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.
Horses have better weight distribution than heavy machinery, so they can work more efficiently in fields. They have a long and lean head and large eyes that add to their beauty.
This horse breed is known for its heavy body, short but strong legs, and thick muscles. It is a breed of horse developed and now mostly found in Austria and northern Italy.
They are small, and mostly have a chestnut color with flaxen mane and tail. These horses have thick muscles but are elegant and very energetic.
They are commonly used for hauling heavy loads and as a means of transportation, as they are sturdy, all-purpose horses. They have a muscular build with a broad, flat forehead and small, upright ears.
Percheron's can be good horses for beginner riders because of their docile natures. They have a sweet, tolerant, and easygoing nature that makes them popular with inexperienced horse owners.
One of the most graceful animals in the world, The Frisian horse is a breed from Friesland in the Netherlands. These horses have a thick mane and tail, and feathery hair on lower legs.
Frisian horses are very versatile and can be used in riding for pleasure and in competitions. They are a rare and beautiful breed and have a gentle but elegant nature.
They are found in many European countries as well as in North and South America. When they were initially reared, they were originally one of the smaller breeds of draft horses.
Today, they are especially popular for crossbreeding to produce the popular Irish Sport Horses which excel at the highest levels of events like show jumping. They are athletic and full of energy with magnificent, robust bodies.
It has a distinct cream gold color and a white glossy mane with amber eyes. The Suffolk Punch is an English breed of draft horse.
The Suffolk Punch is the oldest native horse breed found in Britain. Unfortunately, there are now just 300 Suffolk Punch horses left in the UK.
Largely bred for racing, a thoroughbred might turn out to be more horse than most beginners can handle. And in most cases, you should pass on a retired racehorse that is trained to bolt at the crack of a starter pistol.
These horses are typically attentive, social, and have a strong desire to please their caretakers. These horses are generally easy to care for, and health issues are rare.
Physical Characteristics: Smooth lines; small ears; expressive eyes; crested neck Kentucky mountain horses are a gained breed, which means they have a four-beat hoof movement for a smoother ride.
Physical Characteristics: Muscular, compact body; flat facial profile; arched neck; deep chest; well-sloped shoulders The Missouri fox trotter horse is another gained breed for a comfortable ride.
With its head down and tail up, the horse steps deliberately with one always foot in contact with the ground. This horse has a friendly, gentle disposition and is a great choice for families.
Physical Characteristics: Straight facial profile; pointy ears; muscular body; short back; sloped shoulders Justus de Cuveland/Getty Images Icelandic horses are sure-footed, long-lived, and resistant to harsh conditions.
They descend from Shetland ponies, and their small stature makes them feel less imposing to new riders. Their special step is called a “told,” which is a sped-up walk that offers a level ride even over rocky terrain.
Australian Scenic/Getty Images Clydesdale's often have a quiet demeanor that beginners enjoy. These horses tend to be forgiving of a beginner’s mistakes and are generally calm and steady.
In general, beginners should avoid untrained and highly spirited horses, as they can be difficult for even veteran equestrians. Similarly, the athleticism of Andalusian horses can make them difficult to manage for beginners.