How Much Does A Draft Horse Weigh? (Correct answer)

Draft breeds range from approximately 16 to 19 hands (64 to 76 inches; 163 to 193 cm) high and from 1,400 to 2,000 lb (640 to 910 kg). Draft horses crossbred on light riding horses adds height and weight to the ensuing offspring, and may increase the power and “scope” of the animal’s movement.

How to get a draft horse to lose weight?

  • – Determine your horse’s body weight. – Measure heart girth circumference and belly circumference. – Weigh everything that you’re currently feeding your horse. – Remove all grain and excessive treats. – Choose your forage sources wisely. – Limit pasture access. – Get moving. – Consider removing bedding.

How much does a Belgian draft horse weigh?

Docile and patient in nature, Belgians have thick muscles, heavy bodies, and short legs. They average 16 to 17 hands (64 to 68 inches, or 163 to 173 cm) tall and weigh 1,800 to 2,200 pounds (820 to 1,000 kg).

How much is a Clydesdale horse weigh?

Clydesdales were taken to North America about 1842 but never became a popular draft horse there. A team of Clydesdales pulling a plow at a draft horse demonstration. The Clydesdale averages 17 to 18 hands (68 to 72 inches [173 to 183 cm]) tall and 2,000 pounds (900 kg) in weight.

How much does a light draft horse weigh?

Draft horses’ weight ranges from 1,400 to 2,000 lb Warmbloods typically weigh between 1200-1450 lbs, and light horses range weight ranges from 900 to 1200 lbs. Draft, warmbloods, and light horses are distinct groups of horses that can be distinguished by their weight.

Is a draft horse bigger than a Clydesdale?

What horses are bigger than Clydesdales? Among all large horse breeds found, the Shire, Percheron, and Belgian Draft are apparently the only ones that are bigger than a Clydesdale.

How long do draft horses live?

Caring for draft horses is far less rigorous than tending riding horses. The hardy working animals, which typically remain productive for 15 to 20 years of their 25- to 30-year life span, will certainly cotton to a classic horse barn with stalls, but they don’t demand it.

Can you ride a draft horse?

While most draft horses are used for driving, they can be ridden and some of the lighter draft breeds are capable performers under saddle.

Why are draft horses called draft horses?

Why is a Draft Horse Called a Draft Horse? Draft horses got their name as the term draft is defined as the force required to pull a load or something that is pulled or drawn. Draft horse breeds are bred to have the strength to pull heavy loads, such as logging, plowing and hauling hitches.

How do you weigh a draft horse?

There are three common ways to weigh a horse. The most accurate method is to use a livestock scale. The next best method is to estimate your horse’s weight using a weight tape or online calculator. The alternative is “eyeballing it,” which is least accurate.

How much weight can a draft horse pull?

A single draft horse can pull a load up to 8,000 pounds. The strength involved in this is hard to imagine.

How much weight can a draft horse carry?

Most horses can safely carry 20% of their body weight. So a large draft horse weighing 2,000 pounds can theoretically safely carry a 400-pound person. Every horse has its strengths and limitations, and as a horse owner, it is your job to consider both.

How strong is a draft horse?

These amazingly strong animals can pull 8,000 pounds. The interesting fact is that when two horses pull a load together, they don’t just pull 16,000 pounds combined. The team can pull 22,000 pounds. When they train together and pull together, they can pull up to 32,000 pounds.

What is the difference between a Clydesdale and a draft horse?

Overall Appearance. Belgian draft horses tend to be a bit shorter and stockier than Clydesdales, with broad backs, strong shoulders and kind, gentle dispositions. Clydesdales tend to be around 18 hands and appear slightly less muscular and stocky.

How much does a 16.2 hand Quarter horse Weigh?

But on average, at 16 hands, you can expect a horse to weigh between 1036-1543 pounds, whereas, at 16.2 hands, it is 1080-1653 pounds. Some horses that can be 16-hands tall include the American Quarter Horse, Thoroughbreds, Andalusian, Appaloosa, Belgian, Cleveland Bay, Clydesdale, and Suffolk Punch.

How Much Do Horses Weigh? Horse Weight By Breed and Class

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! The question “How much do horses weigh?” is one I am frequently asked, and my clever response is generally “how long is a string.” In order to provide a relevant response, we must first determine the breed category of the horses. Between 900 to 2,200 pounds, horses are considered to be medium-sized.

Warmblood horses normally weigh between 1200 and 1450 lbs, whereas light horses’ weight ranges from 900 to 1200 lbs, depending on their size.

Despite this, there are additional aspects that distinguish these horses outside their weight.

Why you need to know how much your horse weighs.

Was it ever brought to your attention that it is critical to weigh your horse on a regular basis? Horse weight can vary significantly depending on the time of year, the animal’s age, and its overall health. There are several reasons why knowing your horse’s weight is vital, including determining the proper quantity of medicine or feed and ensuring that your horse is healthy and at a healthy weight. You can tell if your horse is underweight or overweight by weighing it with a weighing scale. This gives you the opportunity to take the required actions to regain control of your horse and get it back on track.

The muscles and bone mass of elderly horses begin to weaken, and they lose muscular tone and bone density.

It is critical for elderly horses, particularly those suffering from arthritis or other physical diseases such as persistent discomfort from injuries received during strenuous activity like as dressage training or competition, to avoid becoming overweight.

How to weigh your horse.

