Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture
Wrangler Kyle Rood leads Joker, a Belgian draft horse, for a ride at Sombrero Ranches riding stables in Estes Park, Colo.
Photo: P. Solomon Banda
Elaborating on an NBC story that whinnies, “Whoa! Bigger Riders Mean Bigger Horses Out West”, the Pueblo Chieftain discovers that that the Percheron and other drafts are newest must-have accessory on the open trail.
According to NBC, “Wranglers in the West who have for decades cashed in on the allure of getting on a horse and setting out on an open trail say they have had to add bigger horses to their stables to help carry larger tourists over the rugged terrain.
The ranches say they are using draft horses, the diesels of the horse world, in ever greater numbers to make sure they don’t lose out on income from potential customers of any size who come out to get closer to the West of yesteryear. “
Enter the Percheron, asserts the Pueblo Chieftain:
“At Sombrero (in Estes Park Colorado), general manager Bryan “Kansas” Seck said they began making the transition to draft horses years ago because of rugged mountainous terrain and strength to carry a rider for longer periods of time.
The owners of Montana’s Rockin HK Outfitters agree. “Little horses just aren’t sturdy enough to hold up in a dude operation in the Rocky Mountains,” Kipp Saile said, noting that about 15 of their 60 horses were Percheron mixes, the largest weighing 1,800 pounds.
…the Sailes prefer Percheron draft horses because of their easygoing dispositions. However, larger horses are more expensive. They eat more, require larger doses of medications and cost twice as much to put horseshoes on.
But unlike regular-sized riding horses that have seven months off after the tourist season, Little said, Percheron mixes can work most of the year, carrying elk and moose hunters into the backcountry in the fall and pulling wagons with tourists in the winter.”
Sounds like the right fit to us.
For more info on the Percheron go to: www.personal.psu.edu/wbs14/blogs/equine_breeds/2013/02/percheron-2.html