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.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Working with the 3 year old Colt

So, I have this prospect. He's 3, he's very sexy, and he's very talented. Downside, he's very big. Ok, he may not be big to some people, but he's currently 16.0 hands and still butt high.

This is the love of my life.

His name is Scorch. Well, Rorschach's Slow Burn, but every one calls him Scorch. Scorch was my first Stonewall Sport Horse foal. He's out of a Sugarbush mare named Hex, by an Appaloosa stallion named The Polecat (Spot). He was born on April 15th, 2007 with about 7 people watching, on a lovely Saturday afternoon at 4:45pm. Hex refused to be left alone. She began to panic, so the friends and family all pulled up chairs and sat in the barn to appease her. When the little guy made his appearance it was love at first sight.

Scorch has been handled since he was born. He does everything one would expect from a perfectly mannered 12 year old gelding. He stands quietly for bathing and clipping, even with only being ground tied. He never acts up when being handled, not even around the very pretty girls. Oh yes, and he loves people to death. Did I mention that he's really just a 3 year old stallion?

My good friend Leah decided one day last year to "break him" and told me she was going to sit on him. He was only 2 years old, but I figured, "why not?". She climbed up the fence, and leaned over. Scorch thought it was just a new way to get love. She sat on him bareback, and I led him a couple of steps. He was very cautious of his "rider" but not phased at all by having someone on his back.

Now, he's a true 3 year old, and it's time for him to actually learn something. He has begun lunging, and while he's normally amazing.... it's not always perfect. Today for example, he forgot how to reverse direction.

As you can see, he's trying to run out on the lunge line, and not paying attention to my verbal commands at all. But doesn't he look good messing up?

So, I refreshed his memory, and got him actually engaging his body. He's a super easy boy to work with. A bit of patience, no sign of anger or disappointment, and he'll try his hardest to please. Even when he messed up, he was more worried about making me angry with him then with running into the bit, or being "trapped" by the line.

Within about 5 minutes, things were going nicely!

I'm always so amazed when I work with the Stonewall Sport Horses. They are good movers, and they have such willing minds to go with it. I could easily hand over my boy to a complete novice, and know that he might not get what is asked of him, but he'd never do anything intentionally to harm them. Ok, I wouldn't, because working with Scorch is one of my little pleasures in life. I have a couple more Stonewall Sport Horses coming up in the ranks. A 2 year old filly, two yearling fillies and a yearling colt, and a suckling colt.

I look at these horses, both their temperaments as well as their potential, and I can't help but wonder why people would want to pay so much more for a warmblood. Unless you're looking for a Grand Prix performance horse, the Stonewall Sport Horses have all you could want, and then some. Oh yeah... and they come in pretty colors too!


  1. He's such a good boy. I just love that last pic.

  2. He's such a good boy. I just love that last pic.