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Anyone trail ride thier draft horse? New draftie owner :)

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  • 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:


    Would love to hear from other Draftie Owners!!! We just love this big boy!
    Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
    **Morgans Do It All**

  • #2
    Ahhh, I do not get to see the picture - there is an error.
    Will get a dream horse!
    More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


    • Original Poster

      photo link...

      Originally posted by Prieta View Post
      Ahhh, I do not get to see the picture - there is an error.
      Retrying the photo link:

      Does that work for you? The other one works for me...wierd! Thanks for checking him out
      Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
      **Morgans Do It All**


      • #4
        I couldn't see the photo either.

        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!


        • #5
          The only problem I'm aware of are low branches!! LOL...

          Heck, even riding a 15.1 hand QH I sometimes get whacked by a branch.

          Good luck and have fun.


          • #6
            17.1 hand perch

            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


            • Original Poster

              Third Time's A Charm? Photo of Belgian

              Okay, let's try this link for a photo of Jake, our new 17.1 hand Belgian Gelding:


              Yes, tree branches may definitely be more of a problem considering his height, and rider is 6'2"!

              Thanks for sharing your draft riding experiences!
              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
              **Morgans Do It All**


              • #8
                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

                He also enjoys the beach.
                Attached Files
                Sarah Ralston


                • #9
                  I love to trail ride my belgian mare- she is only 16.2, so a relativly small draft- but she gets us a lot of attention on the trails... and is a lot of fun!


                  • #10
                    I had a belgium mare that passed last year at the ripe old age of 32!! She was the BEST TRAIL horse... honest, steady and bomb proof. She would take care of us on the trails... good luck to you!!
                    The Galloping Grape
                    Warrenton, VA


                    • #11
                      I do with not one, but two drafties...

                      Clydesdale/Standardbred cross: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/13383...15305252WSoBcE

                      and Percheron: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/22503...15305252DHMYxo
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                      • #12
                        We sure do

                        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.

                        Congratulations to your boy friend. Have fun.


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • #14
                            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.

                            With his best buddy
                            Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                            Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                            Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                            • #15
                              My Perch loves trails! I used to trail ride a Shire mare all the time too and she was a happy girl out on trails.


                              • #16
                                I have trail ridden my Percheron stallion and mare. They both seemed to enjoy it and we had fun.

                                Congrats on your new boy. He's cute.
                                A Merrick N Dream Farm
                                Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                                • Original Poster

                                  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?)

                                  Chris, up!

                                  Me up again (don't have a clue what I was doing here... but Jake looks quite content to stand there)

                                  We don't have him home yet, but it should be this coming weekend. We are so excited!
                                  Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                  **Morgans Do It All**


                                  • #18
                                    Wah hoo, you bet!

                                    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?

                                    The mighty mare:

                                    Balance is the perfect state of still water (Confucius)