Below, we’ve compiled several lists, each distinctly suited to different types of horses (and ponies!). But for the purposes of these lists, we have tried to move further away from clichés and find creative names that will capture your horse ’s qualities and make you smile.
ANNE & DIANA LEE & GRANT FRED & BARNEY WINSTON & CHURCHILL RHETT & SCARLETT LAVERNE & SHIRLEY GARFIELD & Die MARY & RHODA BONNIE & CLYDE SAM & DAVID (Fans of the Little House on the Prairie television series will recognize these as the names of Charles In galls’ team of powerful chestnuts.) Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009).
She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009).
Very few homesteads use actual “horsepower” on their farms these days, preferring instead to rely on mechanized power. Here are some best draft horses to consider, the top breeds for your homestead, and all the major reasons why you should get started with this old-fashioned skill.
They are perfect when it comes to tilling and plowing, as well as pulling carts, logs and tractors stuck in mud. Draft horses are ideal for people who want to log the forest or till the field without completely tearing it up and compacting the soil.
Because horses have better weight distribution than heavy machinery, they can work more efficiently and with less long term impact on the land. Plus, draft horses are more nimble than these pieces of equipment, allowing you to work in harder-to-reach or muddy areas without getting stuck.
Gentle giants, they are the perfect breed to build confidence in young learner riders. Bred specifically for farm work, this horse has a gorgeous cream coat and amber-colored eyes.
A chestnut-colored horse with a white mane and tale, the Belgian measures up to 17 hands and weighs roughly a ton. They are usually bay colored with notable white feathering, but can also be brown, black, roan, and chestnut.
A French draft horse, the Percheron is native to La Perch, just southeast of Normandy. A large horse, it is usually black or a beautiful dapple gray but other colors can be found, too.
A black horse with white markings, the Shire is becoming more popular on the farm as well as in the show arena. Yet despite their size and stature, has a wonderful temperament and grabs attention everywhere they go, plus they make a beautiful tourist attraction when used to pull wagons.
First imported from Great Britain in the 1880s, this horse is unfortunately listed as critically threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Bred in Europe after World War II, Brabant is a thick-bodied Belgian with heavy leg feathering.
It’s not a super common breed of draft horse, yet it is a strong, leggy horse that’s perfect for work around the homestead, as can be seen above. Native to the Netherlands, the Frisian horse is a graceful, nimble light draft horse that has been used as a warhorse in the Middle Ages.
With their striking black color, high-stepping action, and flowing wave manes and feathers, this is a useful horse to have around the homestead. They are sturdy and eager to please and are frequently used in show competitions for umping, far work, and endurance.
A typical Harbinger will stand about 15 hands tall and weigh roughly 1,000 lbs, making it one of the smaller draft horse breeds. You will need to provide them with regular veterinary care and be aware of various potential health issues, too.
The minimum daily caloric requirement for one of these creatures is at least 10,000 calories for every 1,000 lbs of body fat. Some medical issues are specific to draft horses, such as Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy.
This condition causes the muscle fiber to atrophy as a result of the body’s inability to metabolize starches. At the end of the day, caring for a draft horse comes down to being attentive to your individual horse ’s needs and abilities.
It’s best to exercise caution in the beginning, too, particularly if you are working with a young or inexperienced team. Watch out for the potential health issues that your breed is prone to, and inspect your animals daily for signs of injury or illness.
Draft horses also have a more difficult time controlling their own body temperatures during the hot summer months. Make sure you have a shady area on your property, either in the barn or the pasture, where they can cool off.
Always carefully inspect the hooves of your horses before bringing them home, as this will give you an idea of their overall health. If you’re new to draft horse work, you might want to consider buying an older team that has been trained well with an experienced teamster.
Researches suggest that the protein that causes allergy is missing from the coat of this horse. There are quite a few breeds that come under this category that share some similarities like the strong built and good temperament.
The characteristic features of draft horses are that they are huge, normally standing between 15-19 hands. They have upright shoulders, broad backs, and powerful hindquarters, which is suitable for pulling heavy load.
American Cream Draft is one of the rare and heritage draft horse breeds. Stallions having pink or dark skin with a white mane are also accepted by the registry.
American creams are a medium-sized draft breed and have strong feet. This horse has the ‘champagne’ gene which is why it has a light shade coat, mane, and eyes.
Origin: Bashkiria, Russian Height: 13-14 hands Colors: Chestnut, brown, and bay Appearance: Curly coat, small draft horse The curly coat makes it easy for the horse to survive in cold regions.
These horses have a strong built, wide nostrils, and a light colored mane. A Belgian draft horse named Big Jake is the tallest horse which stands 20 hands.
The markings are because of the gene called ‘Sabine’ and the white fur on the legs can extend till the knees. Because of such good reputation, these are bred with other draft breeds to improve their characteristics.
Almost 90% of the Fjords are brown dun but there are other shade variations that are recognized. Their coats get thick in winters and the mane is long hence is cut once in a while.
Origin: La Perch, Normandy, France Height: 15-18 hands Colors: Chestnut, bay, roan Appearance: Powerful and graceful As time passed, they were used for pulling carriages and other heavy work.
Origin: Height: 16-18 hands Colors: Brown, black, gray, and bay Appearance: Quite a huge horse These horses have a rich history of working in breweries and some follow it till now.
Origin: Suffolk, England Height: 16-17 hands Colors: Chestnut shades Appearance: Muscular built and small white markings on face and legs Back then, this breed was said to have small feet but efforts were made to improve upon its foot structure.
The Boutonniere, the ‘White Marble Horse is a beautiful and a strong draft horse. The horse is very sturdy and is used for heavy work, but at the same time, it has an elegant trot.
The Italian Heavy Draft is also known as Rapid Heavy Draft ; and ‘Cavalry Agricola Italian the Trio Peasants Rapid’ in Italian. This breed is famous for the perfect blend of strength and speed that it has.
The Jutland horse gets its name from the Jutland Peninsula in western Denmark. Few of the best in this breed are used to pull beer wagons for Carlsberg brewery since 1928.
Origin: Modicum, Austria Height: 15-17 hands Colors: Brown, chestnut, black, gray and bay Appearance: Heavy built The Worker also known as the Pinzgauer or Norico-Pinzgauer comes from a mountainous region, and this breed is famous for the great balance it has.