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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moon after 1 month at Iron Ridge

On September 14th, we picked up Moon. At that time, she was very thin, very under muscled, and well, basically a wreck. Her owners were giving her away because of the drought in Texas, and the sky high price of feed. Rachel found her listing, called the owner, and set everything up. They said "First come, first serve" so I made sure I was the first one there.

This poor girl was a previous race horse, with a ROM for speed. She had a nice pedigree, nothing over the top mind you, but nothing to be ashamed of either, and she's got color. In other words, this is not a "worthless horse". She has a ton of potential, and she's a wonderful 14 years old. In my opinion, the perfect age.  She's a stout built, nice, tall girl.  While I wouldn't exactly say that she's screaming "BREED ME" I will say that she's a very nice trail horse type, and she moves so pretty.  Who knows what kind of gem this mare could be?

So, we picked her up and brought her home. I cleaned her up (to deal with the rain rot all over her) and started a refeeding program for her. Rachel came to meet her that first night, and it was love at first sight. For the first few days, Moon did almost nothing besides eat. Lots of little meals, lots of minerals and salts, and tons of clean water. Giving her a small area to move in was more then she had at her previous home, not to mention that her state of starvation left her with basically no muscles. Her body had used the protein in her own muscles to keep her alive. She wasn't on death's door step, but it wouldn't have been long before she was.

Her belly was distended, and of course we were worried that she might be bred in this state of skinny. Well, a good round of deworming (starting easy and working up to a real deworming) followed by a round of sand clear, all with tons of food in front of her, and she packed on the pounds visibly day by day.

When Rachel stopped by only 3 days after she arrived, she too could see the weight gain. And to top it all off, Moon is just as sweet and kind as we could ask for.

So, each week I took a picture of her.
 Moon minutes after arriving.

After one week

After 2 weeks

Sadly I missed the 3 week photos.  I took them, but some how I can't seem to find them.

And now, it's been a whole month, and she looks like a HORSE! She still has more muscle and weight to gain, but she looks like a horse who could use a few pounds, and not "OMG call ANIMAL CONTROL!".

Rachel has recently started working her towards riding. We've learned that she can lunge, and Rachel found out that Moon tacks up like a pro, but we're not pushing her hard. She still needs so much more, so if it takes a few extra weeks before she's ready to ride, it's NOT a problem.

So for your viewing pleasure, Ms Moon Treasure, APHA, shown below learning how to be a real horse again, and loving every minute of it.


  1. She's beautiful. What a change in a month! A testament to your TLC and groceries!

  2. I'm so glad she found a family who appreciates her. I think Rachel and Chris will get a lot of enjoyment from her.

  3. Oh my! She's gorgeous! It amazes me how fast the put the pounds back on when quality feed and clean unlimited water are present.

  4. What is most amazing to me, is how easy she has been to put the weight back on. After the second week, I put her on a "normal" diet. She eats the same as any of my lesson horses, and I can still see the weight just fleshing out her body.

    Lets put this in perspective..... that's less then $100 in groceries to make this kind of difference in this horse!