So, having had light horses all my life and only recently ventured in to heavy horses I thought I’d share my top 10 differences between the two. I confess before Fred I though a horse was a horse, but I’ve rapidly learnt that light and heavy are two very different species:
- Everything costs twice as much – farriers, rugs, feed you name it. I look at what I pay for one of the cobs and double it to get somewhere close to the heavy horse price
- In fact most things are doubled – they eat twice as much, generate twice as much dung….need I go on…
- Heavy horses don’t fit in anything normal – normal stables, normal trailer, normal lorry, normal stocks at the vet, a normal gag for the dentist….
- Heavy horses hurt a lot more than light horses when they stand on your foot – 1 broken toe quickly becomes 3.
- Heavy horses get their own self-selected fan club, often including people who wouldn’t go anywhere near (a much smaller and safer) light horse.
- There’s a lot more standing still with heavy horses – at home, at shows, in the show ring, in harness and they mostly do it better than light horses (well better than mine anyway)
- It’s a whole new language – tack become harness, reins are sometimes lines and a saddle really isn’t a saddle as I used to know it
- Everything is heavy – lifting a collar and hames off the ground is challenge enough without having to hoist it over a heavy head
- Everybody knows everybody and everybody’s horses – I used to think he light horse world was a bit like that, but it’s a world of strangers in comparison to heavy horses.
- Heavy horses’ brains work differently – they don’t see fences as barriers or walls as permanent fixtures, the direct route is a straight line regardless of what’s on that line
- You get minor celebrity status at the saddlers and vets (though that doesn’t seem to track through to reduced bills)
- The people that come with heavy horses are a different species too – they are friendly, supportive, encouraging and helpful …not words that you can always link to light horse people!