Haflingers or Friesians?

perchie.girl

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I vote for Percheron for all uses. Gentle handy with their feet and a flashy mount for riding. Get one from old style bloodlines they are shorter and stockier. My other choice for a draft breed which is lighter is Suffolk Punch. Stunning red color they are a smaller draft breed.

Friesians are nice but not suited for plowing or work in the fields.


deb
 

Back to Nature

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perchie.girl said:
I vote for Percheron for all uses. Gentle handy with their feet and a flashy mount for riding. Get one from old style bloodlines they are shorter and stockier. My other choice for a draft breed which is lighter is Suffolk Punch. Stunning red color they are a smaller draft breed.

Friesians are nice but not suited for plowing or work in the fields.


deb
Thanks. I'm trying to find a good horse for homestead purposes.
 

perchie.girl

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Back to Nature said:
perchie.girl said:
I vote for Percheron for all uses. Gentle handy with their feet and a flashy mount for riding. Get one from old style bloodlines they are shorter and stockier. My other choice for a draft breed which is lighter is Suffolk Punch. Stunning red color they are a smaller draft breed.

Friesians are nice but not suited for plowing or work in the fields.


deb
Thanks. I'm trying to find a good horse for homestead purposes.
Percherons were the horse of choice for working the docks for unloading and loading ships. They were used for the fire engines. You want a breed or Cross breed that is easy going especially for newbies to farm machinery..... I have no idea your experience with horses in general but draft horses have somewhat different needs than light horses. They require fewer calories for instance per pound because their bimetallism is different. Because of slow twitch muscle (the muscle for power) They don't metabolize sugars in grains well unless they are really being used for work. My girl stays butter fat on Grass only. Which would be beneficial for a homesteading operation. I have boarded my mare in a regular boarding stable and have had the owners try to double my feed cost. I proved to them while she eats quite a lot, pound for pound she eats less than a light horse. One manager told me she was amazed because she ate less than a thoroughbred.

If you aren't familiar with working horses I would suggest you get some training before you get your draft horse. Hitching and unhitching is some of the most dangerous moments in working with drafts. You should have two people to do this till you are sure of your horse. I have no experience with teams but double that danger with a team. Just a single leather draft harness will weigh upwards to a hundred pounds not counting the collar. There are alternatives to leather harness like Biothane which is a man made material that is hundreds of times stronger than leather but have the thickness. Or plain old Nylon harness.... not pretty doesn't age well but gets the job done. Care has to be taken when using synthetic harnesses because they can be abrasive to both horse and human.

If you are in Amish country see if you can get an Amish trained horse for your place. Good Amish trainers produce some of the most well trained working horses out there..... You want a horse that will stand where they are put for what ever you need to do and not move an inch except maybe to stomp a fly. That wont flinch when the farm equipment makes A LOT of noise. YOu can buy an Amish made Forecart which is excellent piece of equipment. They have a place to hitch everything from logging equipment to mowing equipment on the back. There is even a Diesel powered PTO you can attach to your Forecart in order to run things like post hole augers and brush hogs.

Another thing to consider too is Shoing. My mare is barefoot and has a lovely hard hoof with one inch thick walls, She has never had shoes on. If I were to use her on rocky or hard ground I would consider shoing her but it has never come up. Expect to pay at least a third more for hoof trimming. Here a hoof trim for a light horse is 40 bucks. For a Draft it runs around 60.... Shoes for a light horse are around 100. Shoes for a Draft horse run any where from 250 for standard Keg shoes similar to light horse shoes. But if you are doing heavy or hard work Handmade draft horse shoes should have toe clips and a wider bearing surface to support the horse and the work involved. They can run 250 for fronts..... But they will be reusable for the whole year.

If you can learn to do trims yourself you can maintain a barefoot horse without a farrier except the occasional "tune up" with an experienced eye to tell you where you are messing up. My farrier comes up from Mexico about once every two months to do my girl. Hes gentle patient and very good. He charges the same as every one else here in San Diego. I chose him because he was the closest to me and had a good rep.

There are two places I would suggest for you to get more information..... One is a Yahoo Group called DraftNDrive. There are over six hundred people on there that do everything from Commercial carriage work to Homesteaders just like yourself. The other is http://ruralheritage.com/ There you can join in or read forums on any subject having to do with farming with draft horses Mules and Oxen. Plus the Classifieds that will show you what a good horse or team is going to sell for. Also discussions on harness and machinery. I started out there when I first got my draft horse and realized I knew NOTHING about them.

