Like Little, 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 at about $150 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.
"You just feel better about having a big person on a big horse," Little said.
Associated Press writer P. Solomon Banda in Estes Park, Colo., contributed to this report.