Do you have a good idea of how much your horse weighs? If this is the case, you should start keeping track of his weight. Horse owners all over the world can relate to the necessity of keeping track of their horse’s weight on a regular basis. It is critical for his overall health as well as his performance. There are a few of different methods for weighing a horse. The use of a weight tape is one of the most often used ways. Trailer scales and livestock scales, on the other hand, can be used.

  1. Then load your horse and weigh the trailer once more to confirm the weight.
  2. If you’re using a weight tape, wrap it around the barrel of your horse and make a note of where the zero point is located on the tape.
  3. To keep track of your horse’s growth and ensure that he is neither losing or gaining weight, you should weigh him once per month at the very least.
  4. Because excessive weight loss or gain in horses can be hazardous to their health, it is critical to regularly check their condition.
  5. Another method of weighing your horse is to use horse weight calculations, which involve measuring the body length and girth of the animal.
  6. In order to achieve this, you need need a measuring tape to calculate the length and girth of your horse’s body.

For yearlings, use the same method as before, but substitute 301 for 300. In addition, to apply the formula to weanlings, replace 300 with 280, and to apply the method to ponies, substitute 299 for 300.

Horses are classified by their size and use.

Horse blood may be divided into three types: cold blood, warm blood, and hot blood. Cold blood is the most common kind. Each variety is differentiated by its weight and intended function. In terms of size, cold blood horses are the largest, followed by warmbloods, who are in turn larger than hot blooded horses. The distinction between these two sorts of horses is mostly determined by their size and purpose. A group of horses was bred to have certain features that were established via selective breeding.

Warmblood horses are the middleweight horses, while the lightest horses are either hotbloods or light horses, depending on their weight.

In this post, we’ll take a look at each of the categories.

Coldblooded horses are the heaviest horses.

Draft horses are the most numerous of all horse breeds. Its weight ranges from 1,400 to 2,000 pounds, and it has powerful legs and a wide torso. It is developed for speed and strength. Generally speaking, draft horses are referred to as “cold blood” horses since they are much larger than warm and hot-blooded horses by a couple of hands, and they can weigh as much as two hundred pounds or more than warm-blooded horses. Draft horses are not only huge and muscular, but they also have a calm and docile demeanor that makes them ideal for farm work.

  • Sеlective breeding over hundreds of years resulted in the development of modern-day draft horses.
  • Only 200 draft horses are known to have survived World War I, despite the fact that over a million of them were utilized.
  • These horses were developed for a variety of tasks, including transporting freight, hauling carriages, and working on farms.
  • It includes information about draft horses for sale, as well as photographs and explanations of their usage.

World’s heaviest horse is a draft horse

Belgium, Clydesdale, Percheron, and the Shire are the four most common heavy draft breeds in the United States. Sampson, a Shire that weighed 3,300 lbs, holds the record for the largest documented weight of any horse.

Warmblooded horses are the middleweight class of horses?

Warmblood horses are classified as the middleweight horse category. They are normally between 1250 and 1450 pounds in weight and are bred for equestrian competition. Warmbloods do not relate to the temperature of the horse’s blood, but rather to the effect of both cold and hot-blooded animals on the horse. Warmblood horses are more comparable to light horses than draft breeds, yet they are also more expensive. They have a finer bone structure and are more suited for riding competitions. It is possible to classify warmblood horses as any horse breed that is not a Thoroughbred, draft horse, or pony, depending on the classification system used.

Incredibly beautiful and adaptable creatures, warmbloods are a rare blend of beauty and flexibility.

Warmblood dogs come in a broad variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Warmbloods are high-quality sport horses that are utilized in show arenas all over the world to compete in competitions. Dressage, jumping, and eventing are among the disciplines in which they excel.

Hot-blooded horses are the lightest horse group.

The average light horse weighs around 1,000 pounds. This breed of horse is sometimes referred to as a hot-blooded horse. There are two reasons why they are referred to be hot-blooded, and none of these reasons has anything to do with the warmth of their blood itself. The first reason is that hot-blooded horses are indigenous to hot-climate regions such as Asia, Egypt, and the Arabian peninsula. The second reason is that lightweight horses are referred to as hot-blooded because they tend to be high-strung and hot-tempered in temperament and temperamental in temperament.

The Akhal-Teke, the Arabian horse, the Barb, and the Thoroughbred are the horse breeds that are considered lightweight or hot-blooded.

They are fine-boned, thin-skinned, and have long legs, and they are bred for speed and agility, as well as for speed and agility.

Many of these lighter horse breeds, on the other hand, participate in jumping and dressage, as well as being utilized for trail riding.

How to determine your horses healthy weight?

Horses are individuals in their own right. In order to assess your horse’s healthy weight, there is a baseline test available. It is known as theHenneke Equine Body Condition Scoring System (HEBCSS) (BCS). The British Horse Society (BCS) is a valuable guideline for evaluating the health and well-being of horses. It is also employed by the majority of authorities when examining allegations of horse cruelty. Because it assigns a numerical value to the quantity and area of fat on horses, the Henneke Equine Body Condition Scoring System takes the guesswork out of determining how much a horse weighs.

The loins, ribs, tailhead, withers, neck, and shoulders of the horse are the areas of the horse that are appraised.

On the BCS system scale, horses are rated from 1 to 9, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and horses with this score are considered malnourished.

Body Condition Scores from 4 to 6 is ideal.

Scores of 4 to 6 on the body condition scale are considered appropriate for any horse breed, regardless of the breed. Horses with BCS scores ranging from 7 to 9 are considered overweight to obese. The majority of overweight horses suffer from serious health problems. Horses who are overweight are more susceptible to sickness, overheating, and poor performance. However, if you decide to start your horse on a weight-loss program, start carefully and continue to monitor its weight on a regular basis.

