Belgian horse is one of the strongest and heaviest draft horse breeds in the world. The horse was originated in the Brabant region of modern Belgium. The horse was descended from the “great horses” of Flemish, the battle horse of medieval native to Low countries. The horse was developed in 1880 and brought to the United States of America in 1886. The horse was not so famous as the Percheron horse in America.
Important Information on Belgian Draft Horses
Belgian draft horse is a gentle and intelligent horse breed. The other name of the species is Belgian Draft or Belgian or Belgisch Trekpaad. The breed associations are Elevereus de Trait Belge and Societe Royale Le Cheval de Trait Belge. In my article, I shall discuss the most common features of the horse breed for you.
1. History and Development of Belgian Horse
The Belgian draft horses were developed in Brabant in Belgium. The ancestors were descended in the middle ages. The original stock was known to be Brabant horses. The other name of the breed is Belgisch Trekpaad, Brabacon, and Cheval de Trait Belge. In Europe, the breed was developed by selectively breeding with the thick and heavier breeds. In the United States, the horse was developed as taller and lighter bodies.
2. Physical Characteristics
Belgian draft horses have thick muscle, bulky bodies, and strong legs. The head is small and well-shaped, the neck is strong and muscular, the loin is powerful, back is strong and broad. The legs are healthy and have some feathers.
3. Height and Weight
The Belgian draft horse’s average height stands from 16.2 to 17 hands (66 to 68 inches). The average body weight of a Belgian horse is 900 kg (2000 pounds). A peasant, the largest Belgian horse in the world, a gelding, is 20.2 hands tall (82 inches), and the name of the horse is Big Jake, who was born in 2000.
4. Color and Markings
The most common color of the Belgian Draft horse is chestnut. The other color of the horse is bay, sorrel, black, or roan. The most common American Belgian horse is chestnut and sorrel color with white mane and tail. A white marking (stripe) on the face and four white socks are present on the legs. Common horse brands are used to identify and mark the horses.
5. Horse Behavior
The Belgian draft horses are gentle, intelligent, and well-behaved. They are kind tempered and well suited for kids and young. They are easily trainable and well-mannered horses. The Belgian Draft Horse is known as a gentle giant.
6. Care and Management
The Belgian draft horse requires ordinary care and management like other horse breeds. The horse requires daily grooming and periodical bathing. At the beginning of summer, you can clip excess feathers of legs, mane, and tail. The horse stable must be larger than ordinary horses. The horse tack and equipment must be larger than other small and medium horse breeds.
7. Horse Diet and Nutrition
Belgian horse lives on typical horse diets like grains, grass, and hay. It would be best if you gave a horse supplement containing an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. You must follow a regular feeding schedule of grains and green grass. Overfeeding must be avoided to check colic, laminitis, and other digestive problems.
8. Health Issues
The Belgian draft horse is generally healthy, and no specific disease is found in the horse. You must vaccinate your horse against a few bacterial and viral infections. You must ensure horse welfare points to keep your horse healthy and working fit. As the horse is big, hoof problems are frequently seen in this breed. Laminitis may be a common problem in the horse breed. The horse has an inherited genetic disorder, “Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa” (JEB). The horse also prone to hyperkeratosis, fibrosis in the distal limbs, chronic progressive lymphedema.
9. Unique Features of Belgian Draft Horse
The impressive and interesting features of the Belgian horse are as follows:
- Belgian draft horse is one of the largest horse breeds in the world.
- The horse present in the Medieval ages.,
- The horse was developed in 1880 in the Brabant in modern Belgium.
- The horse was first brought to the United States of America in 1886.
- In 1887, the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation was established.
- “Big Jake,” the giant Belgian horse that stands with more than 20 hands, was born in 2000 in America.
- The largest Belgian Draft horse was Brooklyn Supreme, 3200 pounds body weight.
- The breed has some genetic and hereditary problems.
10. Multiple Uses of Belgian Draft Horse
Belgian draft horse is a versatile horse breed which may be used in many ways. The common uses of horse breeds are as follows:
- They are commonly used as working animals for pulling extra-large weights.
- They are popular as show horses.
- Belgian horses are also used for pleasure riding.
- As the horse is gentle and giant, they can be uses for riding kids and children.
- They are also used for horse meat for human consumption.
- Belgian horses are famous draft horses used to pull the carriage, cart, plow, hitches, and sleighs.
- They are also becoming popular in different equestrian sports, from western to jumping.
Concluding Remarks on Belgian Horse
Belgian draft horses are one of the most popular draft horses in the world. As a horse lover, you will get all sorts of information in a concise form. I have tried to bring all the possible information for you in my article. I think this article will enrich your knowledge on this horse breed. If the above information helps you, please share the content with your friends via social media.