn't ever consider her anything more than a superb all around horse perfect for my needs." speaks to my condition!

Her personality also sounds promising. How do you roach the mane? I saw a Belgian with this on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCYcbLxKyGQ

Paula

boosma47
May. 16, 2011, 11:47 AM
I cut Boo's mane with scissors, then touch up with clippers. It makes her neck look a bit longer and shows off its beautiful arch. Her forelock stays long, cause it's just so pretty! I also trim her feathers in summer.

I'd post a link to a picture if I knew how. PM me with your email, and I'll try to send you some pics!

eventer_mi
May. 16, 2011, 11:59 AM
Ride what you love. If you love drafties, then ride them. You don't have Olympic aspirations, so why not?

I had a Perch x Morgan who did fairly well in dressage - would score in the high 60s (low 30s for eventing dressage) on a regular basis. He wasn't the greatest mover, lacking suspension, but he was very, very steady: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1345466208053515467FJZOgG

And here he is jumping - http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1345474875053515467RWHoUa

We would almost always place in the top 3 at large recognized events. Judges loved him - everybody loved him. You could do anything with him - he started off life as a carriage horse for weddings, so he was totally traffic--proof. Bunnies in the woods would give him a scare, though ;^). While I wouldn't buy another one like him (very difficult to get in condition for anything above Novice eventing), he was a total blast and forgiving of my ammy mistakes (I trained him myself, from scratch).

trabern
May. 16, 2011, 12:06 PM
She is lovely! She looks like an athlete. Not all drafts.draft-crosses do, but I do love the ones that are athletic. I think the athletic, forward drafts are exceptionally nice horses to have--they usually have an over-abundance of personality, can work all day, and be surprisingly sensitive for their huge size. My DD is now riding a 15hh Haflinger and starting eventing. Every conformational challenge is more than made up for with the personality and cleverness.

Do check out the link SisterToSoreFoot provided to Jumping Percheron. That horse is a huge athlete.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 01:22 PM
Thanks for all the kind words, support, information, and compliments, guys. You've reassured me that I should believe what I saw.

I did see the jumping percheron link - I watched the entire first video. She is much heavier than this Belgian I think, and I think the Belgian I saw is more loose a mover and more forward than the Perch in the first video I think. I love that perch/morgan. Incidentally I am in touch with a fellow in Indiana who has a full perch for sale and breeds perch/morgan crosses. His Hector isn't as much a mover as this Belgian though.

I'm really excited to ride her on Sunday. I'll post pictures and observations.

Paula

SisterToSoreFoot
May. 16, 2011, 02:21 PM
Hey, if you're looking in Indiana, you should make this farm one of your stops. (http://www.forresthillfarm.com/)..the owner took a full perch to GP.

And if the Belgian is truly as athletic as the jumping perch in your estimation....she is probably a very nice horse, since the JP is plenty nice.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 02:39 PM
RE: And if the Belgian is truly as athletic as the jumping perch in your estimation....she is probably a very nice horse, since the JP is plenty nice.


LOL! In my puny, newbie, don't-know-nuthin' estimation! :lol:

easykeeper
May. 16, 2011, 02:56 PM
I thinks she is cute and wants you to be her Mommy!

I am an enabler because I love my Drafty X's (all 3 of them!)

Good luck and keep us posted! LOVE to live vicariously through COTHers!

Cruisesmom
May. 16, 2011, 03:20 PM
I think it's great that you aren't falling into the 'must have certain breed' to do dressage. Kudos to you.

I have a really neat TB/Clyde cross that has been really excelling in dressage...so ya just never know till you try. :winkgrin:

My TB/Clyde cross has amazing movement, solid confirmation and a work ethic to die for! Every show we go to "Oh my, what is your Dutch Warmblood's breeding?"

I smile and say Budweiser :)

He was picked best draft cross sport horse in December 2010's Practical Horseman.

