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:

  1. 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
  2. In fact most things are doubled – they eat twice as much, generate twice as much dung….need I go on…
  3. 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….
  4. Heavy horses hurt a lot more than light horses when they stand on your foot – 1 broken toe quickly becomes 3.
  5. 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.
  6. 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)
  7. 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
  8. Everything is heavy – lifting a collar and hames off the ground is challenge enough without having to hoist it over a heavy head
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. You get minor celebrity status at the saddlers and vets (though that doesn’t seem to track through to reduced bills)
  12. 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!

Helen Roberts