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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2006
    Location
    Haldimand/Niagara, Ontario, Canada
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    279

    Question Different Draft Breed Pros and Cons ??

    This is specifically about the different temperaments and trainability of the four main different breeds - Clydesdale versus Shire versus Percheron versus Belgian.

    For all you draft enthusiasts out there, what can you tell me about the different breeds? As in, I heard that Belgians can be stubborn, for example. BF is looking to get a draft, and I would like to know which may be the better breed for him to consider. We just looked at a Belgian filly and a Percheron mare..... but is there anything to consider when comparing the breeds with each other?

    Thanks



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
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    2,887

    Default

    I'm interested in this thread too. We are hoping to get a pair of Belgians for the farm. They would would be for farm work and show.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2007
    Location
    Greenville NC
    Posts
    605

    Default

    All I am going to say is you can't go wrong with a Shire! I have had Percherons, Belgians and Shires... Shires are by far the best natured and most athletic of the drafts IMO... not to mention they are gorgeous!
    If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,552

    Thumbs up Belgian Cross

    I have a Belgian/Paint Cross. She is very smart and well behaved for her age. She tries very hard to please and I wouldn't call her stubborn at all. If she is being naughty, it is easy to discipline and get her back on track.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic
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    31

    Default Drafts

    I have had the opportunity to train & ride many different draft breeds. So far the Shire has been my favorite but that may have simply been her individual personality. Belgians are generally very docile and agreeable. I have not found them to be lazy at all, just very laid back. Percherons seem to be the "hottest" of the draft breeds, but again I have ridden lovely,athletic, calm Percherons as well.

    One thing that I can say about all the draft breeds is that they can quickly intimidate you with their size! They can easily begin to view themselves as the "leader" and can be dangerous if you allow that type of behavior to continue.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    I have seen Percherons of the type used for show hitches that were more high-strung than I'd expect from a draft horse. Fussy when standing, spooky in the ring. But I've seen ones that weren't like that at all. So no knowing if it was a certain bloodline, or training, or what.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    5,169

    Default

    I have a very drafty Percheron/TB cross gelding that I adore. He has enough personality for three horses, and is the most easy-going, agreeable guy I've ever had. He is virtually bombproof and 110% reliable....I can hop on him anywhere, anytime, in pretty much any situation, and he is always the same. We do lower level eventing and he is a rock star.

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...48526821WTzeVV
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...48526821eajZSV
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...48526821cunCZd
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...48526821fxgYWo

    I don't have a lot of experience with other draft breeds (well, except Haflingers...VERY hard-headed and can be pushy), but I think the world of my Perchie and would take another one in a heartbeat.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2001
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    6,433

    Default

    my "baby" is a Belgian/TB/Old cross. He's extremely easy going -- one of those horses who gets to a show and is calmer and more well-behaved than he is at home (where he can sometimes let his imagination get the better of him). Nothing upsets him for more than 10 seconds...although at home he can definitely imagine things to be silly about.
    Not stubborn, sweet, terrific work ethic, very athletic.

    Drafties can be VERY smart. Do not underestimate them!
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2001
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    303

    Default A vote for the Clydes!

    I have a Clyde/TB cross. He's awesome in dressage and can jump the moon. He finds his TB side on cross country! Friends also raise Clydes and they all love people.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2007
    Location
    Loudoun County, Virginia
    Posts
    2,567

    Default

    My only real experience is my perch cross - likely 3/4 Perch. He has a wonderful personality - very loving to people. He's very calm and willing, and his favorite speed is "stop", though he's a surprisingly nice jumper and loves it. He is spookier than I would expect - not often, but once in awhile does the little jump in place that makes you jump as well (I hate that!).



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2002
    Location
    Ontario Canada
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    2,195

    Default

    Percherons in my experience are the spookiest of the draft breeds. Heck they can be spookier than the hot blooded horses.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    Richmond VA area
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    775

    Default

    I have a Clyde/TB cross. He is an absolute sweetheart, and has a forever home with me. I have had him since age 2 (he's 10). Fast learner, great work ethic, loves to please people. Due to work hours, I have had several people help me with getting him worked regularly over the years, and every one of them has fallen in love with him.

    Last weekend, he scored a 73.6 on a training level 3 test, after being back in work for under a month after almost a year off (we were schooling first level and showing jumpers when his vacation started). He loves to jump, and has schooled 4' easily, when he was jumping regularly. Now that I have more time, I am hoping to do some lower level eventing with him, as well as an occasional dressage show.

    He is a big boy (17.2 or so) but never tries to intimidate people. He does have an occasional draft moment of stubbornness but they are few and far between. He has a tendency to get little "up" on the trail, often showing his dressage potential by piaffe-ing when he wants to go home.

    No experience with other drafts, but my vote goes to Clyde/Clyde crosses.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2007
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    Behind the Orange Curtain
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twofatponies View Post
    I have seen Percherons of the type used for show hitches that were more high-strung than I'd expect from a draft horse. Fussy when standing, spooky in the ring. But I've seen ones that weren't like that at all. So no knowing if it was a certain bloodline, or training, or what.
    Percherons can definitely be... fiery I love them, though!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2003
    Location
    central CA
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    1,503

    Default

    My only personal experience is the clyde X I currently own, and a belgium X I started for someone years ago. They were both very easy to start, and very smart. I didn't have the gelding for too long, but he was a first horse for his owner and she claimed to never have a problem with him. My mare is the clyde X and she is a fabulous mover, has plenty of go and a great work ethic. She has been a bit 'muley' about certain things. She doesn't handle change well, like the first time she went from western saddle to hunt saddle was like saddling for the first time, the first time wearing bell boots was just hysterical, etc. With age, she has stopped being extreme, but still lets you know when something is weird. She rarely needs a lesson repeated. Kids (and myself or anyone) can ride her bareback on the buckle and it's like "pony rides", but the minute you put her on the bit in the ring, she's all go.
    I did have a trainer that I really respect (and she has trained more horses & mules than anyone I've ever met) tell me that Belgians can be tough.
    Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
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    6,736

    Default

    I've owned and shown Shires...in-hand, under saddle and driving...so I do have a bit of a bias.