Crown Royal
May. 16, 2011, 03:41 PM
I don't have much advice other than buy what you will enjoy and don't pay attention to others' stereotypes. We lease a 25yo big Belgian gelding that we ADORE- we got him for my boyfriend to learn to ride on. He was formerly owned by the Amish and later trained to ride. He has such a great personality- very goofy and likes to lip his leadrope-style reins when he has to stand and wait for something. I personally love his trot, even though it has lots of knee action, and he naturally tucks in his head- even in the field. His canter isn't bad, but I suspect he didn't have much training since he doesn't know leads. Point is, we adore him. He's a fantastic, solid trail horse and if he were 10 years younger, I would so take him out foxhunting.

Crown Royal
May. 16, 2011, 03:44 PM
Oh and I've taken a personal vow to get a draft or draft cross in the future to foxhunt on :) Along with whatever else my little heart desires.

lovey1121
May. 16, 2011, 03:52 PM
I was intrigued by this thread! Many moons ago when I was horse-shopping, I looked at a big beautiful black full Percheron who did YR and PSG. He had a full mane and a beautiful thick long forelock, and he was as sweet as he was handsome. Wannabe BNT didn't want me to even look at him (WB snob extaordinaire), so BF and I went to try him and video him. I agree w/above--he rode like a brand-new Suburban, so easy to drive and so PLUSH. His changes were funky, though, and on viewing vid, WBNT gleefully pointed this out, so I regretfully moved on, to an Oldenburg whom I adored.. I still think about him (DRAGONSLAYER!!) though....

Best of luck!

WNT
May. 16, 2011, 03:54 PM
I got to school and take a full Percheron to his first Beginner Novice horse trials a few years ago. He was pretty light across the ground for a draft, and yes he took a lot more leg than my TB, but he was a joy to ride. He was good for me too in that I just allowed my TB to go along, letting my legs not really work. The Perch made me use my leg and seat effectively, which improved my riding on my TB. He also had a great trot to sit!

Dressage: http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK007T6U0042&po=42&pc=52

http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK007T6U0044&po=44&pc=52

I know that's not exactly what you were looking for, but there are exceptions to the "rule" and drafties are certainly out there that can do what you want even if they are not the norm.

What he really preferred to do:http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK007T6U0021&po=21&pc=52

classicsporthorses
May. 16, 2011, 04:20 PM
I own and breed Percheron Crosses-F1 and F2. My younger stallion is a Percheron/TB (Percheron Sire, TB mare). His older 1/2 brother is the same sire different TB mare.

This is a photo, sorry its taken in the pasture so it's a candid shot, of Maverick who is 10.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814#!/photo.php?fbid=431757898814&set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814#!/photo.php?fbid=431757913814&set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814#!/photo.php?fbid=431757558814&set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814&type=1&theater


Not a great angle but here's my younger stallion Miracle, who's just turned 9
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814#!/photo.php?fbid=431757908814&set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814&type=1&theater

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814#!/photo.php?fbid=431757918814&set=a.431751413814.206211.570213814&type=1&theater

I personally have crossed Miracle with TB mares for 3/4Tb 1/4 Percheron babies with great results.

I have also owned and ridden full drafts-Clydesdales and seen full Percherons (Percheron World Congress) do amazing feats of riding!


As others said, choose the horse that suits you and your goals and don't get hooked up on breeds. OP, I'm just in the southern tier of NY if you want to see them in person.

NCSue
May. 16, 2011, 04:54 PM
VTHokie has a draft that can move like a ferret instead of a potato :yes:

Mine too. Lateral work is a blast. She's a total tattletale when I get crooked because every part of her body responds and, believe me, I've had some pretty interesting body shapes.

One thing I would try to avoid if possible is a draft (or any breed) that has been a driving horse for a lengthy period of time. They are harder to retrain to use their hind ends. In some cases they are discouraged from cantering and many have a very odd neck bend not to mention the amount of concussion driving horses sustain if taken down asphalt roads.

NCSue
May. 16, 2011, 05:34 PM
Absolutely. Also kept my mares from becoming too heavy and able to work in the hot, humid summer.[/COLOR]

You pull the mane as opposed to braiding or are you saying braiding is also a good effect? I have to admit I find clipped feathers much more tidy.

