What is a draft horse?

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The draft horse (or drought horse, or dray horse, or working horse, or heavy horse) is bred for hard farm labor, used since the pre-industrial era. Today it’s used for a wide variety of purposes, including crossbreeding for the production of sport horses, farming, logging and recreation. Although they are mainly carriage horses, they are ofted ridden.

The physiology of this equine species is quite special; heavy, strong, patient, obedient, tall and also extraordinarily muscular. The shoulder is upright, the lower leg is heavily feathered, the back is short and broad and the bones are heavy. These are the characteristics making it an impressive and hard-working carriage animal. The metabolism of a draft horse is quite fast as well, making it’s nutritional needs quite high.

The draft horse category includes quite a few breeds, incuding the following:

  • Ardennais
  • Arigeois
  • Bashkir
  • Belgium Draft
  • Boulannais
  • Breton
  • Clydesdale
  • Fjord
  • Haflinger
  • Irish Draft
  • Italian Heavy Draft
  • Jutland
  • Noriker
  • Norman Cob
  • North Swedish
  • Percheron
  • Schleswig Draft Horse
  • Shire
  • South German Heavy Horse
  • Suffolk Punch
  • Vladimir Heavy Draft

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