  1. You should be able to feel fat around the horse’s tailhead, but you should not be able to view the hip bones of the horse.
  2. Generally speaking, a horse with a 5 is considered average; it has a flat back and its ribs may be touched but not immediately seen.
  3. According to these standards, an ahorse should be classified as being in the average weight group for its breed.
  4. It has a tiny wrinkle along its back, and the fat on its tailhead is squishy.

This is a sign that the animal is gaining weight. A far more extensive description of the Henneke Equine Body Condition Scoring System (BCS), complete with charts and illustrations, may be found in my post on how to reduce the weight of your horse’s body.

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  • 10 Distinctions Between Ponies and Horses: Size, Breeds, and Other Factors
  • What Does a Horse Eat and Drink? A Feeding Guide that Is Required
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Clydesdale Weight Info – How Much Does a Clydesdale Weigh?

Everything you need to know about Clydesdale Weight – Have you ever taken a close look at a Clydesdale’s hooves? They’re most likely bigger than your entire face! Can you image being trodden on by those hooves? It’s hard to fathom. Ouch, it’s possible that your toes will be broken! It makes you wonder just how much these gentle giants weigh in their whole. In comparison to a typical riding horse or “saddle” horse, all draft horses, including Clydesdales, have significantly differing average weights.

Despite this, weights of draft horses can vary significantly from breed to breed, and even within breeds, depending on the age and food of individual animals.

Draft HorseAnatomy

Whenever you’re talking about the weight of a Clydesdale, the first thing you have to think about is the anatomical shape of a Clydesdale, or, more broadly speaking, the anatomical shape of a draft horse. Draft horses are tall at the withers, short in the rear, and thick and broad everywhere else, in contrast to the classic riding or saddle horse. Draft horses have a hefty, thick, and robust bone structure and frame, which contributes to their well-known and recognizable appearance and appearance.

Saddle Horse Weights

Every breed of horse has a unique average weight that varies from one another. However, averages may be calculated based on the most prevalent and densely populated horse breeds on the market. When gathering my information, I, for example, utilized the Thoroughbred as an example of what I was looking for. The Thoroughbred horse is roughly 1,000 pounds in weight. A riding or “saddle” horse should weigh between 150 and 200 pounds, according to my calculations. Although weight varies depending on breed other subjective factors such as nutrition and age, 1,000 pounds is a decent starting point for a typical horse in terms of body weight.

Draft Horse Weights

Aside from the Clydesdale, some other draft horse breeds to consider are the American Belgian, the Percheron, and the Suffolk. The average weight of these breeds is 1896 pounds, 1896 pounds, and 1698 pounds, respectively. While certain breeds, such as the Belgian, Percheron, and Suffolk, are formed in a similar manner to the Clydesdale, not all are made equal. They may weigh differently as a result of variations in average height, average breadth, and other external variables, among other things.

Average Clydesdale Weight

A Clydesdale is roughly 2,000 pounds in weight on average. In addition to being among of the tallest and largest draft horses on the planet, Clydesdales are also some of the most powerful. At their prime, they can weigh anything from 1600 to 2400 pounds, depending on the specific horse in question. Not only is the average weight of a Clydesdale twice that of a normal saddle horse (i.e., a Thoroughbred for the purposes of this article), but it is also several hundred pounds heavier than the average weight of most of its draft horse cousins.

A mare’s height ranges between 16 and 18 hands, whereas a stallion’s height is between 17 and 19 hands.

Clydesdale horses were regarded as a more compact and tiny breed of draft horse between the 1920s to the 1940s.

They were unquestionably successful, both in terms of increasing the size of the species and in terms of establishing a breed that people were drawn to.

Clydesdale Weight Variants

Even though we can calculate averages all we want, there are always going to be outliers in both directions of measurements, as we discussed previously. This means that some Clydesdales will weigh less than 1600 pounds and others will weigh more than 2400 pounds, regardless of how unusual these events may be. There are several factors that might influence a horse’s weight, but two of the most frequent are his age and his feeding regimen.


Clydesdales will not weigh the same when they are two as they will when they are 10, and they will not weigh the same when they are ten as they will when they are twenty. It goes without saying that foals, yearlings, and young horses that are still growing will not attain their maximal weight until they have finished their growth. As a result, they will be in the lower end of the distribution. In a similar vein, horses lose weight as they age and begin to lose muscle as a result of being less fit as they age.


Dietary choices may have an impact on the weight of a Clydesdale in both directions. If a Clydesdale does not have sufficient access to certain aspects of his typical diet (for example, hay, food, and pasture), he may perform at or below the national average. Alternatively, it is possible to experience the inverse of this phenomenon. Clydesdales are prone to become overweight if they have too much access to certain aspects of their diet. They are also more likely to be on the higher end of the averages.


We may thus estimate that Clydesdale horses weigh around 2,000 pounds, which is enough to crush your tendons if they tread on you. However, the weight of each horse is a subjective topic that is dependent on the environment as well as the distinct personalities of the horses. In addition to being one of the largest draft horse breeds, Clydesdales are also one of the heaviest draft horse breeds on the market. Fortunately, they are gentle giants, and their sheer size is the only thing that makes them seem scary to others.

If so, please share it with us, as well as your own experiences with Clydesdales or other draft breeds, in the comments section below!