I started out with light horses back in 1967 trained my own Driving horse through My dressage trainier. When I decided to get into drafts I realized this was something totally different from light horses and I needed to fill in my gaps quickly.... I still got hurt.... not bad but I made newbie mistakes... Because I assumed that I had trained a Half Arab Half Standardbred to be a driving horse that a Draft would be easy.... we all know about assumptions.

I am not nocking This forum for learning. I am rather new here myself so havent met enough people here. I am just suggesting there are several places to become educated and the more you know the safer and happer you will be using horses as your "farm equipment" LOL.

deb
 

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perchie.girl said:
Back to Nature said:
perchie.girl said:
I vote for Percheron for all uses. Gentle handy with their feet and a flashy mount for riding. Get one from old style bloodlines they are shorter and stockier. My other choice for a draft breed which is lighter is Suffolk Punch. Stunning red color they are a smaller draft breed.

Friesians are nice but not suited for plowing or work in the fields.


deb
Thanks. I'm trying to find a good horse for homestead purposes.
Percherons were the horse of choice for working the docks for unloading and loading ships. They were used for the fire engines. You want a breed or Cross breed that is easy going especially for newbies to farm machinery..... I have no idea your experience with horses in general but draft horses have somewhat different needs than light horses. They require fewer calories for instance per pound because their bimetallism is different. Because of slow twitch muscle (the muscle for power) They don't metabolize sugars in grains well unless they are really being used for work. My girl stays butter fat on Grass only. Which would be beneficial for a homesteading operation. I have boarded my mare in a regular boarding stable and have had the owners try to double my feed cost. I proved to them while she eats quite a lot, pound for pound she eats less than a light horse. One manager told me she was amazed because she ate less than a thoroughbred.

If you aren't familiar with working horses I would suggest you get some training before you get your draft horse. Hitching and unhitching is some of the most dangerous moments in working with drafts. You should have two people to do this till you are sure of your horse. I have no experience with teams but double that danger with a team. Just a single leather draft harness will weigh upwards to a hundred pounds not counting the collar. There are alternatives to leather harness like Biothane which is a man made material that is hundreds of times stronger than leather but have the thickness. Or plain old Nylon harness.... not pretty doesn't age well but gets the job done. Care has to be taken when using synthetic harnesses because they can be abrasive to both horse and human.

If you are in Amish country see if you can get an Amish trained horse for your place. Good Amish trainers produce some of the most well trained working horses out there..... You want a horse that will stand where they are put for what ever you need to do and not move an inch except maybe to stomp a fly. That wont flinch when the farm equipment makes A LOT of noise. YOu can buy an Amish made Forecart which is excellent piece of equipment. They have a place to hitch everything from logging equipment to mowing equipment on the back. There is even a Diesel powered PTO you can attach to your Forecart in order to run things like post hole augers and brush hogs.

Another thing to consider too is Shoing. My mare is barefoot and has a lovely hard hoof with one inch thick walls, She has never had shoes on. If I were to use her on rocky or hard ground I would consider shoing her but it has never come up. Expect to pay at least a third more for hoof trimming. Here a hoof trim for a light horse is 40 bucks. For a Draft it runs around 60.... Shoes for a light horse are around 100. Shoes for a Draft horse run any where from 250 for standard Keg shoes similar to light horse shoes. But if you are doing heavy or hard work Handmade draft horse shoes should have toe clips and a wider bearing surface to support the horse and the work involved. They can run 250 for fronts..... But they will be reusable for the whole year.

If you can learn to do trims yourself you can maintain a barefoot horse without a farrier except the occasional "tune up" with an experienced eye to tell you where you are messing up. My farrier comes up from Mexico about once every two months to do my girl. Hes gentle patient and very good. He charges the same as every one else here in San Diego. I chose him because he was the closest to me and had a good rep.

There are two places I would suggest for you to get more information..... One is a Yahoo Group called DraftNDrive. There are over six hundred people on there that do everything from Commercial carriage work to Homesteaders just like yourself. The other is http://ruralheritage.com/ There you can join in or read forums on any subject having to do with farming with draft horses Mules and Oxen. Plus the Classifieds that will show you what a good horse or team is going to sell for. Also discussions on harness and machinery. I started out there when I first got my draft horse and realized I knew NOTHING about them.

