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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Default New team:what breed?

    My 3 year project with a pair of green draft ponies has failed.
    The Bad news: I've had a bad scare and they are sold; Good news: Didn't get hurt and I've learned a ##@*&# lot the hard way! Surprisingly I'm still not discouraged and still fighting this raging driving habit; I'm over my disapointment and now looking for my new team.

    My friends are suggesting I buy a team of mature well broke Percherons for their calm, steady work ethic yet with some style. I'm more comfortable with something smaller but can't find anything in my budget.
    I'm still a beginner driver, want something well broke and versatile. I will be doing pleasure drives with a local club, picnic drives with friends and maybe try a cross country course or low level driving show. I drive only on weekends.

    Opinions?
    thanks my post name will be changing. soon...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2006
    Location
    Morriston, FL
    Posts
    584

    Default

    Haflingers????



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Default

    already had a bolting Haflinger that all the kings horses and all the best trainers couldn't untrain....



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,579

    Default

    If you are new to driving I would suggest you start with a single horse, not a team, and forget about breed right now, just look for broke, sane and workably sound. Depending on the area of the country you are in usually the easiest affordable broke driving horses to find are Standardbred buggy horses. You may also be able to get a good broke driving horse from the Saddlebred Rescue. http://www.saddlebredrescue.com/ Although they deal primarily with Saddlebreds they have also placed a few Hackneys, Standardbreds, Morgans and Drafts when they have the homes for them.

    So:
    -forget about breed, color, size, gender
    -look for a BROKE horse, that has traveled HUNDREDS OF MILES
    -get the best quality equipment for said horse after purchase that you can afford so that equipment failure doesn't hinder your learning
    -wait until you are very confident driving a single horse before you attempt to drive a team A single is very useful for pleasure driving, would probably be BETTER for your introduction to doing driving shows and CDEs, really nothing that you described that you would like to do would you need a draft pony or draft horse team to do. If you were interested in doing logging, field days, or draft horse pulls that would be different, and in that case I would not try any of that stuff on my own as you can get really hurt if things go wrong, all the "work" stuff you do with heavies should definatly be learned from a mentor!

    I hope you have better luck with your next driving project!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default

    I agree with Renae. Can't imagine starting out on a green pair! Find a very good well trained driving pony and let him help you gain confidence and mastery, and then maybe look for another pony to pair with him.

    Good luck. None of us can shake hte addiction!

    Dale



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,512

    Default

    For more information, how much multiple horse driving experience do you have? With experience, what kind of equines have you driven, large, small, draft, chunk ponies or the more streamlined ones like QH, Standardbreds, Welsh or Hackney?

    My first suggestion would be to get some lessons. Having a trainer working with you will certainly aid your driving confidence, widen your experiences with multiples or a single. Refine your technique with whip, rein handling and READING your horse in situations.

    There are a GREAT many horses and pairs of horses available, from all over. They come with all kinds of skill, training and exposure to outside things a road driver could run into. Whether you want them to come live with you, deal with their previous training, good and bad experiences, is going to be your choice.
    Trainer lessons can aid you in being a better looker, more observant and knowledgable, in dealing with various horses you try driving at try-outs while shopping.

    Do you have equipment from previous animals you might wish to keep, fit to another new horse/s? If you already have lots of stuff, you may want to stay in a certain size range to avoid purchasing MORE stuff. Maybe you wish to change over totally from draft to carriage style things? Sell all and buy new to fit, new horses? You have to decide.

    Looking around, visiting trainers, other horse gatherings, lets you see more variety of vehicles, harness styles, before you jump in and buy. Write down names of makers, take photos for later viewing, comparisons, in the search of RIGHT-for-you equipment. Consider breed specialties that may be hard for you to work with in your area. Draft folks have shoeing problems in finding farriers, pay much for good work. Saddlebred, Hackney, Morgans, may have a problem finding a farrier who will leave foot long enough, to put on shoes they can work in. Many less expensive farriers think they will please the customer by trimming short, using too small of shoes, so horse has small, cute hooves. Creates huge hoof problems for a working animal. Those farriers don't understand the needs of the breeds, bred to have sturdy, good sized hoof under them. You may or may not have better farriers in your area and then be able to get them out. Above breeds and ponies are pretty tough footed in most cases, perhaps you could even leave them bare for moderate driving on softer surfaces.

    I know in our area, a GOOD draft farrier is REALLY hard to come by. Few farriers will even look at drafts, also hard to get working on the half-drafters. Fancy moving horses, bigger hoofed, naturally longer toed like Saddlebred, Hackneys, Morgans, can be hard to find GOOD farriers for as well, even going plain shod, not breed ring or Park. Something to consider when choosing. I LIKE those 3 breeds, but they do need people who know what their hooves should look like, working on them.