    Shires are the only draft breed that were initially bred for riding, the other 3 were farm breeds. They have the most "normal" horse shape of the drafts.

    Belgians...they're wide once they get some years on them, heavy necks and they do slow down when they get older...they're great slower working horses taking a bit more "c'mon beast" than the other drafts you mentioned. Belgians are cheap, they're also the most common draft breed, so you can find a nice Belgian easier than all the other drafts.

    Perchies...the Arabs of the draft world. The worst behaved drafts I've run across have all been Perchies. They tend not to respect fences (or their owner's spaces) very well. They can make a great cross though.

    Clydes...great front ends, terrible rears and a long long back for a lot of them. They can be kinda' gooney when they're "hitch bred"...they look like a hackney on steroids.

    Clydes make a wonderful cross with TBs...a Thorodale. I've ridden and shown some Clyde/TB crosses...athletic and sensible (pretty too!).

    For a purebred draft, I like the drive of the Shire...they meet you more than half-way. I always had my Shire as a breed example at the county fairs...I could invite people in his stall, throw em' up on his back and they'd be safe...he loved kids. I had people drive him literally from 6 to 85 years old.

    I'd suggest a Shire if you can find one near you. As I said, I'm a bit biased, but they're really easy to work with, lots of chrome (the Budweiser standard 4-whites and a blaze) and you can sit one without a surgery afterwards, they have a deep chest and aren't really round barreled (a la' Perchie & Belgians)



  16. #16
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    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    2,364

    Default

    We have 4 clyde/hackney crosses - all are extremely sweet, easy to train and very rideable. Two of the mares event and are doing really well. My gelding does national dressage - showing level 1 right now at 8 yrs old although our coach is doing some psg work with him and we are training level 4. One is a broodmare that has produced a winning csha colt that is by a swedish warmblood and she is currently in foal to an elite hanoverian. The colt - a yearling is incredible and is our fifth clyde/hackney with swedish wb.

    We have one clyde/tb - she is my hubby's horse and she is an absolute doll.


    I have to say that our clyde crosses have the createst personalities and will do anything for you.


    I have a belgian tb mare and her filly by rio grande. these two are cut from a different cloth altogether. You really have to earn their respect and be much more subtle when getting them to do something they don't want to. They are more challenging but also very rewarding. A little hotter than the others.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2007
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post

    I'd suggest a Shire if you can find one near you. As I said, I'm a bit biased, but they're really easy to work with, lots of chrome (the Budweiser standard 4-whites and a blaze)
    You mean because it looks like a Clyde, right? ('cause they're the Budweiser...Clydesdales )

    I also have a TB/Clyde cross (Thorodale--I love it!), he is the horse everyone adores and wants to take home. Took to dressage like a duck to water. Completely unflappable, nothing bothers this horse. Luckily he does not seem to have any stubborn tendencies. Trak is right--you do have to work a bit harder to get their hind end in gear. Very affectionate , puppydog personality--also VERY food motivated!


    Fabulous feet on this one---yea!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2007
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA
    Posts
    924

    Default I vote for Shires!

    I have worked with several Belgians, Perchs, Clyde crosses and Shires over the years. I love them all of course, but my favorite is definitely the Shire, followed closely by Clydesdale crosses.

    As said earlier, Shires are the only draft breed initially bred for riding, so the ones that I have ridden seem to have a bit more 'sit' and drive from behind. I also like their nice, short backs and upright necks. They cross really well w/ TBs (as do the Clydes), and the Shires that I have known have also been 100% mellow, sweet and bombproof. The Clydes that I have worked with have also been easy to train, but the one that we have at our farm now (owned by a student of mine) can be a bit moody sometimes.

    Interesting fact - I knew that Shires had influenced the Clydesdale breed pretty heavily early on, but did you know that the Shire breed was influenced (in part) by Friesians way back?
    Blacktree Farm
    Lessons, training & sporthorse sales. Proud supporter of our buckskin German Warmblood stallion, Yeager GF.
    Blacktree Studio
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  19. #19
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    Jul. 27, 2007
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    Behind the Orange Curtain
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    Default

    The two horses I was most interested in when I was shopping for my big guy were him (Perch x QH) and a lovely young clyde x TB. Looks-wise, I far preferred the clyde x tb. I was finally convinced that my horse was good looking, but I thought he looked awfully drafty.

    What I did find, though, is that I'm a total sucker for a draft cross

    Anyway, since flypony shared, I must too. He has a *very* Perchy temperment~ can be spooky and hot. He is not the "gentle giant" but he's incredibly loving and sweet, as well as athletic and capable.

    http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x...smokeyruns.jpg

    I would not suggest a very perchy horse (not all crosses are like this) for the faint of heart, but my horse can definitely charm the pants off of most people!

    p.s. watch out for saddle fitting nightmares! My horse is very wide in the back, more so than even most purebred percherons I know.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,251

    Default

    What about Irish Draughts? We love ours. They are often more athletic than other draft breeds.



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