When he was 7 years old, the World’s Largest Clydesdale weighed 2950 pounds, making him the world’s largest horse. His name was King LeGear, and he stood at a height of 20.5 hands. Dr. L.D. LeGear of St. Louis owned him; he was the creator of a patent veterinary medicine firm established in St. Louis, Missouri, and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

How much does a Budweiser Clydesdale weigh?

The Budweiser Clydesdales are a group of specially selected Clydesdale horses that are utilized by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company for promotional and commercial purposes. Some of those horses have also been in television advertising for Budweiser beer, and they have appeared in numerous Super Bowl commercials. They are also referred to as the “official horses of Budweiser” on occasion. Anheuser-Busch sought to increase sales of their beer in the early 1990s, so they developed a new advertising campaign to do it.

A Budweiser Clydesdale must be at least four years old and a gelding to be considered for one of the official Budweiser horses.

The horse must have a consistent temperament as well as the look of a robust draft horse. Besides having a reddish brown coat with a black mane and tail, each horse must also have white stockings on all four feet, as well as a white blaze on the face.

How much is a Clydesdale horse worth?

The price of your Clydesdale will be determined by a variety of criteria, including the horse’s age, color, and markings, among others. The value of a Clydesdale horse may also be greatly influenced by its pedigree, which includes its bloodline, performance, and training record. The cost of a Clydesdale horse may range from $1000 to $2500. However, the majority of them cost between $2500 and $5000. The costs of top-class Clydesdale horses, on the other hand, can be comparable to those of high-end vehicles.

How much weight can a Clydesdale horse pull?

A Clydesdale can pull between 2,000 and 8,000 pounds on average, depending on the breed. Horses are capable of hauling around one tenth of their own body weight in dead weight, according to the National Horse Council (like a plow or a log). The addition of wheels to the load will make it easier to transport the load. A horse of average size will be able to draw 1.5 times its own body weight if the load is placed on a cart. The pulling force of the horse is measured using a dynamometer. A dynamometer is a device with interchangeable weights that is mounted on a vertical track for testing purposes.

In recent years, pulling contests have developed into famous athletic events that give entertainment, as well as the opportunity to see beautiful horses, excellent horsemanship, and competitive spirit.

Can Clydesdales run fast?

The Clydesdales go at an average pace of 20 miles per hour, with occasional top speeds of 50 miles per hour. However, they are not well-known for being very quick runners, as they were originally developed for draught and agricultural work purposes alone.

List of the 12 Heaviest Horse Breeds in the World

Even though the normal horses you see on television weigh roughly 1,000 lbs (500 kg), there are numerous specific types of horses that make that weight appear little. These gentle giants can weigh as much as a small vehicle in some cases and stand as tall as several “hands” in others (the measurement used by horse owners for the height.) For example, one hand is equal to four inches or ten cm in length. From lightest to heaviest, below are the world’s 12 heaviest horse breeds, listed in descending order:

  1. Fjord
  2. Vanner gypsy
  3. Gypsy vanner Dole
  4. Friesian
  5. Heavy draft from Russia
  6. A draft in the Dutch language
  7. A cream made in the United States
  8. Draft from Belgium
  9. A punch in the suffragettes
  10. Clydesdale
  11. Percheron
  12. Shire

Rather from being ridden, these are the horses that you will most often see hauling heavy loads, such as carts and carriages. When compared to other breeds, they have the strength and muscular mass, as well as the height, to perform in this manner because to their size and strength. They are also crossbred with smaller horses in order to develop a variety of abilities.

The Heaviest Horses in the World

More in-depth information on these horse breeds will be provided in the next sections. Keep in mind, though, that each horse will mature to a different size. As a result, average weights and heights of each breed are provided rather than a specific number of each.

1. Fjord

Weight ranges between 900 and 1,200 pounds on average (408-544 kg) Hands are an average of 13.2-14.2 hands in height (132-142 cm) These are without a doubt the shortest and lightest of all the breeds on this list, as well as the most agile. However, they are now mostly recognized for their spiky, striped mane. This is another breed that originated in Norway and is renowned for being one of the Vikings’ preferred breeds. When it comes to fjords, even if you’ve never seen one in person, you’ve most likely seen one in Disney’s Frozen.

Despite this, because the breed is considered to be a draft horse, they are not classified as ponies. Are you still perplexed? Don’t be concerned unless you’re part of the circuit. When referring to them, you will almost never be chastised for using the incorrect terminology.

2. Gypsy Vanner

Weight ranges between 1,100 and 1,600 pounds on average (500-725 kg) 14-15 hands is the average height (140-150 cm) The black and white piebald, which has black and white patches with a white face, is the most well-known of the several colors available for this breed. They’re also distinguished by their lengthy mains and tails, as well as feathering around the feet. The fact that they are so visually appealing makes them a popular in the show ring. They are mostly used for dressage or pleasure riding since the care required for other sports might be prohibitively expensive.

For the owner of a gypsy vanner, this involves hours of grooming each and every time.

3. Dole

Weight ranges between 1,200 and 1,300 pounds on average (545-590 kg) 14-16 hands is the average height (140-160 cm) Surprisingly, this is the most common breed in Norway at the present time. There are two varieties of this historic Norwegian breed. While the Dole Trotter has a lesser weight than the standard Dole draft, the traditional Dole draft is stockier and more suited for pulling tasks, while the Dole Trotter is more commonly associated with horseback riding.