I pull the mane so it's short and then braid for shows. I keep my mare body clipped as she's a wooly beast, sweats, stays damp, and then gets fungus. Oh the jumps of owning a horse with pink skin.

One thing with this gal - she was docked so she has a short tail. Would you tie such a tail up?

I don't think so. The docked tails I've seen are short. I see no reason to tie it up.

Also I have heard feedback from people that Belgians are not nice horses. She seemed like a fine girl to me. Have you heard such a thing?

Nice in what way? As a riding horse? Make sure the canter is good and ride-able. Also make sure that this mare's gaits are not lateral. Temperment? I've ridden two full Belgians and a handful of crosses. Each was different. Overall I think they are nice horses. Keep in mind that just because they are drafts they aren't dead. Many are hot, forward, and athletic. It not unusual to see a driving team of Belgians and they are cutting up, arguing, nipping at each other. The drafts I've been around have a sense of humor. My current mare (not a Belgian) is a worrier. She gets very tense at times. She's also super smart and you best teach her what you want correctly the first time because she has it. She also wants to please to the point that she stresses. A simply good girl and scratch at the withers melts her.

BTW I'm going to take a trainer with me when I ride her.
[COLOR="sienna"]Good idea. Get someone else to shoot a video. Just make sure your trainer knows what you are looking for.

My mare can do dressage, field hunters, cross country, hunter paces, trail rides, and play around at the walk/trot as a working western horse. Her canter is too forward and large. She'll never be a top level competitor but I don't care. To me, at this point in my life, it's about the relationship, the training, and the enjoyment of each other.

Paula

Here's a picture of her profile: http://inlinethumb08.webshots.com/46791/2256037120107165989S500x500Q85.jpg (http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2256037120107165989rcleEP)

hundredacres
May. 16, 2011, 06:28 PM
Paula, something I forgot to mention ~ a few years ago I took lessons on a Percheron (maybe 17.2'ish?) who LOOKED floaty and smooth but her trot actually felt like I was riding a log jammer, so be prepared! Those feet hit the ground with serious force and I honestly didn't realize it until I took a lesson on a smaller horse.

I know I told you to get the horse you love - but there is something about that horse in the picture you provided that really bothers me. Why would she be so underweight from training? That isn't a good sign to me....be very careful and get a vetting done if you do really love her - just in case. And keep us posted!

And is Lilly yours? She's adorable and you fit her nicely :).

VTHokie
May. 16, 2011, 08:39 PM
VTHokie has a draft t:lol:hat can move like a ferret instead of a potato :yes:

Ah haha! A ferret! Nice image.

Petstorejunkie
May. 16, 2011, 09:24 PM
Ah haha! A ferret! Nice image.
Well, she's very pliable! You'll have to update me on your adventures showing First this year :D

VTHokie
May. 16, 2011, 09:25 PM
Here's a link to our videos.
http://www.youtube.com/user/VTHokieJen?feature=mhee

Her canter balance has improved quite a bit since our last video. She has always been able to step into the canter from a walk without a problem. Footing was a problem for her in some of the shows on video. We have since put on front shoes, and she is doing better.

The groundwork that PetStoreJunkie showed us has helped her bending significantly. I've done all of her training myself beyond the basics of walk/trot/canter. She would surely be further along if I had been able to send her to a trainer or get training rides done, but that wasn't an option for me.

I feed her a cup (literally 8 ounces) of Enrich 32 supplement/feed twice a day with grass or hay.

VTHokie
May. 16, 2011, 09:29 PM
Well, she's very pliable! You'll have to update me on your adventures showing First this year :D

I decided to work her as a field hunter this year. Want to get our "forward" working a bit better before moving up to first. We placed very well in the open show field hunter classes last month. 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th in big classes of 15-20 horses. Doing a little jumping at home too.

paulaedwina
May. 16, 2011, 10:01 PM
So I'm back from my riding lesson and you guys have been talking. Let me see if I can catch up.

1. She's skinny for sure, but I think it's because she went from pasture pet to training 60 days quite a few days a week. However I will be doing a PPE.

2. WNT that Perch is gorgeous! Classicsporthorses, I can't see your pictures because I don't have a facebook account. Do you have them anywhere else?

