The Ardennes horse is one of the ancient draft horse breeds of Europe. The horse was originated more than 2000 years ago at present Ardennes of Belgium, France, and Luxemburg. The horse is still available throughout the world and has an outstanding contribution to developing several draft horse breeds like Russian Heavy Draft, Baltic Ardennes, Sokolosky, and Swedish Ardennes. The horse was mainly used for war in pulling Artillery guns but used mainly in farm horses, horse carriage, competitive driving, and even meat purposes.
Can You Ride an Ardennes Horse?
The Ardennes horse is a well-known gentle giant draft horse breed. The behavior and temperament of the horse are so pretty that many people, including children, can ride the horse. The horse is widely used in therapeutic horseback riding. The horse has superb stamina and energy and is thus used in competitive driving.
Origin and History of Ardennes Horse
The horse is one of the oldest recorded draft horse breeds that originated more than 5000 years ago. The horse was initially shorter in size and originated in the Ardennes area. The area now belongs to three countries, France, Belgium, and Luxemburg. The horse was used by almost all Kings, Knight, and warriors in the pre-historic ages. It is believed that Julius Caesar also used Ardennes horses in the Gallic war. Napoleon Bonaparte used the horse in war, and he had a significant contribution to the development of the horse breed at present size. He crossbred the horse with an Arabian horse for stamina. Later the horse was bred with Percheron and Thoroughbred horses to bring into present size.
In the 18th century, the blood of Belgium Draft horses was added to this horse and made them heavier. The first breed registry of the horse was formed in 1929, separate to each country; France, Belgium, and Luxemburg. The Ardennes Horse society of Britain was formed in the 20th century to preserve the horse breed. The first Ardennes horse was imported to the United States of America in 1917. The horse was initially registered in ‘French Draft Society.’ The horses are still imported from Belgium to America.
Physical Characteristics of Horse of Ardennes
The heavy draft horse has a large head; the face is broad and slightly concave or straight. The body is compact, broad, and muscular, the back is short, the legs are short, sturdy, and joints are strong. The fetlock joint and bellow are covered with heavy feathers. The mane and tail are long and dense.
Height and Weight of Horse of Ardennes
The horse of present-day is 15.3 to 16 (63 to 64 inches), hands in height. The average bodyweight of the horse is about 700-1000 kg (1500 to 2200 pounds).
Color and Markings of Horse
The most common color of the Ardennes horse is bay and roan. The other available colors of the horse are grey, chestnut, palomino, or black. The black color is scarce, and the color is excluded from the horse registry. The horse breed is accepted with minimum white markings that are restricted to blaze and stars only.
Behavior and Temperament of Ardennes Horse
The horse is big but well-known for its excellent mild behavior. The horse attains its maturity early and can maintain easily. The horses move easily and freely despite their heavy muscular body. The horses with a fantastic temperament are agreeable and can employ to work efficiently.
Feed and Nutrition of Horse
The horse is heavy and sturdy. They can live on minimum pasture and low-quality hay. The horse’s usual feed is grass, hay, haylage, silage, corn, barley, maize, legumes, cowpea, different grains. You can provide horse supplements consult with your veterinarian.
Health and Care of Horse
The Ardennes horse is generally healthy and is not affected by any specific diseases or disorders. The horse is affected by general equine diseases. The horse requires daily grooming that keeps the horse shiny and silky. The feathers of the fetlock require special attention. If the area becomes wet and muddy, hoof diseases like canker, quittor, or thrush may be developed.
Versatile Uses of Ardennes Horse
The horse is a versatile breed and is used for various purposes. The uses of horses are:
- From the ancient time, the was used as war horses.
- The horse was the leading artillery horse during the French Revolution.
- Napoleon used the horses during the Russian Campaign as Artillery horses, pulling Railway wagons due to their heavy musculature, clam temperament, and energetic body.
- During the First World War, horses were utilized for pulling heavy artillery, carriage, and goods.
- In current years, horses are mostly used in agricultural farms.
- Horse’s meat is popular in many European countries like French, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany. The horse is used for meat purposes due to its heavy musculature.
- The horse having excessive stamina and endurance; is used for competitive cross-country driving.
- The horse has an even temperament, and behavior thus suitable for therapeutic horseback riding.
- The ancient horse breed has contributed considerably to the development of many modern horse breeds like Belgian Ardennes, Swedish Ardennes, Russian Heavy Draft, Auxois, and Trait Du Nord.
Final Talk On Beautiful Giant Ardennes Horse
Ardennes is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. The horse has an outstanding contribution to the development of many modern draft horses. The horse was not in the same shape at the present day you are watching. The horse also came to this condition by crossbreeding with many popular horse breeds like Arabian, Barb, Percheron, and Thoroughbred horse. I have tried to accumulate all vital information about this horse breed in this article. I think this information will enhance your knowledge of horse breeds of the world.