Later, when we strolled through the horse barns, we were able to see the drafts up close. The Clydesdale's were in stalls, while the Percherons and Belgians were just tied in "chutes", their large hineys facing the isle. I took a few pictures of the big golden guys.
One Clydesdale was lying in his stall and we could see how massive his hoof was. I have never seen a hoof that big. It would take around 5 of My Boy's hooves to equal one of those! I can't imagine shoeing a draft! Or getting your toe stepped on by one!
I made a few observations while admiring these ginormous equines. For one, the draft horses were particularly mellow in their stalls. Even the ones that were just tied in the chutes, which were open to the isle way behind them, appeared to be cocking a leg and falling asleep. They were not fussing, pulling back, or pawing a hole. Nor were they spooking as fair goers were walking behind them. Any child could have ran right up to one of those big golden hineys and one of those horses could have kicked out.
Second, one Clydesdale, "Glen", had nothing but a lead rope tied across the front of his stall. All he had to do was lean on it slightly and it probably would have broken. He leaned his head over the rope and let passerbyer's stroke him. I rubbed my hand softly over the top of his eye and he closed it. His head was so large and so tall, I can't imagine trying to halter one of these guys!
Now, I have a few questions, that perhaps some of you draft horse experts or enthusiasts might be able to answer.1. What is a typical draft horse's temperament like? I am speculating the term "gentle giant" came from these giants of the equine world? I did not see any foul temperaments or nervous energy coming from these teams. And I would hope not, as a horse that large and equally difficult could be a huge danger.
2. Do draft breeds live as long as other, smaller breeds of horses? I wonder if their massive size is challenging on their bones, legs, and body organs?
3. Have you ever owned a draft or draft horse cross and what characteristics did you notice the blood brought to your horse?
Any additional thoughts or comments or stories about drafts horses?