• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

advice for choosing a farm horse

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • advice for choosing a farm horse

    we'd like to get a farm horse that can pull a cart on the road, manure spreader, mower and possibly some other implements on the farm. does anyone have some suggestions about breed, age, sources to find farm horses, etc.
  • Original Poster

    we'd like to get a farm horse that can pull a cart on the road, manure spreader, mower and possibly some other implements on the farm. does anyone have some suggestions about breed, age, sources to find farm horses, etc.


    • Original Poster

      sure, you're entitled to your opinion.

      i'm sure some amish are ok to buy horses from. and i'm also pretty sure quite a few are fairly canny about selling worn out horses to less experienced outsiders.

      we aren't thinking of having the cob do farm work. i think we need a heavier farm horse to pull implements, perhaps a 1/4 standardbred/ 3/4 draft cross like a lot of the amish use. i'm also curious about the smaller drafty ponies and the old Western Chunks my aunt had (probably what is now called Spotted Draft?).

      we don't want to ride this horse at all. we will have plenty of riding horses. we are going east to look at some cobs in about 3 weeks, sorry but if we get him we won't put him to the farm implements. we want to get a farm horse and keep the riding horses off the road and out of the harness.


      • Original Poster

        yes, we'll avoid all the amish people selling horses .

        yes, thanks, if we can find a shorter, smaller lighter draft, we will. we're looking for a farm horse, and most of the draft 'breed' horses i see are too large and too tall, and too heavy and too hitchy, and too expensive to feed. they're fancy show horses, not farm horses.

        what i mean when i say 'Farm Horse' is not a large showy draft breed, and not a riding horse, but an animal heavier than a riding horse, and lighter and smaller than a show draft horse. we don't want to ride it.

        does anyone have any suggestions for a farm horse? we don't need to ride it, and we don't want a large, heavy show horse. any ideas on type, breed, where to find.


        • #5
          We have Morgans that can haul pretty big stuff! You gotta look for the government/brunk or Lippit lines...the more stocky "old type" Morgan, not the flaky swan neck, can't do a thing morgan.

          Add a Morgan to your Sport!


          • Original Poster

            thanks. does anyone have any other ideas about farm horses?


            • #7
              I second the old-type Morgan. That's what the breed was developed to do - anything. I have a Lippitt and this horse is BEGGING to be put in a work harness and throw his shoulder into some serious stump-pulling. Easy keepers, intelligent, and a very manageable size. Some of the "pure" Lippitts can be on the small side, but a Lippitt crossed with Brunk or Gov't can be one heck of a work horse.
              "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton


              • Original Poster

                thanks. any other suggestions?


                • #9
                  Suffolk Punch was the classic "pocket farm" draft you could also drive or ride...nice chestnut "chunks". Unfortunately, too many Suffold breeders have gone nuts and are breeding huge animals.

                  Suffolks are also expensive.

                  Fjords are expensive horses.

                  Morgans are expensive horses and are really tending to smaller nowadays.

                  You will absolutely positively get the most bang for your buck with a smaller Belgian. They are everywhere, very fairly priced and the smaller ones don't have the desirability as the show-sized harness horses which means even cheaper prices for a nice one. I'm a Shire fan, it's what I drive and use, but Belgians are a lovely breed that is very affordable.

                  I second the "don't buy a horse from the Amish". Great carts and carriages, bad for horses. If you want to see an amazing variety of horse lameness issues, go to the New Holland PA auction...if it walks funny, the Amish are selling it there.
                  "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                  • #10
                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Trakehner:
                    Fjords are expensive horses.

                    Wow Trakehner, I don't know what Fjord prices are where you are, but I don't consider them expensive horses. You can get a nicely trained horse who rides and drives single and pairs for $5K. I raise Fjords and can tell you that foal prices are not high either. Maybe I should move to your area of the state because that's not the case in my area. My farm is holding a Fjord Foal Festival and Open House with 13 sales animals on the premises. Nothing is higher than $7,500 and that's for a registered, evaluated, trained, and proven 13 year old mare.
                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                    • #11
                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Wow Trakehner, I don't know what Fjord prices are where you are, but I don't consider them expensive horses. You can get a nicely trained horse who rides and drives single and pairs for $5K. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                      I pulled up your website for your sale. The majority of the sale horses were babies (10 of the 13 I believe.) The buying a baby route though is an expensive way to buy a horse until it's a "using" size. So a $3,500-$5k baby isn't a bargain. No heights/weights were given for the Fjords, so this is a tough way to judge what these guys might be good for.

