Can a Thorough bred horse do draft horse work?

Jenwisp

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May 14, 2020
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I'm far from an expert on horses, but I would think of it more in terms like this- a runner is not built the same as a weight-lifter for humans, so I imagine for horses it is the same. The muscles aren't in the right places or sizes for the work needed done. Depends though probably what you need pulled. You might injure a thoroughbred. I would google
 

Beachcomber

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Jul 19, 2020
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Ummm . . . . in this country, harness racers are Standardbreds, not Thoroughbreds. Slightly different breed; a little sturdier build.
You're right of course. I guess I was just thinking in general terms for the sake of argument. A light hot-blooded horse versus a heavy cold-blooded draft horse.
Ultimately it boils down to whether or not the specific horse in question is capable or sound enough to perform the work you're asking them to do.
When in doubt, get a vet check.
 

nuthatched

It's Soup Season!
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Nov 9, 2019
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While 'hot blooded' horses ( arabian, thoroughbred, Akhal-teke, ect), are capable of pulling loads( i believe Arabians were trained in chariot racing when thst was popular, though the breed has changed in a thousand years) the frames of these horse are made for galloping.
Warm blooded Trotting (and cross country) horses are traditionally used for sulky racing and dressage, (standardbred, lustino, Hanoverian, Irish hunter ect) are breeds bred from both hot blooded racers and cold blooded draft breeds.
Cold blooded horses are draft horses and load horses (shire,Clydesdale, freisian, percheron etc) strong, sturdy, Stamina and usually calm.

So , yes, they can, but they're not really built for it.
 

cassie

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Mar 19, 2009
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You would be doing a gross disservice to the horse. If you want a horse to do heavy work get one that is built for it. A thoroughbred is not. It can pull a light buggy but that is about it. There are heavy saddle horses that are dual purpose and can do light farm work. A Friesian is one that comes to mind.
 

Azureduckchick

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Jul 23, 2020
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You would be doing a gross disservice to the horse. If you want a horse to do heavy work get one that is built for it. A thoroughbred is not. It can pull a light buggy but that is about it. There are heavy saddle horses that are dual purpose and can do light farm work. A Friesian is one that comes to mind.
Yeah I wouldn't want to hurt a horse, I was just wondering.
 

littledog

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Aug 7, 2011
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Yes, a thoroughbred can pull loads. Obviously not as much weight a a draft horse, but pulling is actually easier on a horse than being ridden.

For example, a riding horse can comfortably carry a maximum of 20% of their weight, but they can pull 1.5 times their weight, if it's a cart with wheels that roll easily on a smooth surface. If it's "dead weight" like plowing or dragging logs, they can only pull up to 1/10th of their weight. So a typical 1000 lb thoroughbred could drag a 100 lb log, or pull a wheeled cart (say about 250 lbs) with a person (150 lbs) with 10 100 lb logs loaded on the cart, at a steady walk, if they're fit and trained for the work.

To plow new ground with one 1000 lb thoroughbred, you could only use a single plow that does one row at a time, and you'd be walking behind the horse, so it would probably take several days, plus frequent breaks, to plow an acre. Even more if it's heavy ground like wet dirt, clay, rocks, etc. So definitely a team of draft horses would be the best way to go for that kind of heavy work. But tilling a smaller, existing garden area, less deeply and with softer soil would definitely be possible.

Minis and small ponies can very easily pull a light cart with one person in it, at all gaits, estimating the pony is about 300-400 lbs and the cart+person is about 250-300 lbs.

A friend of mine had a medium-sized Arab who was trained to drive, and one time he took both of us all over the place in a light cart on dirt roads for about 4 hours, at a trot but with frequent walk breaks, and he never even broke a sweat. This was a fit horse who was well-trained and used to this kind of work, though.

If you want to teach your thoroughbred to drive, there's no reason why you shouldn't. Just make sure you get training from an experienced person who has taught both humans and horses how to drive.

Check out Barryhook2 on YouTube, he's guy in Great Britain who trains all breeds and sizes of horses to drive, plow, pull loads - he's really nice to horses he trains, gives them confidence, plus his videos are really relaxing to watch.
 

Bunnylady

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Nov 27, 2009
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So a typical 1000 lb thoroughbred could drag a 100 lb log,
Sheesh. I could pull a 100 lb log - I could even carry it, briefly. :rolleyes: Put wheels under the load, though, and I swear my minis pull loads with much less effort than I do.

Check out Barryhook2 on YouTube, he's guy in Great Britain who trains all breeds and sizes of horses to drive, plow, pull loads - he's really nice to horses he trains, gives them confidence, plus his videos are really relaxing to watch.
I love watching Barry 'ook, clopping along with "just a piece of rubber" in his horses' mouths. Makes me grit my teeth when he gets going about "pressure and release," though, 'cause he somehow associates it with leverage bits, and that's not what it means at all!:he
 

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