5 Things You Didn’t Know About Draft Horses!

I think I fell in love with horses the first time I saw one, because I can’t remember not loving them. I adored everything about them, the flowing mane and tail, those lovely expressive eyes, those muscles! And Drafts seemed to me to be even more than a regular horse, so much more.

Haflingers

Photo by Sergi Ferrete on Unsplash

Even draft ponies like these Haflingers get my attention! Something about the power inside that warm, furry body, the intelligence in the eyes, just speaks to my heart.

We got our own draft cross several years ago, and she’s amazing. Our Belgian, Tess, is so darned smart and funny that it seems crazy sometimes.

When we got her she was barely trained to ride, and despite the stereotypes of Drafts being sedate, she was an adventure! The first time I rode her she tried to buck me off (although I do have to say that she didn’t try very hard), then set off at a dead run. Whew!

This is what our Tess looks like!
Photo by osker wyld on Unsplash

Draft horses (and ponies) have a long history with humans, and although they are hardly seen in the mainstream media, they have some very devoted followers. Here’s five facts about Drafts you may not know:

  1. The American Cream Draft is one of the only purely American Draft horses! They were originally bred up in Iowa in the early 1900’s. They’re always cream or chestnut colored, and have amber or hazel eyes! They’re very hard to find, and they are classed as “critical status” by the Livestock Conservancy.
  2. The Haflinger is a small Draft that’s well-known in farming circles where horse-drawn equipment is still used. They are a lovely shade of chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail, and are still used by the Austrian Army as pack animals. They are also used in Germany for milk production!
  3. The Morgan horse is the Massachusetts state horse, and all Morgan horses can trace their ancestry back to one stallion named “Figure”. Figure’s owner, Justin Morgan, was said to have used the horse for logging all day in the forests then gone racing in the evenings. The original style Morgans are smaller and stouter than the more modern style.
  4. Suffolk Punch are one of the oldest English breeds, and still retain their original massive build and comparatively short legs. They were used in war time to pull heavy artillery (cannons), and today they’re still used for pulling, although thankfully only logs!
  5. The Irish Draught horse was bred to be a working horse that could not only work in the fields but could also look good pulling the cart into town and be ridden to hounds hunting foxes! They’re a little lighter than many of the draft breeds, but just as amiable in temperament.
Photo by kudybadorota via pixabay

There you have it, 5 things you probably didn’t know about Draft Horses.

If you’d like to learn more about these gentle giants, I invite you to purchase “My Draft Horse Journal” on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2Evzf0u for people who love Drafts, want to learn about them, and practice mindfulness and gratitude all at the same time.

A Belgian team at the Olympia KY Draft Horse Competition 2018

Thanks for reading, and have a FABULOUS day!

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