                      $5-7K for a typically pony-sized animal I consider expensive. I like Fjords, I think they're an interestingly colored animal. But, they typically are pony-sized (13.2-14.2 sure seem to be the sizes of the Fjords in the Ad Horse website of horses for sale). Fjords are also a rare breed in this country, there is typically not much of a selection of Fjords for sale anywhere (24 Fjords on the sale website, hundreds of Belgians..also with training).

                      You will get a lot more Belgian for the money with much more potential selections of personalities that will fit your needs than with a rare breed. How many Kladubers, Ahkel Tekes or Keiger mustangs are there to choose from...same with Fjords.

                      Not knocking the breed at all, but it's a rare breed and not the cheapest or most efficient way to solve the "problem" slc talked about.
                      "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                      • Original Poster

                        i don't really feel any reasonably well muscled animal will be able to hold up to this kind of work.

                        thanks trakehner, if we can find a smaller belgian that might really work out well, though i can't ever recall seeing a small one, that may be because i'm at shows and looking at the hitchier types. sorry but the price of the fjord babies is just too much for us, 5 grand is very expensive for a young horse for farm work, i'm not even sure people new to driving should get a baby and train it; in any case, we're getting under way in the fall, and a baby wouldn't be able to work for several years, so that wouldn't work out for us. some of our implements would have to be modified as well, that's not cheap. we'd like to go from 15-16 hands and stick with something lacking the huge size and mass of the most ideal draft types. this is what i call a 'farm horse'. not monstrous in size, not really small, either, and an easy keeper. i really don't think i'd consider a purebred morgan due to the price, again. and i really don't think that the ones we have around here are of the old type or at all suitable for draft. around here, they tend to either look like saddlebreds or be be big bodied with small legs. again, the size is an issue and i don't want a horse under 15 h or of a saddle horse type pulling implements in heavy soil in spring. that just isn't fair to the animal.

                        i really wish to heck i could get an ardennes around here (not cheap i'm sure if they were around here) or find another one like the 15 hh percheron stallion i taught some dressage. he was not suitable as a show horse but what a good worker. maybe i can find something like that again.


                        • #13
                          For what you want, I would be shopping in the broke/trained horse dept. I would go with a bit of age, 8 or up, been used a bit. For working farm horses you need to talk to farmers, hitch horse people. Some places to check are other driving people, horse auctions for names, the local elevator sells him feed, finding the draft horse clubs. Here in the Midwest, there are extensive networks of "heavy horse people" who do Plow Days, Show, Pulling horse events, Fairs, Wagon Train things. You just have to find a starting place. They all know each other to refer you around. Sometimes the events will be listed in your area local horse newspaper of coming events. Our Equine Times covers ALL horse activities sent in on their calendar for 4 states around.

                          Horse type sounds like you need a solid, medium body, classic western chunk already suggested. My grandpa used to get his chunks from 'Out of the West, by Rail', down in the freight yard. Ha Ha, not many like them anymore.
                          There are more chunks available, but not real inexpensive. Being marketed as the "heavy Hunter, or any other english discipline, Wamblood". I am speaking of the half-draft crosses being bred everywhere. There are a LOT in our area, not cute enough to sell for riding. Sometimes look like a committee built them. Small bodies, large feet, legs, drafty heads. Big bodies, small feet, not great movement, rough gaited.

                          I suggest you buy such a horse broke, because the things you want to do, require a steady horse, practiced in working with equipment. You can easily get hurt with training drafts and machinery. They train in Pairs so solid horse holds down the scared one until it learns!! When the seller brags about horse being spreader broke, that means he should be able to do almost everything. Pulling and unloading with spreader is hard work, noisy, uncomfortable because they jerk around so with ground drive chain. Hitch and drive the horse attached to different equipment before taking him home.
                          I would want something around 15-16h, 1300-1600 pounds, big feet, big boned. My grandfather farmed with that size all his life, they were good workers, economical to feed, handled a good load, all the machinery. Tall horse is harder to harness, lifting that heavy leather. His smaller horses could always outpull much larger horses at the Fairs, until they would start to slip in the grass. He didn't ask them for anymore try then. He never shod them except in winter, put a lot of miles on them.

                          Our local plow days have a real variety of breeds show up, often pictured in the newspaper. Usually all pairs though. Ponies, mixed breeds, to regular draft breeds. I would start asking with those kind of horse users, doing what you want to horse to do.

                          John Hammond in New Hampshire breeds both Cleveland Bays and Suffolks, does crosses also. Very nice looking young horses, quiet, kindly, solid bodied. He might be a good connection to start with for heavy horses. I am not sure where you are located or who could help you.

