Anyone trail ride thier draft horse? New draftie owner :)
We just purchased a wonderful big Belgian draft as a pleasure/trail horse for my tall, long-legged boyfriend!
He grew up riding, took a long hiatus, and has been riding my friends' Belgian cross for the last year or so. We are buying horse property now, so took the plunge to get him his own "pony"
Anyone else ride thier draft horse for pleasure? They'll be mosy-ing down the trail probably 3-4x/week and doing camping, clinics, etc. I may convince him to join me on a Hunter Pace if we ever get an english saddle for him! (I'm an ex-Hunter Princess who enjoys eventing now....and of course trail riding, too)
Here is our new boy (old owner up..not us!)
Jake - 17+ hand Belgian Draft:
However, I'm very excited for you! We do a lot with our draft crosses - trail riding, hunter paces (taking most of the jumps), competitions, and even team penning (we aren't very good at chasing cows, but it's fun! ). They won't be upper level anything, but their combination of lower level talents and easy going temperaments are hard to beat!
I rode and conditioned a totally out of shape 17.1 and 1/2 hand percheron X (she was maybe 7/8ths tb, god she was a tank) hunter. She loved to trail ride! I used trail rides as reward and down time from our retraining schedule. I will tell you though- her favorite thing in the world to do was to to rub against the closest tree if you were on her back or not.
Proud Mom of a 2005 Nevada Mustang **Mistress X**
Undersaddle Equestrian Services www.undersaddle.com
They make great trail horses as long as their feet hold up.
Our belgian/QH cross, RU Sir Galahad, has even done really well in competitive trail (25-30 mile rides, one 2 day 60). Key is to get them fit and avoid them eating everything in sight on the trails (Gala does a great "grazing trot"). He is the BEST husband horse-our favorite ride is the 7.5 mile to the nearest pub, picket the horses and get a pizza and beer-Gala likes his Sam Adams straight out of the bottle
We have 8 draft crosses - while the yearling colt and two year old filly aren't ridden yet, even they go on the trails for hand walks through the trails.
All of our draft crosses go on regular hacks - My husband has a 1/2 clyde/tb cross - she is a rescue and is absolutely sweet - we just him a western saddle too -he was riding in a stock but the western one sits on her better.
My older son events two draft crosses and I show two in dressage.
All our horses take short hacks after they work to cool out when the weather is nice - it's good for their minds and we go on lots of family hacks.
My younger son's welsh/tb/han pony smokes us in a gallop but we all have a great time when we go.
I trail my Belgian. I am forced to lead so that I can clear the path of cobwebs for the women! I carry a stick and when I see them coming I hold it out front to keep from catching them with my face. Branches get a very wary eye from me.
One of my kill-buyer rescues, Max, was a Percheron cross, only about 16.2 but built like a tank. He was a fabulous trail horse, surprisingly light on his feet with a lot of go for such a big boy. He never batted an eye at anything and smoooooth.
Wow - thanks for all the riding Draft comments and pics
Loved all the draftie pics and stories of trail riding, etc!
So happy to hear there are others out thier riding thier drafts for fun. I don't know anyone around here that does it, so I'm sure we'll stick out like sore thumbs, but Jake is so huge and handsome.....bet we'll get some interesting reactions!
Here are a couple more pics of him (8 year old 17.1 hand Belgian)
Me, up! (doesn't he have a pretty head?) http://tinyurl.com/6c4lj4
I ride my 5 yo perch x andalusian mare at least 10 miles weekly. She actually now prefers we go alone...that way she gets to think she is really fast! She is a sweetheart about NOT peeling me off, although in the beginning I did sometimes look back to see if my kneecap was adhered to the passing tree bark. We've just started jumping logs, what a blast! And now we're learning a new skill, ground driving. Next thing...trail driving?