Draft horses, as they are known today, only appeared after the 18th century. The breed was selected for military, agricultural and industrial needs. And currently it is appreciated for its strength and traction capacity. They can reach up to 1000 kg in weight and need adequate care and food. In this article we will show you the 10 most beautiful and powerful draft horse breeds.
Origin and utility
In the past, draft horses were used as a driving force. Due to their prestige and height, they were used in agricultural activities or to pull carts and carriages. Those for heavy shooting, even for moving industrial machinery. The lightest specimens were used for moving at a higher speed.
Even today, shooting breeds are highly valued for their characteristics. Their typology is divided into heavy and light draft horses; there are different types.
Here we tell you their story, presenting you some of the races that have contributed most to the activity and work of the human being.
The most beautiful and famous draft horse breeds
It is the largest horse in the world, and comes from England. It weighs between 800 and 1000 kg. and has a height of 160-185 centimeters. Originally used to drain swamps, it was fed, bred and bred with Dutch horses.
Wide head, short neck, shoulders and short rump stand out on his long and strong legs. It is also excellent for agricultural work and heavy machinery traction.
2. Belgian draft horse
It is one of the oldest breeds and was used in the United States and Canada. It has a powerful and solid body. Particularly used for large loads, it never gets tired.
It comes from the hills of Perche, and is the best known of the French breeds. Its oldest versions were used during the Crusades and in 1839 it was exported to the United States. It is very appreciated by the farmers of that country. It is currently a breed also used in recreational activities, fairs and competitions.
It stands out for having excellent physical qualities, it is agile and at the same time powerful and resistant. With a short neck, strong head and legs, there are two types: the Large Percherón 160 cm high and up to 1000 kg, and the Piccolo Percherón, about 600 kg.
It is one of the most surprising draft horses. It is the result of a cross between Flemish horses and heavy horses from Scotland. It has been improved by crossing it with the smallest Arab horse. And that is why it is a more elegant breed, with sturdy joints. It has a strength similar to that of Shire.
Born in the mountainous region of the Ardennes, on the border between France and Belgium. It is a very ancient horse. Strong and willing, it was used in the Napoleonic era for its fast trotting attitude and for towing artillery pieces. Halfway between a light and heavy horse, it has a small head, short but stocky neck and fairly short legs.
It has existed since the Middle Ages, it comes from the region of Brittany, in France. It has been crossed with Arab, German and English thoroughbred races. Its strength and lightness make it special for field work and semi-fast filming. There are three sub-types of Bretons from different areas of Brittany and characterized by their different resistance and quiet life. It is a breed that has been used to improve and create others.
7. Suffolk Punch
The breed was obtained from the selection of native breeds. Originally it was used for agricultural work due to its docility and dexterity. His presence is, for obvious reasons, increasingly in decline. In adulthood it reaches a weight of 700 kg. It has robust and powerful back and lower limbs, with a long and wide rump, perfect for pulling with force. It is long-lived and needs little food to survive.
8. Italian agricultural horse for fast heavy shooting
Result of crossing with the Postier Breton, it is a smaller and faster breed. Measuring from 140 to 160 cm at the withers, it has a robust body and shoulders, a red and blond tail and very muscular legs. It is mainly used as a farm horse because, besides being very strong, it has a calm and serene character.
With a strong consistency, it measures 160 cm at the withers and has great resistance. Crossed with the best races in Scandinavia, it is a heavy draft horse mainly intended for agricultural work. There are three types: heavy-duty Latvian, standard Latvian and light-weight Latvian.
It has taken many of its characteristics from the cross with Arab and Berber horses. Originally from Boulogne, France, it is famous for its elegance that is not affected by the powerful structure typical of draft horses. Large in size, it can reach 166 cm in height at the withers and weighs 450-600 kg. In the past used for slow towing, today it is appreciated in dressage competitions.