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draft breed temperaments

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  • #21
    I've worked with many many draft horses over the years, so it's not like I knew one of each breed- I've known enough members of each breed to have a pretty good feel for the range between individuals within their breed stereotypes. Yes, the breed stereotypes tend to be pretty true... Percherons are smart- and 50% of them are smarter than the average Percheron- and 50% are dumber than the average Percheron.

    In the world of people who work with drafts- most people do have favorite breeds and they all have their own reasons- but they tend to be very dedicated to their breed. They can't all be wrong.

    Between the variation between individuals within a breed- and the unknown brought to the table by the cross- I wouldn't begin to guess what you might be looking for- you haven't said what you hope to do with the horse!


    • Original Poster

      Thank you for the wonderful input, everyone. It sounds like the bulk of experience on this thread has been with Percherons and as we've said, they all, regardless of breed, can vary wildly so need to be treated as individuals.

      My clyde cross was wonderful and I'm currently riding a friend's clyde-hackney cross who's also a very fine boy. As I'm browsing draft crosses for sale, it seems I'm finding mostly clyde and Percheron crosses, fewer Belgians and even fewer Shires. I guess we'll just have to see what "fits me", and vice versa, and what I end up with. Thanks again for all the information and keep it coming if you have more to add!
      "If ever I did not have a horse or dog in my keeping, I should feel I had lost touch with the earth." ~Beryl Markham


      • #23
        I've owned two draft crosses. My perch/tb/paint cross mare was a handful. She was a nice mare who could really jump and is presently foxhunting. My clyde/tb cross is awesome...love him. he's my dressage horse and has a great work ethic... he is a little bit of a sensitive ride though.
        For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Plainandtall View Post
          Between the variation between individuals within a breed- and the unknown brought to the table by the cross- I wouldn't begin to guess what you might be looking for- you haven't said what you hope to do with the horse!
          I guess I didn't mention that, did I? Duh. I plan to do lower level eventing - up to Novice, then maybe Training someday. I'd be looking for something that can put in a decent dressage test, then stay out of its own way and be honest in the jumping phases.

          I prefer a bit of a "push" ride, but not something sluggish and lazy that I have to push every single stride. That's exhausting. Basically, I want my former horse in a more refined package. He weighed about 1,650lb and wore an 86" blanket, so I'm quite familiar with working hard to put that big ole body together! I know my next horse has big shoes to fill, literally and figuratively, but that's my goal...something kind, willing, honest and fun.
          "If ever I did not have a horse or dog in my keeping, I should feel I had lost touch with the earth." ~Beryl Markham


          • #25
            I have had my PerchxPaint mare now for 10 wonderful years. She has the biggest heart of any horse I've ever come across! She 15.2hh and right around 1250#. As others have said, each cross is different, but I couldn't be more pleased with my girl. She's as brave and strong as the day is long, and the best partner ever. She is independent and social, and incredibly smart. She has size 3 feet, and wears front shoes when I'm riding her regularly (she's currently recovering from DDFT and SFT left hind bows ). No vices whatsoever, and she eats less than any other horse in the barn! She is calm, level-headed, and very sensible, but don't let it fool you - she has real get up and go. When I ask, she can really kick it into high gear....a former BO's TB couldn't keep up with us.

            Here's my girl: http://flic.kr/p/dCt1a7

            Good luck shopping! Pictures are a must.
            “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson


            • #26
              SpottedDrafter, she's a doll!
              Audaces fortuna iuvat.


              • #27
                We've had a number of them on trial for therapeutic riding, but not enough to make any generalizations about breed. I will, however, generalize that draft crosses who 1) know they're big and strong, and 2) know people are small and weak, do NOT succeed in our setting. We have had exactly ONE draft cross who succeeded in the 20+ years I've been doing this. So rather than looking for a specific breed, I"d be looking at how that particular candidate had been handled in his current situation. The ones who respect humans and have manners can be lovely horses - just like Shetland ponies and children, right? it's all in how they're brought up!

                ETA: The draft crosses I've known in eventing have been wonderful, brave confidence builders and truly once-in-a-lifetime horses. Both had experienced owners who expected good manners and never let them act "big." But boy, those feet get heavy when you need to put studs in and out!
                Last edited by betsyk; Jan. 16, 2013, 10:40 AM. Reason: can't shut up, too much coffee.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by JLD View Post
                  SpottedDrafter, she's a doll!
                  Thank you! She's the love of my life, and I am very honored to be her person.
                  “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson