Are Draft Horses Good For Beginners

David Lawrence
• Thursday, 08 October, 2020
• 10 min read

These horses have incredible strength and size, which can be quite intimidating, especially for beginner riders. They are good weight carriers, and they also have slow rhythmical movements, which makes it easier for beginner riders to learn on.

beginner draft gelding horse andalusian percheron safe cross cool super grey
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Although these horses are not very athletic, they are still versatile and a good investment in any riding school. These horses have an interesting history, and the different breeds have their own unique characteristics.

The term draft means to “pull” or “carry.” Draft horses are a group of different horse breeds that share the same characteristics; large, docile, patient, and strong. These horses were extremely valuable to farmers and soldiers in preindustrial times.

The growing economy still needed ways to transport goods from the train stations to the customers, thus increasing the demand for draft horses. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, thousands of draft horses were imported from Europe to America due to the growing demand.

Other characteristics include their coloring; they are either black or gray and have dapples. These horses were established as a breed in the time of the Medieval Crusade.

They were bred for war due to their spirit, strength, adaptability, and soundness. The horses are large, stocky, and have long legs as well as flashy movement.

draft paint horse cross trail gelding beginner henry horses reno
(Source: www.horseofmydreams.com)

The world’s largest horse was a Shire called Samson, standing at 21.2hh and weighed an extraordinary 3360lbs (1525 kg). The horses were hitched to the brewery’s carts to deliver a case of Budweiser to the former Governor, Alfred Smith.

The Budweiser Clydesdale's are now situated on Warm Springs Ranch in Missouri. This ranch was established in 2008 with their own breeding premises, veterinary lab, and 10 pastures with their own shelter for the horses.

These horses are generally shorter and stockier compared to the other draft breeds. Their characteristics include their chestnut coloring with little to no white markings, standing between 16-17hh.

These horses have special shows dedicated to them; they also participate in logging, farming, or recreational riding. Their docile temperament makes them ideal gentle giants for anyone in the family.

The heavy draft horses are mainly used for hauling, or carting, such as the Budweiser Clydesdale's, a very popular tourist sighting. Percheron shows are mostly in hand, and their mane is plaited with red ribbons.

draft horse paint cross reno gelding trail henry horses beginner
(Source: www.horseofmydreams.com)

The breeds who mostly participate in these shows are Belgian, Percheron's, Clydesdale's, Shires, Suffolk Punch, American cream, and Spotted draft. There is a specific way of rolling and plaiting the mane and tails for the draft horses as well.

They have also been used to cross with donkeys, resulting in Mammoth Jacks (Giant Mules) used in farm work and logging. Although their size may be scary, they move slowly and feel secure under you; this gives beginners a confidence boost.

They can carry many riders, ranging from beginner to intermediate, small children to bigger adults. These horses are great weight carriers and gentle enough for small kids.

Their versatility also increases their value as they can do basic dressage, small jumps, and outrides. There are so many types of draft horses to choose from, from the gigantic shires to the smaller and more athletic crosses.

Draft horses are fascinating breeds with their rich history, various origins, and unique characteristics. These horses were all bred to work, and along with their amazing temperaments, they are perfect for beginners to own, ride, and love.

horse draft gelding beginner qh safe husband kid quarter sorrel
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I've known some who are great for beginners, but many drafts/ draft crosses aren't largely because of their sized and strength. My draft cross is not a beginners horse at all because she knows her strength, is smart and will ignore what you say if you are not confident and tell her correctly.

That being said, I have been teaching my boyfriend to ride on her, and she has been doing well because he is an adult who can deal with her strength and because I am always there supervising, so I can tell him how to deal with her attempts to test him. The majority I've met have been very calm and forgiving, especially the draft x stock horses.

You could end up with a young Arabian that makes a fantastic beginner horse or an uncontrollable older HQ gelding. Drafts can make great beginner horses if they have already been handled lots and worked with.

Drafts are very large, so I feel you need to be a little more strict when handling them(which a beginner rider may not recognize to do). I have a draft cross, and she's only 15.1, but she is very strong and well-built, she definitely isn't quiet to ride and has a very bossy nature that would take advantage of a beginner that lacked confidence or just the skill to keep her in her place A lot depends on what they're crossed with because that will influence the temperament I would look for a reliable well-trained horse rather than be focused on any specific breed or type.

Because of this, ALL the tack you find is tailored to fit these size horses. May not sound like a big deal, but everything draft costs more and quality is hit or miss, especially if you're on a budget.

horse draft gelding qh beginner safe husband kid quarter sorrel
(Source: www.equinenow.com)

Instead of just taking it back to the store, I have to call the company and see if they'll send me another one. If not, I'm out $25 and I don't have a halter for my horse because the trainer that got kicked out of our barn stole mine when she left (no idea why since she has all paints with petite heads).

I've owned him since he was an unbroken 2yo stud colt who had minimal handling. I'm a beginner rider, but fairly experienced on the ground.

I have pretty much completely trained my gelding from the ground up with minimal help from a trainer. If you go for a well-broke, quiet draft cross, I think they make amazing beginner horses.

Something worried him, and he'll snort, bend his body around it, then go investigate it. I think that lots of drafts are quiet enough and fine for a beginner, and may take the unbalanced nature of a beginner rider better.

It would again depend on the individual horse and training. Another thing to consider is that the farrier often charges more for drafts, especially for shoes, since the feet are so much bigger. They assume all drafts are hard to work with and won't hold their feet.

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Only one of my drafts would tolerate a beginner and even then she is canny and would try to get out of work if an experienced handler was not on the ground verbally directing. The larger the horse the more confidence you have to have handling as if you in any way give then you are looking at a serious problem whether they are a behavior issue or not.

So he must be lunged before riding to remind him who is who on the food chain (LOL), get his mind working and bring his energy level to a manageable point. But, that's okay for now because neither do I since I came off him and landed on my back a few weeks ago.

AND....this is crucial....take the necessary time to build your relationship. Once you have a general idea of the types of things you’d like to do with your horse, find yourself some local experts who can guide you in the process.

These intelligent and affable horses are known for their flashy coloring, willing natures, and good work ethics. Paint horses are often chosen as beginner mounts because they have a reputation for being strong, docile, and trainable.

Jean , via Wikimedia Commons Suitable Disciplines : Saddle seat, showing, driving, jumping, dressage, trail riding However, there are plenty of calm Saddlebags in lesson programs, teaching precocious beginners the ropes.

horse breeds clydesdale team riders australian owners characteristics scenics getty strip
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Things to consider : The Saddle bred is a graceful and athletic breed, and is an excellent choice for the beginner who may want to perform on the flat. A young beginner could show his horse in a lead-line class, and a good Saddle bred could grow with him all the way into adult competitions.

Known for their easygoing dispositions and willing natures, the versatile Appaloosa can be a great choice for a beginner rider. Found in nearly every discipline, Appaloosas turn heads in competitions with their unique spotted coats.

Carefully bred for thousands of years by the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, these horses often create lasting bonds with their owners. Good featured and intelligent, these delicate horses can often make excellent partners for beginners.

If you take time to search carefully, you’ll be able to find an Arabian to suit your needs, even if you’re new to the equestrian world. These gentle giants can make excellent mounts for larger adult beginners.

Overall, these gentle giants are friendly and trainable, and many appear in lesson programs teaching adult beginners the basics. Things to consider : The tallest of the pony breeds, Connemara's often reach 15 hands high.

draft horse paint cross henry trail beginner gelding horses reno
(Source: www.horseofmydreams.com)

Small and docile enough to teach children to ride, the Harbinger is also stout and strong enough to handle many adult riders as well. The Harbinger is an excellent beginner horse, with a calm disposition and a willingness to work.

Versatile, athletic, and trainable, the Quarter Horse is a solid choice for both experienced equestrians and beginners alike. With over 5 million Quarter Horses in the world today in nearly every discipline, you’ll be sure to find one to meet your needs.

Things to consider : A Quarter horse is bred for athleticism, speed, and performance. They may need time to settle down, and proper training to make them safe and easy to handle.

However, there are many, many experienced and safe Quarter Horses serving in beginner lesson programs all over the country. Consider choosing an older and thoroughly trained Quarter horse with a calmer temperament for your first mount.

The Missouri Fox Trotter is a smooth gained horse from the Ozark Mountains of Tennessee. Known for their ambling “fox-trot” gait, these surefooted horses can comfortably cover miles of rough terrain.

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Things to consider : These gentle horses make an excellent choice for families, beginners, or anyone who’s looking for a smooth ride and an agreeable disposition. Known for their agreeable attitudes, Morgans generally have a reputation for being easy to handle and train.

They make excellent trail horses, and they are flashy performers in the show ring. Things to consider : While the running walk may be desirable for beginners or riders with physical limitations, some may want their horses to trot and canter.

It can take some time to get used to, but many beginner riders find the running walk to be much more comfortable and easy to sit than the standard two-beat trot. Thoroughbreds excel at show jumping and other speed competitions (such as fast-paced rodeo events).

Things to consider : While they are intelligent and trainable, a young Thoroughbred right off the track may not be a suitable partner for a beginner. With a good temperament and suitable training, a Thoroughbred can make an excellent partner for a bold beginner.

The Welsh Cob is a larger version of these versatile ponies, capable of carrying teenagers and adults. Things to consider : Because many ponies are too small for adults to ride safely, they can pick up bad habits from inexperienced novice riders.

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