4. Friesian

Weight ranges between 1,300 and 1,500 pounds on average (590-680 kg) 14.2-17 hands in height on average (142-170 cm) The characteristic black coat of this breed, as well as its long main and tail, and feathering around the hooves, distinguish it from others. Fleecehounds are highly appreciated in the show-ring for a number of purposes such as dressage, western pleasure/gaming, or showmanship, which is mostly comprised of groundwork rather than actual riding.

5. Russian Heavy Draft

Weight ranges between 1,400 and 1,500 pounds on average (635-680 kg) 14-15 hands is the average height (140-150 cm) It’s no mystery where this breed came from, just as it is with the American cream, and where it came from before that. It was well-known for having excellent traction and being able to pull far more than its own body weight on average. In order to achieve this outcome, Soviet military produced a range of breeds. The milk produced by this breed is unusually high in quality, and it is well-known among breeders.

Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, was a fan of this particular song.

6. Dutch Draft

Weight ranges between 1,500 and 1,700 pounds on average (680-770 kg) 15-16.5 hands is the average height (150-165 cm) The Dutch draft, which originates in Holland, is yet another stocky, compact, and muscular breed of dog. Originally bred for agricultural labor, this breed, like the American cream, has made the move to the dressage ring. The Percheron is also used for breeding reasons, same to how the Percheron is.

They are also the heaviest breed of horse or pony in the Netherlands. The forefathers of the Dutch drafts we see in the ring today were the world’s heavy lifters a thousand years ago, putting in the majority of the long hours.

7. American Cream

Weight ranges between 1,500 and 1,800 pounds (680-815 kg) 15-16 hands is the average height (150-160 cm) This breed is 100% American-bred, with all of its members descended from the same mare. She was born in Iowa, where the breed was officially established, and was mated to surrounding stallions throughout her early years. A distinctive characteristic of her offspring’s cream and champagne colored fur was that it was immediately sought after for showing purposes. The American cream is essentially a show horse, and although it is rare, it is highly regarded by those who attend shows.

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8. Suffolk Horse, aka, the Suffolk Punch

Weight ranges between 1,600 and 2,000 pounds on average (725-910 kg) Hands are 15.2-16.2 inches in height on average (152-162 cm) Suffolk horses, often called as Suffolk punches, are remarkably hefty for their height, making them a popular choice for carriage work. They have horses that are particularly short, squat, and round. They’re larger in the chest and shoulders than the other breeds on our list, and they’re noted for growing “out” while other breeds tend to grow “up.” It’s essential to remember, though, that the Suffolk is not typically an overweight horse in the first place.

This is why they’re becoming increasingly popular among individuals who want to return to the days when a pulling horse was preferred over a machine.

9. Belgian Draft

Weight ranges between 1,800 and 2,400 pounds on average (815-1090 kg) 16-18 hands is the average height (160-180 kg) Belgium draft horses presently outnumber all other breeds of draft horses in the United States, making them the most popular in the country. As you can see, they may grow to be the same size as a shire horse, but they tend to stay in the lower end of the range, with only a few heavyweights thrown in for good measure. They’re regarded to be the most similar to the horses used by knights in battle throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

10. Clydesdale

Weight ranges between 1,600 and 2,400 pounds on average (725-1090 kg) 16-18 hands is the average height (160-180 cm) Your first exposure to the Clydesdale horse will most likely be through the notorious beer business advertisements that run during football games, particularly the Super Bowl. They’re well-known for their enormous size, as well as for their white, feathery feet. The Clydesdale, like the other breeds, was primarily employed in the transportation of commodities. It became well-known for transporting beer, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given that they are still well-known for doing so!

11. The Percheron

Weight ranges between 1,900 and 2,100 pounds on average (860-950 kg) 16-17 hands is the average height (160-170 cm) The Percheron is only a fraction of an inch shorter than the shire horse, and it stands around a hand shorter than the shire horse. While shire horses are still largely employed to pull loads, albeit for aesthetic purposes rather than for usefulness, today’s Percherons are frequently mated to thoroughbreds to produce dressage horses for competition. Percherons were originally from France and were brought to the United States, where they were extensively utilized as labor horses on farms prior to the widespread adoption of machinery.

It wasn’t until agricultural machinery became more inexpensive that the Percheron was able to leave the farm life behind him permanently.

12. The Shire Horse

Weight ranges between 1,800 and 2,400 pounds on average (815-1090 kg) 16-18 hands is the average height (160-180 cm) Not only does the shire breed claim Samson, the world’s largest horse, as one of their own, but another massive shire horse has also made it into the Guinness Book of World Records by coming close to breaking Samson’s record for size. Big Jake was from Poynette, Wisconsin, and he went by the moniker of Big Jake. He came up a whole hand short of defeating Samson, but he did manage to claim the title of the world’s largest live horse.

Some stallions may grow up to 19 hands or, in the instance of Big Jake, much more than that.

The peaceful attitude of large breed horses is preferred by many equestrians over the temperament of smaller breeds.

How Much Can a Draft Horse Pull? (7 Factors Determining)

Draft horses are renowned for their power and strength, and for thousands of years, people have relied on them to draw wagons, farming equipment, military supplies, and other large burdens over the plains of Europe and North America. But how much weight can a draft horse tow in total? While the normal riding horse can draw a load three times his or her own body weight, draft horses may haul loads up to fifteen times their own body weight. Although there are various elements that influence how much a horse can draw, the most important are the following: We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let’s talk about what a draft horse is and how much weight it can tow with it.

What Is a Draft Horse?

