Horses domesticated a thousand years ago. Human beings have relied on horses for work, pleasure, pride, companion, and income source. Throughout the centuries, men have developed hundreds of horse breeds for their purpose. The selection criteria and breeding depend on the purpose and availability of facilities. Big horses are one of the types of horses that mainly developed for massive works.
What are the Big Horses Called?
There is a clear difference between the big horse and draft horses. The draft horses are hard-working, hardy, strong, calm, gentle, muscular, and intelligent—the size, height, and weight of draft horses may be medium to large. The big horse breeds are judged and selected based on the size, height, weight, and purposes of the horse. In my article, I shall discuss the ten most common and well-known big horse breeds of the world for your easy understanding.
1. Big Horses: Shire
The Shire horse is also known as the Gentle Giant originated in the United Kingdom and distributed in Australia, Europe, America, and other parts of the world. The average height of the horse is 18 hands (16-2 to 21.2 hands). The bodyweight of the Shire horse is 800-1200 kg (1800-2800 pounds). Shire horse is a gentle, calm, well-behaved, reliable, easily trainable, and draught confirmation horse.
Clydesdale horse is one of the “Majestic outlook” horse of draft quality. The horse originated in the Lanarkshire district of Scotland in the valley of the Clyde River. The horse is one of the tallest horse breeds of the world whose average height ranges from 16 to 18 hands. The average weight of the horse is 1600 to 1800 pounds. Clydesdale is a gentle, intelligent, healthy, sensible, and good-tempered horse. They are well suited for farm works, heavy load caring, horse carriage, log pulling, and heavy draft purposes.
3. Dutch Draft Horse
Dutch draft is a massively build, gentle, cold-blooded horse originated in the Zeeland of Netherlands. The horse breed was developed in the early 20th century by cross-breeding of local Zeeland mares with Belgian Ardennes and Brabant horses. The average height of the horse is 16-17 hands and body weight from 750 to 850 kgs. They can work for a prolonged period and used for draft works, horse carts, and riding.
4. Belgian Draft Horse
Belgian draft horse is a gigantic and heavy horse that originated in the Brabant region of Belgium. The horse is the strongest and heaviest horse among all horse breeds. The average height of the horse is 17.2 to 18 hands, and body weight is 900 to 1000 kgs. The biggest horse in the world, Big Jack, is a Belgian Graft horse Gelding. Belgian draft horse used for drafting, horseshow, and pleasure riding.
5. Big Horses: Percheron
Percheron is a famous war horse that originated in the Perche province of France. The horses were brought to the United States of America before the First World War. The horse was used in war successfully for centuries due to their substantial muscular body, willingness to work, and intelligence. The average height of the horse is 16 to 18 hands, and weight is 750 to 1200 kgs. The horse also used for horse carriage, drafting, farm works, horseshow, and pleasure riding.
6. Australian Draught Horse
Australian draught horse was developed in Australia during the 18the century during the Gold Rush period from draft horses the Shire, Clydesdale, Suffolk Punch, and Percheron. They are massive, muscular, hardy, and intelligent horse breed. The average height ranges from 16 to 17.5 hands and body weight from 1300 to 1900 pounds. After the industrial revolution, the necessity of draught horses reduced. The horse is now used for agricultural farms, pulling carts, horseshow, pleasure riding, and competitions.
7. Suffolk Punch
Suffolk Punch is one of the oldest English Draught horse breeds that developed in the 16th century. The horse was developed for agricultural works, and mine works. After the invention of mechanized, the necessity of the horse declined and almost disappeared. The horse is heavy, hard, docile, intelligent, and mostly in chestnut colors. The average height of the horse is 16 to 18 hands and weight from 1900 to 2200 pounds.
8. Big Horse: American Cream Draft
American cream draft is the real American horse that was developed in the early 19th century. The horse is a draft horse, and coat color is cream. The other distinguishing characteristics are pink skin, white mane and tail, amber eyes, and occasional white markings. The average height of the horse is 15.5 to 16.5 hands. The bodyweight is 1600 to 1800 pounds, and the stallion is 1800 to 2200 pounds. The horse is now using for harness riding, driving, hitching, and horse shows.
9. Big Horses: Russian Heavy Draft
The Russian Heavy draft horse is a strong, fast, and economically viable draught horse that originated in Russia. The horse was developed in the early 19th century from Ardennes, the native Ukrainian horse, Brabancorn, and Orlov Trotter horses. The average height of the horse is 16 hands, the bodyweight of the mare is about 750 kgs, and the stallion is about 850 kgs. The horse is powerful and can pull weight more than their body weight.
10. Cleveland Bay Horse
The Clevelandbay horse originated in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire in England in the 17th century. The horse was named as per the place of origin and the color of the coat “Bay.” They are heavy and big horse, height is average 64 to 66 inches, and body weight in an average 800kgs. The horse is used for farm works, driving pleasure riding, and horseshow.
Final Talk on Big Horses
Big horses were famous in the middle and mostly used for massive draft works. After the invention of machinery and, the necessity of the heavy draft horses reduced. After an extended period, the importance of big horses again increases and a popular topic for horse lovers. The versatile uses, muscular and robust body, extraordinary sizes, intelligence, and working capability makes them accessible again. In my article, I have select ten big horses based on the height, weight, and purpose of the horse.