3. NCsue, the question was about personality. I'd heard that Belgians were difficult. I shouldn't go with that though. I'll see what her personality is like.

4. Hundredacres, I'll keep that in mind - about those pounding feet! Lilly belongs to my equitation trainer. I do like her, but she's having issues with her stifle. She was starved as a youngster so she's aging hard bone-wise.

5. VTHOKIE I'd love to know what ground work you did for bending.

Cheers,
Paula

Petstorejunkie
May. 16, 2011, 10:21 PM
5. VTHOKIE I'd love to know what ground work you did for bending.

Cheers,
Paula
I'll hook you up too ;-)
take a peek at learning tools in my website in my signature. The first 4 videos in the right hand column are a good start.

I just noticed you are in PA! go here: www.paulbelasik.com and schedule yourself a few in hand lessons... even if you work with his school masters. I just finished a clinic with him and TOTALLY worth the bucks!

asterix
May. 16, 2011, 10:54 PM
I've got a belgian draft x who is quite athletic. He's a training level eventer schooling changes and half pass this season. He's clever, occasionally suspicious, curious almost to a fault, and quite light on his feet.

In terms of riding him I have had issues mainly with his girth (even when quite svelte he is just a wide guy -- although he's only 17 hands he is considerably wider through the ribcage than my 17.2 h wb) -- hard to drape my leg properly as I am not all that big/tall...and he is very short coupled, so sitting his trot has been physically harder than with some other horses.

He's an absolute doll and very versatile. He's "the baby" in my sig line -- those pics range from 5-7 years old as he learned his job....

MelanieC
May. 16, 2011, 11:27 PM
I just noticed you are in PA! go here: www.paulbelasik.com and schedule yourself a few in hand lessons... even if you work with his school masters. I just finished a clinic with him and TOTALLY worth the bucks!

When I was in grad school at Penn I took lessons with a trainer in New Hope who was a student of Paul Belasik. I never worked with Paul himself, but I learned SO much from my trainer. She taught me on her own GP horse. (I didn't realize how lucky I was at the time.) Unfortunately, I don't think she's training (or even riding horses) anymore.

I got an Arab for dressage (was looking for the opposite that you are -- something small that corners fast :)) and because I too want to do a bit of everything. I say get the horse you want. I love the draft crosses and would not kick one out of the barn, except that I'm a tiny little person who makes more sense on a pony.

ArabDiva
May. 16, 2011, 11:34 PM
Also I have heard feedback from people that Belgians are not nice horses. She seemed like a fine girl to me. Have you heard such a thing?


My mare is half Belgian and she is the sweetest thing. Intelligent and loving attitude. A bit reserved, very self-contained, but never mean or intentionally rude.

We are at 1st level now and my trainer says she has potential to go up to 3rd, which is all the farther I want to go anyhow.

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 08:38 AM
I know about Paul Belasik. I was intrigued by his short courses and look at something like that like my kind of vacation. However, I don't fit his "We recommend that all participants be within the normal range of the Body Mass Index.";) (http://www.paulbelasik.com/ShortCourses.htm)

So I figured he was somebody I could work towards. I'll check out your website too. I'm behind in grading so it might be a couple of days (it might be sooner if these finals drive me crazy :lol:).

Melanie and asterix (as in the Asterix adventures? I loved those as a kid. My introduction to pun), you've hit upon one of the big reasons I like drafts. I have like a 32" inseam. Draft barrels take up my leg very nicely. Have to say though; I haven't ever ridden any 18hh.

Pauala

Petstorejunkie
May. 17, 2011, 09:36 AM
keep in mind the BMI criteria is for RIDING his horses. you could do a week long course on in hand work with his horses (he's amazing, and it would be worth the $1200), or you can bring your own horse regardless of your BMI. While it sounds like he only works with 12 year old boys like GM :lol:, he's actually a very realistic down to earth person.
You may want to call and see if you can just come watch. He's not one to hide anything.... there may be a fee to audit, but that may also be a WAY cheaper option.

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 10:10 AM
I would love to take lessons for working in hand! Thank you.