The draft horse, often known as a heavy horse, is a largecold-blooded equine that may be found in Europe and North America in big numbers. Various sorts of drafts adorned farms throughout the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, assisting humans with difficult duties such as plowing fields and dragging large cargo. Draft horses are large, having hefty bones and a lot of muscle. They are tall and powerful. In addition, they have a short back and a more upright shoulder position, which makes their form and movement well-suited for pulling duties.

Despite the fact that they are not as swift as the lighter riding types, they are far more strong.

Types of Draft Horses

Draft horses are horses of various kinds that are used for pulling a sleigh or pulling a wagon. The most popular are as follows: Despite the fact that these horses may differ in size and other qualities, there are several crucial attributes that they all possess that make them valuable to humans. Examples include the fact that they are powerful and patient, which makes them excellent workhorses.

They have a charming disposition as well as a natural drive to learn, which makes them well-suited to a wide range of activities and pastimes. Draft horses are fantastic friends, whether they are being used to draw cargo or for pleasure riding. They are selected because of their calm nature.

How Much Weight Can a Draft Horse Pull?

Following your introduction to the draft horse, let’s get down to business and answer the question you’ve been dying to know the answer to — how much weight can a draft horse pull? A draft horse is capable of pulling a load weighing up to 8,000 pounds on average. However, considering the fact that there are many distinct varieties of draft horses, each with a varied weight and height, it would be incorrect to assume that all draft horses will draw the same amount of weight. As a result, we’ve put up this table, which illustrates the five most prevalent varieties of draft horses, as well as the total amount of weight that each one is capable of pulling.

Type of Draft Horse Mature Horse Weight (In Pounds) Total Weight Pulled By the Horse
Percheron 1, 900 – 2, 100 lbs. 3, 600 lbs.
Belgian 1, 800 – 2, 200 lbs. 8, 000 lbs.
Clydesdale 1, 700 – 2, 200 lbs. 2, 000 – 8, 000 lbs.
Shire 2, 000 lbs. 8, 000 lbs.Shire currently holds the world’s record for pulling the heaviest weight of up to 58, 000 lbs.
Brabant 2, 000 – 3, 000 lbs. 8, 500 lbs.

When hauling a really large cargo, it is preferable to have two horses. Assume that a single horse is capable of pulling up to 8, 000 lbs. If you have two of these, you will be able to move a total weight of up to 16, 000 lbs. each. In addition, it is vital to understand that by pairing horses, you are really increasing their load capacity and allowing them to work more effectively together. As a result, two horses with a combined hauling capacity of 16, 000 lbs. are capable of pulling up to a total weight of up to 20, 000 lbs.

Factors Determining How Much Weight a Draft Horse Can Pull

When it comes to hauling a load, there are a variety of factors that might influence how much weight a horse is capable of towing. The following are the most often encountered:

1. Nature of Load (Pulling Dead Weight vs. Pulling Wheeled Load)

In both cases, the amount of weight drawn by a horse will be different from one another. Consider the case of a horse that is dragging dead weight. For example, a horse working for eight hours will typically be able to haul about 10% of its own body weight. In order for the animal to be effective under these conditions, it will need to take frequent breaks and consume plenty of hay and water. Horses will typically have to work harder when hauling a load ten to fifteen times their own body weight.

  • Based on their posture, it is evident that the animals are fatigued and on the verge of exhaustion since they have been pushed to their limits by the load they are dragging.
  • When a draft horse is hauling a load on wheels, the situation is different.
  • In other words, while pulling dead weight, a draft horse will pull significantly less weight than when pulling a wagon.
  • Some breeds, such as draft horses, can draw up to two or three times their body weight, while others can pull much less.

However, you do not want your horse to be responsible for pulling so much weight over a lengthy distance. Even if the horse is pulling a wheeled cargo, if you are going a long distance, it is better to give the horse a load that is not heavier than the horse’s maximum weight capability.

2. Horse’s Fitness Level

A drafthorse that is routinely exercised will not have as much difficulty drawing a large load as a horse that is only exercised once a month. Take your horse for a stroll every now and again, and offer it nutritious meals to help it improve its hauling ability and overall performance.

3. Nature of Terrain

The type of ground on which the horse is riding will also have an impact on the amount of weight the animal can draw. When traveling on a flat surface such as a road, arena, or other similar area, your draft horse may lift up to four times its own body weight, hauling a cart or wagon. When it comes to hills, rocky surfaces, or other uneven terrains, the horse may have difficulty hauling a burden that is even equal to its own weight, let alone a load that is heavier than it.

4. Type of Shoes

In the same way that experienced athletes put on special shoes to increase their performance, horses put on special shoes to improve their performance. It is important to get horse shoes that are slip resistant; this will ensure that you have the necessary grip when hauling huge, heavy loads.

Other Factors Influencing Your Horse’s Load Capacity

  • Weather: It will be more difficult for a horse to perform in hot, humid weather than it will be in a cool, dry environment. During a short length of time, a draft horse will pull harder and be the most productive
  • Nevertheless, their load capacity will decrease over a longer period of time. Although draft horses are naturally motivated to work, some will simply be more willing to complete the task than others
  • This is due to the horse’s temperament.

How Fast Can a Draft Horse Pull a Wheeled Load?

It will depend on how much the cargo weighs, how long the trip will take, how smooth or bumpy the terrain on which the wheels are travelling is, and how old and healthy the animal is at the time of the accident or injury. Consider the case of a horse pulling a lightweight cart weighing approximately the same as the horse over a gravel surface. Depending on the circumstances, the horse may even be capable of running at speeds of up to twenty-two miles per hour. However, it will not be able to maintain this level of speed for very long.

