I needed a better way to remind myself of how much my horses have progressed. I have great horses, some of the best in the world (every one says that don't they?). My breed of choice is the Stonewall Sport Horse. It's a cross between a draft horse and an appaloosa. While yes, I have to admit, I enjoy the color genetics of the Appaloosa color, using Appaloosas for the light horse part of the cross isn't due to the color.
Here's the thing. From the time I was young, I have always been in love with draft crosses. As I got older, I wanted a horse that could be more useful in sport. I loved the looks of the Warmbloods, but their personalities weren't for me. I'm not knocking them, as many are great horses! Just as some people love Labs, while others love Rottweilers, the same is true with horse breeds. For me, I wanted something I didn't think I could find in main stream horses.
Should I mention that a few of my dogs are Rottweilers?
I want a horse with a brain, who isn't afraid to use it. I want a horse that is more curious then sensitive, but is light and responsive enough not to be a pain to ride. I want a horse that is tall enough to carry me comfortably, but not so huge that I can't reach the stirrup with out a ladder. I found all of that in the Stonewall Sport Horse.
Interestingly, in my search for the perfect horse, I learned about the Sugarbush Draft Horse. This is the full draft with Appaloosa coloring. I LOFF them! First of all, they have all the beauty of the draft horses, but they tend to be smaller, with most about 16 hands. Since my ideal is 15.3 to 16.1 that's perfect! But the best thing is that they are "little" draft horses, complete with the draft mentality.
So. Here I am, blogging. For me, 2009 was a horrible year in horses, and for my personal life as well. I didn't get a whole lot accomplished. That means that now that spring is here, I am playing catch up! I have quite a few horses in training, and I would hate to have my feeble mind forget how the horse is progressing, and to not appreciate just how far the horses have come.
So, my posts here will be about training the youngsters, mainly my Sugarbush and Stonewall Sport horses, with a couple of Appaloosas and project horses along the way.
A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses
I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.