They say that Percherons originated in France and were developed as war horses, to carry knights. Today the American Percheron is much different from what you'd find in Europe--they're taller and less muscled. Regardless, they're enormous horses, ranging in size from 16 to 20 hands and weighing 1,600 to well over 2,000 pounds.
We kind of stumbled into draft horses. Originally we were looking for mules to work on our farm. A good friend talked us out of mules, explaining that horses were easier for the inexperienced teamster. He was probably right because even with our first team of Percherons we had several serious mishaps and runaways. We've worked through those problems now and have learned as much form those big geldings, Jachin and Boaz, as they've learned from us. They remain the muscles pulling our hay mowers in the summer and our discs and harrow when we clear the pastures for planting forage. They can go where no tractor would dare roll, on the sides of steep hills on our sixty-five acres.
Our little herd now also includes two mares--Hep and Beu. They pull various implements for us and provide us with a pair of draft mules every year. We raise these to sell and imprint them at birth to make sure that they'll be easy for their new owners to train. Check out our scrapbook for more pics of the imprinting process.