However, for the most part, a draft horse will perform at a speed of around five miles per hour, with the exact speed depending on the breed of the horse and the weight of the load.

– Ensure that the horse is getting enough food and water by giving him breaks every few minutes.

If your horse has been hauling a big load for an extended period of time, such as eight hours, you should let it several days to recover before moving on to the next duty.

The Takeaway

Draft horses are often large, powerful animals that can draw heavy loads for lengthy periods of time before becoming weary. Ensure that the animal has frequent feeding and water breaks throughout the travel to ensure that it remains productive. Also vital is to frequently exercise the horse so that it may maintain its physical fitness and be able to perform heavy duties with greater ease.

Dang! Draft Horses are Amazingly Strong. Like, Can-Pull-a-Semi-Truck Strong.

A pair of Shire draft horses hauled 50 tons (100,000 pounds) in 1924, according to Donna Campbell Smith’s book The Book of Draft Horses: The Gentle Giants That Built the World. This is 20,000 pounds more than the weight of a semi truck. Some of the other publications we discovered said that they only removed 45 tons. Only. That is a significant amount of weight in any case. During the same year, another Shire pulled 29 tons (58,000 pounds) by himself, a feat that would have taken three full-grown male African elephants to accomplish alone (or with a single hoof).

  1. Even still, that’s an astounding amount of pulling force.
  2. The average height and weight of the men is around five-foot-seven inches, and they weigh approximately 1,800 pounds, although they may get considerably larger.
  3. Have you figured out why they’re called “Shire” now?
  4. According to theShire Horse Societyof England, this new breed was dubbed the Great Horse or War Horse because of its ability to fight.

During the nineteenth century, draft horses of all stripes (there are numerous breeds, such as Clydesdales, Belgians, Brabants, Percherons, and the Suffolk Punch, among others) were essential for hauling logs, beer, and larger farm implements as a result of industrialization and the demand for larger, more powerful farm machinery.

  • When it comes to draft horses in action, we’ve gathered some photographs and a video for those of you who prefer to see things for yourself before accepting the truth.
  • It’s not an issue!
  • Yes, without a doubt!
  • Glenbow Archives, courtesy of Wikimedia What do you mean, massive farm equipment?
  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
  • Pu-lease!
  • Andrew R Abbott, courtesy of Wikimedia Finally, have a look at these duo, who hauled 12,500 pounds at the Darke County Fair: Cookies are not required in order to access the content.

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8 Beautiful Draft Horse Breeds You Need to See (With Photos)

It is said by author Donna Campbell Smith in her book The Book of Draft Horses: The Gentle Giants That Built the World that in 1924, a pair of Shire draft horses hauled 50 tons (100,000 pounds), which is approximately 20,000 pounds greater than the weight of a semi truck. They only pulled 45 tons, according to other sources that we discovered. Only. That’s a significant amount of weight in any case. During the same year, another Shire pulled 29 tons (58,000 pounds) by himself, a feat that would have taken three full-grown male African elephants to accomplish alone (or even with a team).

  1. Even still, that’s a lot of pulling power for one person.
  2. Although the typical male height is around five feet seven inches and his weight is approximately 1,800 pounds, he has the potential to become considerably taller and heavier.
  3. Have you figured out why they’re known as “Shire” now?
  4. According to theShire Horse Societyof England, this new breed was known as the Great Horse or War Horse.
See also:  How Old Is The Oldest Horse? (Solution)

During the nineteenth century, draft horses of all stripes (there are numerous breeds, such as Clydesdales, Belgians, Brabants, Percherons, and the Suffolk Punch, among others) were essential for hauling logs, beer, and larger farm implements as a result of industrialization and the demand for larger, more powerful farm equipment.

  1. When it comes to draft horses in action, we’ve gathered some photographs and a video for those of you who prefer to see things for yourself before accepting the truth.
  2. It’s not a big deal.
  3. National Archives and Records Division Engine failure in your car?
  4. During the Great Depression, the automobile of a Canadian couple is torn apart and taken away.
  5. That was taken care of!
  6. Pu-lease!
  7. Wikimedia Commons credit: Andrew R Abbott Finally, take a look at these team that pulled 12,500 pounds at the Darke County Fair: In order to see the material, you do not need any cookies.

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History of Draft Horses

The human race has spent thousands of years carefully selecting and breeding horses for a variety of reasons. During the Middle Ages, bigger horses were being produced for use in combat and agriculture. These horses, albeit strong, were not as massive as modern-day draft horses, despite their imposing stature. During the nineteenth century, when there was an increased desire for a huge, muscular horse, the draft horses that we know today gained popularity. Draft horses were frequently utilized for farm work, freight transportation, and drawing huge carriages in the nineteenth century.

  1. Despite the advancement of farm technology and automobiles, many people continued to rely on draft horses to do their tasks.
  2. Many labor horse breeds have been threatened with extinction as a result of automation and technological advancements in the early twentieth century.
  3. Despite the fact that automation has taken over the majority of the duties that draft horses used to do, they are still utilized for a variety of activities including as displaying, pleasure riding and driving, logging, and plowing small farms.
  4. Consequently, draft horses were able to reclaim their rightful role in contemporary civilization and flourish once more.