I started out with light horses back in 1967 trained my own Driving horse through My dressage trainier. When I decided to get into drafts I realized this was something totally different from light horses and I needed to fill in my gaps quickly.... I still got hurt.... not bad but I made newbie mistakes... Because I assumed that I had trained a Half Arab Half Standardbred to be a driving horse that a Draft would be easy.... we all know about assumptions.

I am not nocking This forum for learning. I am rather new here myself so havent met enough people here. I am just suggesting there are several places to become educated and the more you know the safer and happer you will be using horses as your "farm equipment" LOL.

deb
I plan on learning from someone personally before I get into it. And I'm in school to be a livestock vet, so all I'm going to have to pay for is supplies. But thanks for the advice; I'll check out those sites.

I thought the Amish only sold to other Amish. According to my grandmother anyways.
 

perchie.girl

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Back to Nature said:
I plan on learning from someone personally before I get into it. And I'm in school to be a livestock vet, so all I'm going to have to pay for is supplies. But thanks for the advice; I'll check out those sites.

I thought the Amish only sold to other Amish. According to my grandmother anyways.
No it depends on the Amish groups. Many many offer goods and services for sale or trade. Pioneer Forecarts are all amish made and that is a big industry. One story I have herd from online friends in Pennsylvania was seeing a gang plow of eight Drafts working a field. The field was across the street from a small Store where my friend was buying some goods. The plow came around the corner and came to a stop in the field. An Amish youth about sixteen hopped off the plow tied off the lines and came in to get something to drink. All eight of those horses cocked a hip and stood like stone till he came back. Albeit they were used to working long hours and knew if there was a chance to rest they took it.

I dont know where you are located but They sell in all the ways the rest of us do..... At auction, Passing the word to someone who uses the internet, submitting adds to Classifieds.

If you are learning to become a Vet check out a Book on Rural Heritage By Dr Valentine. She is a Research Pathologist who did a huge amount of work on the Care and Feeding of Draft horses. There is a condition called EPSM called Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy.... The book is called "Draft horses an Owners Manual" I have a copy. There are lots of old time Draft horse people that brush off EPSM as a bunch of bunk. It can be linked with several conditions all horse owners know about, String Halt, Tying up, Wasting of large muscle.... I forget the rest. It happens in heavily muscled breeds from Drafts to Quarter horses. And can only be diagnosed by a muscle biopsy. change of diet and the symptoms go away.... go figure.

http://ruralheritage.com/vet_clinic/virtualvet.htm


You know I realize this is Off Topic over what breed to choose for working your farm. But its not really. Doing some more research into drafts will only help you make your choice. And Getting some training from a Reputable Draft horse trainer/instructor is an excellent idea. They will also be an excellent resource for finding a Draft suitable for your needs.

deb "who had to pound thirty years of learning in the first two years of owning her draft"
 

michickenwrangler

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Back to Nature,

You're in Michigan like me. A lot of the Amish in Clare/Gladwin counties sell at auctions: Clare, St. Louis, etc...
 

Back to Nature

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michickenwrangler said:
Back to Nature,

You're in Michigan like me. A lot of the Amish in Clare/Gladwin counties sell at auctions: Clare, St. Louis, etc...
I'm in Michigan now, but I'm thinking of going to Ohio or Wyoming. Or maybe I'll stay in Michigan. It's hard to say.

Perchie.girl; It's fine if it's off-topic. As long as it's educational/entertaining, it's fine by me! And you're right; learning will help me make a choice. Also, probably a dumb question, but are Percherons good as riding horses? I want to use them to check my animals and not use a vehicle.
 

perchie.girl

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Back to Nature said:
michickenwrangler said:
Back to Nature,

You're in Michigan like me. A lot of the Amish in Clare/Gladwin counties sell at auctions: Clare, St. Louis, etc...
I'm in Michigan now, but I'm thinking of going to Ohio or Wyoming. Or maybe I'll stay in Michigan. It's hard to say.

Perchie.girl; It's fine if it's off-topic. As long as it's educational/entertaining, it's fine by me! And you're right; learning will help me make a choice. Also, probably a dumb question, but are Percherons good as riding horses? I want to use them to check my animals and not use a vehicle.
My Katee is smooth as a rocking chair and as powerful as a Drag racer.... When she goes from a walk to a trot there is no bunching up just transition.... my background is Dressage so I pay attention to stuff like that. I have not ridden her canter but my trainer said she was like riding a carousel horse. I rode her on trail with an english saddle and a snaffle bit. She was green broke at the time but never flinched at the odd spot in the road or spooked at something new. She was very handy with her feet always stepped steady and sure. AND she was no dead head. They may not be able to keep up with a light horse speed wise but they can do all the same stuff. I have pictures some where where my trainer did barrels and Key hole at a show with her and she was Bookin..... LOL.

