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Haflingers or Friesians?

Discussion in 'Breeds & Breeding - Horses, Mules, and Donkeys' started by Back to Nature, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Jan 2, 2013
    Back to Nature

    Back to Nature Ridin' The Range

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    So I'm trying to decide which horse breed to get. I will be using them to pull light farm equipment on a homestead setting (as opposed to a commercial farm setting). I heard Friesians can pull equipment, but other sites say they are for dressage; can they pull equipment? If I get the Haflingers, I might get a Friesian later for pleasure riding, but I never get more than one new animal at a time (to avoid being overwhelmed and get used to the extra chores), so I want the next one to be useful. Thank you!
     
  2. Jan 2, 2013
    ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Loving the herd life

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    They both can pull equipment. However, it depends on what you want to pull. They are in the draft horse family, but they are definitely not large draft horses, like a belgian or a percheron.

    Around here, you will pay a lot more money for a friesian than you will a Haflinger becasue the Friesians are a flashy, showy animal and are hot right now. I know a Drat Horse Rescue organization that has several Haflingers right now.
     
  3. Jan 2, 2013
    PendergrassRanch

    PendergrassRanch Loving the herd life

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    I would go with a Haflinger if those are your only choices. They will be more suited for homesteading and easier to hook up and deal with because of their size. They also make wonderful riding horses. Friesians can pull farm equipment but they are more for fancy carriages and they are usually pretty tall. They make great riding horses as well but considering their large size, I would go with the smaller Haflinger.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2013
    Back to Nature

    Back to Nature Ridin' The Range

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    They aren't my only choices. I'm more than open to suggestions. I want something that can pull light farm equipment (I'd be growing only what I and my animals would eat; they would have to pull gear to plow and plant small lots), is easy to tame, and is docile enough to be ridden. It needs to be hardy on pasture, since I will not feed any of my animals processed food. If you have other suggestions, please let me know! :)
     
  5. Jan 3, 2013
    PendergrassRanch

    PendergrassRanch Loving the herd life

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    Definitely go with the Haflinger. They are exactly what you describe, possibly a little too hardy :lol:
     
  6. Jan 3, 2013
    michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler Loving the herd life

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    Morgans, Quarter Horses and Standardbreds were the old stand-bys in the yesteryears of the USA. Pretty much every country/region in Europe has its own small draft breed: Dales and Fell ponies in England (look like small Friesians), Argeois (sp?) in France, Fjord in Norway.

    Threeboyschicks is right where you will pay FAR more for a Friesian than a Haflinger. A poor quality Friesian would START around $5000. You probably find a Haflinger for free or cheap on craigslist or through a rescue.

    Other breeds to consider but would probably be expensive would be Welsh cobs, Gotlands or Fjords.

    The Amish around here use Belgians, Haflingers and Standardbreds. The first 2 for farm work (Haflingers for riding too) and the Standardbreds for their buggies.

    Looking into a few steers for pulling and plowing might be another economical choice. At least if you decide you don't like draft animals, you could eat them. But finding someone who knows how to be a drover for oxen to get you started would be difficult. Almost no one uses oxen any more, but they used to be quite invaluable for plowing in clay/heavy soil (better than a horse) and for logging and pulling maple sap barrels on skids.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2013
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    I second the suggestion to look at smaller, multi-purpose breeds like old-style Morgans, QH's or Haffies. Particularly since you don't want to feed them, you'd need something known to be an "easy keeper". Depending on where you are, it may not be possible to do just pasture for a good part of the year, too - you'd probably need to at least supplement with hay.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2013
    ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Loving the herd life

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    I will add though that I have a Percheron and Belgian who live on Hay and Grass only. They are very healthy and hardy. Suprisingly, they do not really eat a lot more hay than when I had a quarter horse.

    I was always told that the drafts use their nutrition very well. And I see it with my girls.

    Personally, I love my big girls and would recommend a full size Percheron on Belgian if you are not intimidated by them.
     
  9. Jan 3, 2013
    yankee'n'moxie

    yankee'n'moxie Ridin' The Range

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    I agree 100% with what has been said. Friesians are known to be flashy carriage and dressage horses, and thus are very expensive. Haflingers sound much more practical for what you are looking for.... They are small enough to handle, and manage, but big enough to pull, and even ride. They are very easy keepers, and can easily live on hay and grass alone. Good luck on your search for knowledge!
     
  10. Jan 12, 2013
    Back to Nature

    Back to Nature Ridin' The Range

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    I very much appreciate the help. :eek: I'm not intimidated by large horses, but I want one that is easy to maneuver. I found a Friesian for sale, very beautiful and young, but she was $35,000! So I think I'll get Haflingers for the small plowing and riding, and a couple of Percherons for larger amounts of plowing, logging, and riding. I also decided that once I've accomplished all my goals, I will buy a pair of Friesians as a reward for myself. But the utility animals always come first. (The Friesians would be one of the last species/breeds I add to my homestead.)
    Half of the fun in buying is the research, and hearing what others think. Thank you all!