Paula

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 10:21 AM
Here is some video of the Belgian. Just walking. But nicely relaxed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb3vf6hwKB8

Please ignore that I don't shut up :(.

Paula

VTHokie
May. 17, 2011, 11:05 AM
My mare is 3/4 Belgian and VERY friendly and outgoing. Major attention hog at shows and gets offended if people walk by without petting her.:cool:
She has been easy for me to work with on my own. Not a mean bone in her body, at least not to humans. She can be a boss mare in turnout but has never hurt anyone.

hundredacres
May. 17, 2011, 11:53 AM
Paula, from what I saw of that video, I don't see forward or supple :(. This is my humble opinion....she looks tired to me. I think she's as cute as can be, but something about her REALLY bothers me. I'm anxious for you to test ride her yourself though!

Keep an opened mind about breeds. I too have a 32" inseam and ride a variety of breeds - no drafts or very tall horses right now. Here I am on a well "sprung" (erm, yes pudgy) 16.1hh STB:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v645/tracerace/June2010041.jpg

I also ride an Arab but can't find the pictures. She's MAYBE 15hh but again, nice, round barrel. I don't think I look too big on her even though I felt huge ;).

ETA: I found the ARab p0icsI think you can see this?
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1541153860894.76384.1596365106#!/photo.php?fbid=1541161701090&set=a.1541153860894.76384.1596365106&type=1&theater

My point is, don't get hung up on "draft" size TOO-too much. There are so many wonderful horses out there - personality is EVERYTHING. Hopefully you'll find that in a big horse...but don't rule out the smaller ones!

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 12:19 PM
Well, a funny thing just happened. Early in my horse hunting I accidentally met a big meaty TB who ponied on the track. How it worked was I went to see a horse that just wasn't suitable, but the seller's agent (the person who rode the horse for her) said she had a big meaty TB that she thought I'd like. Out of pure politeness (because we came all that way and did not even ride the horse we came to see) I went to see the woman's horse. She insisted the horse would be great for dressage (I mentally rolled my eyes; how many people think their horses are great for dressage). So we go see the horse and holy wow he was gorgeous, big, well proportioned, girthy, and great personality.

Couldn't test ride him then because it was winter and the footing was terrible, and he was at the track so you have to make arrangements (liability I suppose).

I went home in love with this horse. Set up the PPE, we had agreed on a price. Then she changed her mind.:(:(

I was devastated. I'd made such a connection with that horse. You know what I mean? I have seen many horses and some I immediately know I'm not even getting up on the horse, and only one made me just want to grab some mane and swing up on him bareback. This was the horse.

Well she just called me. She's ready to sell.

Paula

hundredacres
May. 17, 2011, 01:06 PM
I know what you mean. I loved both my STB and my Arab like that :). I have a TB like that too (she's a permanent foster though).
Keep us posted!

froglander
May. 17, 2011, 01:10 PM
Hope it works out for you!

easykeeper
May. 17, 2011, 01:23 PM
Sounds like divine intervention!

Good Luck!

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 03:38 PM
I'm passing on the Belgian. She is very narrow in her stance and interferes a great deal. I'm also concerned about how skinny she is. Drafts are air ferns more often than not. I am not sure why exercise would make her so thin when just a bit more food would have done the trick.

Paula

hundredacres
May. 17, 2011, 03:47 PM
Good call :). But what about the meaty TB???

paulaedwina
May. 17, 2011, 03:56 PM
Yeah, the video showed how much she interfered - more than I'd realized. She backed up at walk and stepped on herself.

Test ride on Thursday at the track. They have a big riding area. I'm trying to arrange the PPE for the same day. I'd met him before and really like the seller. She may even free lease him to me with the option to buy.

Paula

hundredacres
May. 17, 2011, 04:17 PM
Will be looking for your update then!

colorfan
May. 17, 2011, 05:54 PM
IMHO

I am not so worried about the slope of his croup because his femur is long.
When looking for dressage I look at the hip/butt/stifle triangle. The bottom line of the triangle, his femur is longest and his stifle is relatively low.
His is joint is also nearly in line with his hip which makes a strong connection.

I agree his hock angle is a bit straight but I have seen many good dressage horses with legs this straight.

His shoulder is a bit on the straight side but that is more problematic for jumping than dressage.

I am more concerned about how much shoulder she has in front of her heel to wither line which would make her heavy on the forehand and so harder to collect.
She does also appear to be back at the knee. The camera angle and the way she is standing could be making both these faults look worse.

SandyUHC
Jun. 21, 2011, 06:18 PM
Colorfan what horse are you talking about -- a he or a she? Don't think there is a need to pick apart the Belgian since I'm probably not the only one who LOL'd at the "nice straight walk" comment on the video thinking "yeah, like on a tightrope."

Don't forget your helmet Thursday, Paula, and good luck!

hundredacres
Jun. 21, 2011, 07:17 PM
That was way back in May. Hey Paula, how about an update?

paulaedwina
Jun. 21, 2011, 10:20 PM
So I did pass on the Belgian. In hindsight what I saw; a skinny draft, very hot and sweaty after just about 15 minutes in the ring, and a Belgian -I think that was EPSM. Just my opinion of course, but we had that happen to a QH at my equitation barn and I think that's what I was looking at with the mare.

RE: "Colorfan what horse are you talking about -- a he or a she? Don't think there is a need to pick apart the Belgian since I'm probably not the only one who LOL'd at the "nice straight walk" comment on the video thinking "yeah, like on a tightrope."

The walk was straight, but she was a rope walker - extremely narrow in the base. This was not a good thing. No need to make fun I think. Rope walking can also be a symptom of something.



The TB that I wanted back in February that the seller changed her mind completely didn't work out. Back in February he had a cold tendon - it hadn't ruptured, and it was dry and cold. She never rested him so when she called me back when she changed her mind in may he had a banana on his leg! A hot active tendon. She even offered to give him to me for a song, but it would have been a crapshoot - about a year of rest and rehabilitation and fingers crossed he'd be strong enough to do dressage. I had to pass on him. I don't know what she's done with him. She said she'd put him on Canter, but I haven't seen him. She was still ponying with him. It pretty much put me off looking at horses to see him come to that condition. He was a brilliant horse. If I had the room and could afford for him not to work and to keep him as a light trail horse then I'd have taken the chance.

I'm working with Cabin Creek Rescue and TB retirement center at the moment. Also, I've been making alot of headway with my equitation trainer's QH (surprisingly he gave me extended trot when we were working the last time). He's got a good mind and he's a great horse. He's blind in one eye but it's never stopped him. He has a bit of a stiff patella sometimes, but other than that I think he could take me to first level at least, and definitely do the competitive trail etc. So I may just lease him from her.

Paula

hundredacres
Jun. 22, 2011, 06:45 AM
Sounds great Paul. I just got my first QH and I adore her...they're good horses. Best of luck!

friesian4me
Jun. 22, 2011, 07:28 AM
I saw a PercheronXMorgan yesterday at a driving clinic that was perfect for dressage. Looked like a faux Friesian. Beautiful neck, and nice walk and trot.

paulaedwina
Jun. 22, 2011, 08:01 AM
Cody the QH is built level, but he's school horse forward - you know what I mean? So even though he knows the lateral work, I just didn't think I could get medium trot, extended trot, etc. from him. However, the last time I rode with Wendy we rode to music to get my head out of my butt (sometimes....okay often I ride in my head and over analyze the crap out of things). Worked like a charm for both of us. He got as forward as I've ever seen him. Mind you he's not as forward as the PSG schoolmaster I ride at my dressage barn, but he was clearly channeling his Michael Jordan.

Shows a lot of potential I think. And frankly because his stride is not as long, and he's not as forward, I can learn alot of techniques with him that will help me in both classes, and probably in the ring.

Also I want to try some Working Equitation and competitive trail riding with him, and Cody's game.

So I may show for both barns this season!

Regarding Percheron/Morgans: there's a fellow in Indiana who breeds those crosses. He says he'll send me pictures of any I might find suitable. Conformation wise though they can be cinder blocks so you have to be careful what you choose.

Paula