                          There are good and poor Amish, just like anyone else, but easy targets. I know a number of very good Amish people, do great jobs with horses, sell and train quality animals. Kind of like picking on black haired people, they are not all the same, just all black haired.

                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by slc:
                          we'd like to get a farm horse that can pull a cart on the road, manure spreader, mower and possibly some other implements on the farm. does anyone have some suggestions about breed, age, sources to find farm horses, etc. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


                          • #14
                            How about the Gypsy Vanners? I know nothing about their prices, but they are being bred here in the states now and are about the size you are looking for. They are a draft but on the smallish side.

                            We see smallish Belgian at our driving shows quite often.

                            It seems to me that what you are looking for is a draft cross--not a warmblood, but something mostly draft. We don't see a lot of those down here in Florida.

                            Haflingers are strong and come in 15+ hands. They aren;t all that expensive and there are breeders all over the place.


                            • Original Poster

                              i would not use a real warmblood for this use, this is not suitable. i'm not sure of a draft cross as so often they have very poor conformation and can be priced absolutely outrageously. they can go for double or triple what warmblood babies go for.

                              gypsy vanners are extremely expensive, far more than morgans, halflingers or any of the other breeds mentioned. and i would never, ever buy one. not in a million years. the hair is just impractical and the prices insane.


                              • #16
                                Slc, you might try starting here. Decide which breeds interest you, contact the organizations and find out what breeders are near you.

                                There are also plenty of publications that list work horses for sale. You might luck into finding that three-quarter/one-quarter horse you spoke of, but I can tell you from living in Amish country that the Amish use draft horses, draft mules and sometimes, in an emergency, the family horse they use to pull their carriage--that would be a Standardbred, or a Morgan but I've never seen a Saddlebred, or a three-quarter anything hitched to a horse drawn piece of equipment!

                                There are plenty of work horses advertised in the farm trade publications, like The Draft Horse Journal and Lancaster Farming. Depending on where you are located there are plenty of farming publications to choose from, and probably a horse sitting in someone's pasture waiting to be purchased. Network, network, network!

                                There are some folks who teach others how to drive and farm with horses--if you do a Google I'm sure you can find them... They might have trained horses for sale as well....

                                Happy shopping!
                                "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


                                • #17
                                  slc, Why don't you go to http://www.ruralheritage.com and take a look at their classifieds. They have a draft/team swap meet. Most of these people are teamsters that have trained horses for sale. When I sold my warmbloods giving up my dreams of Dressage ( too many DQ's and my health could not keep up), a boarder who frequents the Internet ads sent me an ad for this Belgian filly. What would I do with a young filly. Why drive of course ! Turns out she is not desirable for show, she's a blonde and she still has her tail ( thank goodness) and she was young to boot. Though I must say, she is certainly not small but eats less than any of the other horses on the farm. So I made the deal with the owner, bought her for little $$ , and was able to send her off for training. She is still not three, yet a solid citizen in harness( good trainer ). I think that buying this horse is the same as buying any horse. It is out there, you just have to know where to look and when to turn your nose up. I think that the rural heritage site is your best answer. And of course, I am partial to my Belgian. Why Belgian? When I was researching Draft horses, Shire was the first choice. MR Heart is a Shire fan from way back but after a little research, I realized that I did not want the task of taking care of those feathers. We live in a boggy, muddy area and I feared terrible skin infections or having to constantly clip the feathers off. So consider the maintenance factor too. There are small drafts out there and they will be trained and in your price range, since everyone else wants a BIG one. Good Luck.
                                  "With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity. "
                                  ...Keshavan Nair


                                  • Original Poster

                                    found at ruralheritage, 15 h pair, trained, broke...cool! thanks warmheart!


                                    • #19
                                      hey slc,i'm wondering why you didn't consider haflingers. are they too small for your purposes? i'm looking for a work cart to start using around the farm with my mare. she's 13'3,just the right size to handle by myself, and very nimble and powerful. the tractors do all of the real work around here,,i'll just be fooling around. i do think that she can do ten times what i ask of her. she's got a great work ethic(that's because she's happy to have my undivided attention),and lots of strength. can't honestly speak of her stamina,i've never tested her. anyway,i was just wondering.


                                      • #20
                                        I would second the haflingers! They're strong, not too big, hardy and barely eat anything!

                                        One other breed that some might know is the Cheval Canadien. Around here, you can get a good driving one with experience on the farm for not a whole lot of money. They were bred for the work on the farm all week and to drive the family to church on Sunday.
                                        They are small (although getting bigger in size) and very hardy.