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Draft horse breeds

July 23, 2011

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There are many breeds of draft horses. Most are strong, patient, and have a docile temperament that makes them ideal for farming tasks. Here is a sampler of breeds.

BELGIAN

These draft horses are compact with a short and wide back. Their quarters are massive and they have short strong legs. They are easy to handle and have a kind temperament.

Average height: 20.25 hands*

BRETON

This horse is an attractive breed with strong hindquarters, a squarish head and kindly eyes.

The Breton has a straight nose and small, low-set ears. The limbs of the Breton are short and quite muscular.

Average height: 15 hands

PERCHERON

Usually Percherons are gray or black. They are well muscled, quite intelligent, and known for their willingness to work hard.

Average height: 17 hands

SHIRE

The Shire horse is a tall breed that comes in many colors, including black, gray, and bay. They were popular for pulling brewery wagons. Their legs often have white stockings with long hairs known as feathers.

Average height: 16.5 hands

CLYDESDALE

This breed was made famous by the Budweiser beer company. They were originally from the Clydesdale region of Scotland. They were bred to produce taller horses that looked more impressive in parades and shows.

Average height: 17 hands

* The hand is the standard for measuring horses; 1 hand = 4 inches.

SOURCE: BLUE STAR