    I would suggest again, starting with some driving lessons with a knowledgable carriage driving trainer. Gain experience, more knowledge before shopping for horses. Don't beat yourself up too badly, some horses will never drive safely, whatever training you would give them. Doesn't mean you failed, maybe more that you didn't read them correctly.
    Hitching a horse and being ABLE TO DRIVE a horse safely, are two WAY DIFFERENT things. Trainers see so many more animals, they have developed a more critical eye, faster at seeing the cracks in horse attitude of a poor driving candidate.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    22

    Default

    oh sorry.Not enough info for your answers.
    I have been driving single with a very steady 14.2 paint pony that I own for a year. (She is 27 and still young looking but really ought to retire) Have had the lessons for driving multiples twice, have groomed for friends with multiples at shows and have driven with their steady pairs.

    have read, watched and studied others extensively over the past three years.
    I own a meadowbrook & single harness for the 14.2 pony, a 4 wheel Pioneer training wagon and pairs harness for the 14.2 ponies and a full size antique wagonette. Driving single just doesn't satisfy me the way the pairs do.....



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Location
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
    Posts
    3,409

    Default

    I highly recommend Morgans. Quite a few top driving teams (at international events) have been Morgans or part-Morgans. They're not overly huge horses, ranging from about 14.2 - 16-ish hh. They are generally also very tractable and sane. The guy I rode with back home had a freak accident at the Morgan Nationals (I believe it was), where the carriage flipped, and the shaft ended up over the horse's back. Said horse just stood there, not moving. They tend to be very level-headed, so even if they have a stupid-horse moment (as almost all horses sometimes do) - or for that matter, a stupid driver moment - they don't panic. Also, not all Morgans go with long feet - you can show a Morgan just as well with normal feet, particularly if you are looking at open shows or any CDEs. They also generally have very good feet.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    Before you move on to drive multiples you need to be an advanced singles driver.

    You need a heck of a lot more experience under your belt driving singles first of all or you'll have another disaster.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,993

    Default Forget Pairs...good advice

    Walk before you run...get talented with a single and then head to pairs...less drama, less injury, happier horses and your passengers won't be sprinkling holy water before they mount.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,579

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ponydraft View Post
    oh sorry.Not enough info for your answers.
    I have been driving single with a very steady 14.2 paint pony that I own for a year. (She is 27 and still young looking but really ought to retire) Have had the lessons for driving multiples twice, have groomed for friends with multiples at shows and have driven with their steady pairs.

    have read, watched and studied others extensively over the past three years.
    I own a meadowbrook & single harness for the 14.2 pony, a 4 wheel Pioneer training wagon and pairs harness for the 14.2 ponies and a full size antique wagonette. Driving single just doesn't satisfy me the way the pairs do.....
    Sounds like maybe your next step should be a little more spritely pony. You should be able to find a small Morgan (or possibly even a Saddlebred or Standardbred that small, they aren't all huge) or larger crossbred or grade pony (there are crossbred and grade Haflingers, Fjords, and Welsh Cobs out there that aren't as expensive as registered purebreds, if you get out there and look) that would fit the equipment you currently own and be a good, broke but still affordable animal for you to learn with. Get more experience driving a broke but slightly more advanced single horse. Then after a few seasons with that animal perhaps look for a teammate for it and an experienced trainer to help you pair them up or pass it along to another driver and start with a very very broke team. When shopping, though, get out there and shop! A lot of people don't use the internet, get to the tack shops and look at the bulletin boards, pick up all the horse traders/shoppers printed in your area, and go to the sales (not necessarily to buy at auction, but to wisen your eye and to learn of any other horses for sale in your area). And most importantly have a trainer or experienced friend accompany you as much as possible



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2004
    Posts
    1,710

    Default

    Send them to me. I have a plow and 4 acres. They will make a team with enough time miles and sweat. They may never be a trustworthy pair for parades and the public but they may make a great farm team.

    Okay personal opinion about to be presented. I have never been a fan of Haflingers. I like the size but I hate the attitude of the general populous. I have seen a few that are amazing but in general they still have the ponytude. If I were to "design" my perfect driving horse it would be a shire/clyde or percheron crossed onto a very nice small section B welsh. Now this is the one extreme cross that would nick and I would end up with a haflinger sized correctly build dappled gray pony, about 14h and 1000 lbs. That would be my designer pony. I will likely never try this because we all know that a cross of that extreme would likely look like a bag of spare parts.

