Irish Draught horse is the national horse breed of Ireland. The horse breed was developed primarily for use in farming. The horse gained popularity after being crossbred with the Thoroughbred to create the world’s most famous Irish Sport Horse.
Are Irish Draught Horses Good for Beginners?
Irish Draft is one of the gentle horse breeds of Europe. The horse is well-behaved, calm, and gentle. The horse breed is popular because the world’s finest sport horse, breed Irish Sport Horse, was produced by crossbreeding this breed with a Thoroughbred. The prominent features of Irish Draught will make you happy to select this horse as your best companion.
Origin and History of the Irish Draft Horse
The Irish Draft horse was bred back in the 18th century as an all-around working horse. The horse was thought to have been created by fancy breeders in Ireland using the Anglo-Norman War Horse and the Iberian Horse from the 12th century. Later, Spanish Amanda, Clydesdale, and Thoroughbred blood were added to this breed. In the 20th century, the Connemara pony was added to this breed.
The Irish Draught Horse was about to disappear from this island during the First World War because many horses were sent to the front. The horse was preserved and started breeding after the establishment of the Irish Draft Horse Society in 1976.
Physical Features of Irish Draught Horse
The Irish Draught Horse Society of Britain and Canada defined the breed standard of the horse. The horse is strong, powerful, and has a massive muscular structure. The breed is versatile, athletic, and energetic. The head of the horse is pleasant; the bones are strong; the shin is short; and the ribs are good springs. The hindquarters and loins are strong and active. The neck is high-set, the croup is solid and smooth, and the circumference is deep.
Height and Weight of Irish Draft Horse
The average height of the horse breed is 15.2 to 16.3 hands (62 to 67 inches). The ideal body weight of the horse breed is 1300 to 1500 pounds (550 to 650 kgs). The body weight is proportionately distributed throughout the body.
Color and Markings of Irish Draft Horse
The horse comes in a variety of solid coat colors. The most common colors of the breed are grey and chestnut. The other standard colors of the horse breed are white, brown, dun, black, palomino, cremello, champagne, roan, buckskin, perlino, and grullo.
Besides the varieties of coat colors, the horse is not accepted with excessive white markings over the knees.
Distinguished Features of Irish Draught Horse
The unique features of the horse breed are as follows:
- The horse is the national horse breed of Ireland.
- Irish Draught is well-known for its strength and agility.
- They are even-tempered and easily trainable.
- The horse with an excellent sense of ability.
- They are easygoing with amateur riders and kids.
Grooming and Care of Irish Draught
Daily grooming of your horse with appropriate grooming kits is required. The horse should be cleaned thoroughly before and after riding. After exercise and riding, hooves should be picked daily. The mane and tail should be combed daily to keep the horse more lucrative.
Food and Nutrition of Irish Draft Horse
The horse survives on green grass and nutritious pasture with no grain supply. The ideal diet for the horse is green grass, hay, silage, haylage, grains, and supplements. Two-thirds of the horse’s diet should be grass or hay, and one-third should be grains. You must consult an equine nutritionist to make an ideal ration scale for your horse.
Health and Diseases of Irish Draught Horse
The horse is generally healthy and affected by widespread equine diseases. Vaccinating your horse against potential equine viral and bacterial diseases would be best. The horse needs regular deworming to prevent parasitic diseases. The specific diseases for this horse breed are:
- Developmental orthopedic diseases.
- Degenerative joint diseases.
- Growth plate inflammation.
Versatile Uses of Irish Draft Horse
The horse is multidimensional and versatile. The everyday purposes of the horse breeds are as follows:
- The horse was crossbred with Thoroughbred and Warmblood horses to produce a world-class Irish Sport Horse breed.
- Police Horse.
- Equestrian Sports– Hunter.
- Pleasure riding.
- Agricultural work.
- War Horses.
- Pulling Cart.
Behavior and Temperament of Irish Draft
The horse is well-behaved and gentle-tempered and makes an ideal companion for all riders. The horse is energetic, easily trainable, and will please you. You can buy this horse from reputed breeders in Ireland, the UK, Canada, the USA, and many other European countries. The average price of an Irish Draft horse is 15,000–20,000 USD.
Concluding Remarks on the Irish Draft Horse
Irish draft horses are one of Europe’s oldest draft horse breeds. Charismatic horse breeders developed the horse in Ireland before the 16th century. Later, the horse was crossbred with warm-blood horses to increase stamina, endurance, and temperament. The horse is ideal for war, agricultural activities, pleasure riding, equestrian sports, and many more.
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