The one thing that I observed was she is a wide horse. it will take a while to get accustomed to such width. I was walking like a cowboy after I got off. English saddles seem to be easier to fit than western. There are a bunch of Treeless saddles out there to test drive. I am too fluffy to ride any more so I drive. When buying any saddle for a draft you have to remember their spine is physically wider than a light horse so you will have to look for trees that are designed specifically for a draft horse. this is to keep from causing pressure damage to the spine. And contrary to popular belief Draft horse backs are not all like Aircraft carriers. My English was built just for a Clydesdale..... Katee has a shorter back than a clydesdale, so her english saddle is too long and bridges on her back.

A good saddle pad will help but you still need to get the best fit you can on the saddle itself. Oh and what ever bit you ride with is acceptible to drive with. And visa versa. So if your drive with a liverpool Ride with a liverpool .... or snaffle .... I ride an drive with a mullen mouth Pelham. Snaffle bits have been historically considered the mildest bit.... but that was a misconception. Snaffle bits act like a nutcracker and tend to not give tongue relief. I found the mullen mouth fit her pallet very well allowed the bit to rest on her tongue comfortably and having a slight curb is like having a safety brake if I needed it.

Drafts dont spook like light horses do so you have to pay attention to the little signals. When they blow up it can be very explosive but they drop the subject just as quick. Especially if they find out how much work it is.... LOL. I have had her swap ends with me on back just because she forgot I was there. I wasnt paying attention to the cues.... She Eeewed shook her head did a sunfish and swapped ends. I stayed with her till she came down..... then I came off. She had been under saddle about two months. Greenbroke. Stuff like that happens. She ran about a thousand feet then found something Yummy under a tree. I attribute it to being out of shape and not paying attention riding a green horse that I didnt know very well. My fault.

In forty seven years of riding I have always stayed with them till they ran it out.... then made them go a little more. I couldnt do it this time and now that I know more about draft horses this isnt necessarily the way to go. They are smart and very willing to conserve energy Dosent make them lazy. They will burst their hearts with work if you let them.... They want to pull its part of their nature they can move quiick in a pinch but their weight in gold is slow steady and methodical....

When I train my own horses for driving I wait for that moment when they test me and my strength Then do a one rein stop. In riding its a good way to get control of a run away. IN driving it works the same. But from the ground its a good way to remind them to pay attention to me. My girl took off one time with me ground driving her and just about pulled the lines out of my hand.... I litterally dropped one line and set my weight against the other.... Byt the time she was done she was completely wrapped in driving lines. Head tied to the driving saddle. She was standing there looking at me.... "help Ma... I is tangled" I unfastened the lines. All was good I told her what a goof ball she was and we went on to another very short long lining session and quit calling it all good. A light horse will test it again maybe more than twice. A Draft "gets it" very quickly. Good training or bad.

I have to say I am not a trainer I have only worked my own horses. Any time you work or use your horse you are either training or reinforcing the training. From the moment you put a halter on to the moment you put them up for the day and latch the gate. For all that I consider myself as continually ignorant and constantly learning. I was originally trained Cavelry style riding No leg no bit contact and was thrown 100 times my first year of riding. Due to a spooky mare that needed communication from me.

I took dressage training in order to learn to communicate better. As soon as I learned to use leg and contact with the bit she became a wonderful riding horse. but by then I could ride anything with a 20 foot spook.... LOL. those days are long gone.... sigh.

deb
 

perchie.girl

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Back to Nature said:
What's the maximum weight they can carry?
There is a formula for any horse riding or otherwise for weight bearing capacity. It has to do with the diameter of the cannon bone and the lengh.... I am a heavy person and at the time I was still riding back in 02 I weighed three hundred pounds. Live weight is easier to carry than dead weight. I can look up the formula...... but often times people use a general rule of thumb of 20% of the weight of the horse..... 1000 pound horse 200 lbs of rider plus tack. But there are other variables....

Excellent article on the subject http://horsetype.com/text.php?id=98 .

Dr Deb Bennett is a profound expert on horse Physiology..... Its worthwile to read up on what she has to say about the subject.... I learned soo much just from reading the free portions of her website.

deb
 
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