    You didn't say what you wanted to do with the team but an older been there done that is a great way to learn. LF



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Posts
    505

    Default

    Talk about a bag of spare parts
    A few years ago when we lost both older light horses and thought to replace them with a pair of draft-cross
    We looked at a pair of made horses. They were perchxQH Too big (both height and bulk) for our preference. One was pretty nicley put together, but the other (who, by the way had the nicer personality) you could look at each part and go:
    ears QH
    shoulder -perch
    hooves perch
    barrel QH
    head QH

    and on and on

    We looked at quite a few draftX and some were distinctly drafty, some were the other half and some were a real collection of parts



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,512

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pattnic View Post
    I Also, not all Morgans go with long feet - you can show a Morgan just as well with normal feet, particularly if you are looking at open shows or any CDEs. They also generally have very good feet.
    Didn't mean to say all Morgans have long toes. However for folks used to looking at QH or western type animals, all identically trimmed with a 3" toe, whether 14.2h or 16.2h, a NORMAL Morgan foot is going to look LONG toed. Morgan foot will also take a bigger shoe, even with flat shoeing, not a Park horse package. As a breed, Morgans along with the Saddlebreds and Hackney horses and ponies I mentioned, have larger feet. Good size hoof has not been bred down in these breeds, so a 4 1/2" toe is in NORMAL range on them. Some farriers can't accept that look, build, don't know how to care for horses with feet like that, so hoof care could be a problem in some areas. Other areas would not have a problem finding a farrier that can easily care for these breeds, larger hoof they wear. Feet in proportion to body, able to carry the body above thru hard work.

    I would say a breed show, long toed horse would be over 5 inches and probably have pads added to that. Horse has the bone, with depth and width of hoof to needed to support that shoeing.

    Breeds are NOT big or clunky footed at all. Hoof size is in proportion to animals, usable in jobs they do, horses stay sound. People have a hard time recognizing that kind of good hoof under a horse anymore.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    I also personally don't like haflingers - a bit numb and dumb for my liking. But given a choice I'd rather have them than percheron's any day. And I've owned a percheron stallion - glutton for punishment!

    For a novice pairs driver I'd personally say haflingers are as good as you'll get as are shetland ponies are absolutely good (dependent on your weight and the terrain), welsh D's are very very forgiving. I also like old fashioned Morgans - and you guys are fortunate in that you have plenty of them over there.

    However for the OP I'm going to emphasise that at this stage consideration should be what next to do to develop skill and expertise as a singles driver. Lets get real: driving a 27 year old paint pony for just a year is hardly real experience.
    Last edited by Thomas_1; Mar. 6, 2007 at 11:10 AM. Reason: to underscore my comment about haflingers



  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LostFarmer View Post
    If I were to "design" my perfect driving horse it would be a shire/clyde or percheron crossed onto a very nice small section B welsh. Now this is the one extreme cross that would nick and I would end up with a haflinger sized correctly build dappled gray pony, about 14h and 1000 lbs. That would be my designer pony. I will likely never try this because we all know that a cross of that extreme would likely look like a bag of spare parts.
    LF

    but they already exist in welsh cobs

    Tamara in TN



  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post

    I know in our area, a GOOD draft farrier is REALLY hard to come by. Few farriers will even look at drafts, also hard to get working on the half-drafters. Fancy moving horses, bigger hoofed, naturally longer toed like Saddlebred.
    my farrier says he has an auto disconnect on his ans machine that turns off the thing when it hears the words "draft" or "mule"

    but w/Barenjager and fresh homemade sweets I normally persuade him other wise !!!

    Tamara in TN



  18. #18

    Default

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    I also personally don't like haflingers - a bit numb and dumb for my liking. But given a choice I'd rather have them than percheron's any day. And I've owned a percheron stallion - glutton for punishment!
    QUOTE]
    we have a lot of the old type Haflingers here in TN....at one time my friend also had the largest herd of Suffolks in the States here also...but we still have actual wagon trains and heavy harness work to be done and the old time type do pretty well in that work....I've seen a bit of the "modern" lines and they seem to me "dumb" as well as "hot"....which is never a dandy combo...but I like the cold bloods

    Tamara in TN



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default

    Well, don't tell Sami (Horseyfolks) or RidesaHaffie that their Haflingers are dumb or hot. Sami's in competition right now and holding her own with the glorious AJ, and I've driven with Karen and her boys -- what delightful characters! My husband is completely and utterly smitten with the Haffie personality and power.

    At the National Drive last year there were LOTS of haffies and haffie pairs, and I never saw one that I wouldn't be proud to drive or own. And since I've got seven different breeds in my pasture -- including a couple of Percheron crosses -- I'm loathe to discount any breed as a whole.

    But we diverge from the OP. I would like to know why the plans for your pair went so badly awry? It might help to figure out what will work for you by taking a closer look at what didn't.

    We're all enjoying your pony search! Please keep us involved!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Posts
    2,558

    Default

    Best bet is to just get a broke teamm...don't worry about the breed! Haffies are very pony--but you can get good broke ones and ones not so well broke. Perchs can be good or bad...quiet or hot...the same can be said for most breeds.
    Long miles are what makes a broke team. I agree with LostFarmer in that aspect. Problem with work horses: they aren't worked enough today!



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