8 most common draftwork horse breeds

Jennyt is a contributor to Noted for their enormous strength and stature, Shire horses are known for being powerful and formidable. Shires are typically 16 to 18 hands tall and weigh between 1,800 and 2,400 pounds, depending on their size. In appearance, they are distinguished by their well-arched necks, tiny Roman noses, muscled bodies with feathering, and their color is usually black, bay, or gray. Shire horses were first recognized as a distinct breed in the United Kingdom in the mid-1800s, however their origins date back much farther than that.

As the breed progressed, they were employed for a variety of tasks including agricultural, haulage, and even as a military horse during World War I and World War II.

Their great pulling ability is attributed to their broad shoulders and big chests.

Shires really hold the world record for the highest weight hauled by a pair of horses, having drawn a massive 50-tonne load in 1924 with the help of two Shire horses.

In the mid-20th century, the number of Shire horses has decreased dramatically, which is a sad fact. Although the species has stabilized to some extent, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust still considers it to be in danger of extinction.


Muskoka Stock Photographs courtesy of Clydesdales are one of the most well-known breeds of draft horses in the world. These magnificent horses are most well-known for hauling the world-famous Budweiser hitch, which is a sight to witness in its entirety. Clydesdales are normally 16 to 18 hands tall and weigh between 1,700 and 2,200 pounds, depending on the breed. Beautiful, intelligent eyes, powerful bodies, and well-arched necks distinguish them from the rest of the pack. This breed of high-stepping horses is distinguished by its silky white feathers, which are most usually found in bay hue.

  1. Their forebears include the Shire and Flemish horses, which were crossed with local mares to produce the current generation.
  2. In the early days of the breed’s employment for agricultural work and road hauling, a larger, stockier horse was necessary to meet the demands of the job.
  3. As a result, horse breeders began to design horses that were taller, thinner, and more athletic in appearance.
  4. Additionally, Clydesdales are used by the British Royal Household Cavalry as drum horses, and they are frequently seen marching in parades.


courtesy of Lenkadan / Percherons are one of the oldest breeds of draft horses, having originated in the French department of Le Perche, which lies close to the border with Normandy. Despite the fact that their origins are unclear, it is thought that these gorgeous horses are descended from Barb and Flemish horses, with a small amount of Arabian blood thrown in. According to standard measurements, percherons stand between 15-19 hands tall and weigh between 1,800 and 2,600 pounds.

  1. They are most frequently gray or black in color, and have a forceful but graceful style of gliding through the air.
  2. When they were first imported to America in the mid-nineteenth century, they swiftly grew to become the most popular draft horse in the United States throughout the twentieth century.
  3. This is evident in its exquisite shape and delicate characteristics, which are both quite appealing.
  4. When combined with intelligence and a willingness to work, the Percheron possesses the characteristics of an excellent draft worker in the field.

Even now, they remain a popular choice for forestry work and carriage driving, among other things. Its cross-bred form, which is lighter, is an outstanding competition or police horse.

Suffolk Punch

Photograph courtesy of Nicole Ciscato / Suffolk Punches were bred for farm labor and gained popularity in the early twentieth century due to their excellent work ethic and hardworking nature. This hardy breed originated in England, namely in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and it is the oldest English breed registration. Suffolk Punches are normally between 15 and 17 hands tall and weigh between 1,600 and 2,000 pounds, depending on their size. A tinge of chestnut is usually present on their coats, and they are distinguished by their huge, muscular bodies and thick arching necks.

  • Long before the invention of the tractor, Suffolk Punches were employed for agricultural tasks, as well as for towing heavy artillery during World War II.
  • Despite having seen a considerable decline in population, their numbers are now on the upswing as a result of targeted breeding initiatives.
  • As a result, the breed has retained its short, stocky look, as well as its broad and strong croup and shoulders.
  • Suffolk Punches are easy to care for and have a long shelf life in the garden.

Belgian Draft

courtesy of OlesyaNickolaeva / Shutterstock. The magnificent Belgian Draft we know today originated as an ancient French breed in the late 1800s and emerged into the public eye in the late 1900s. Originally descended from the Great Flemish Horse during the Middle Ages, they were often employed for battle until other heavy horses were mixed into the herd to develop the breed we know and love today. Belgian horses are typically between 1,800 and 2,200 pounds in weight and between 16 and 17 hands in height.

  • The breed is distinguished by its strong, muscular bodies, elegant heads and necks, light feathering, and sorrel, or roan coats, however they may be seen in a variety of different colors, among them.
  • In fact, for a long period of time, the Brabant horse and the Belgian Draft were considered to be the same breed.
  • After being introduced to the United States in the late 1800s, these horses soon gained in favor in the United States.
  • Their American counterpart is a little taller, a little lighter in body weight, and a little lighter in color.

Today, they are admired for their adaptability, since they are often employed for agricultural labor, logging, and driving hitches, as well as for displaying in both riding and driving competitions.


courtesy of Zuzule / With origins in Austria and Northern Italy, the Haflinger is a light labor horse breed with a strong work ethic. It was also known as the Avelignese at the time of its development in the second part of the nineteenth century. In the eyes of some breeders, there are two sorts of Haflingers: one that is shorter and stockier for draft work and another that is taller and lighter for riding. Haflingers are distinguished by their chestnut coat with a flaxen mane and tail.

The Haflinger is a very adaptable breed that is as suited for work under saddle as it is for draft labor.

Haflingers make wonderful therapeutic horses as well, because to their fluid gaits, swinging backs, and kind demeanor.

Irish Draft is the source of this information. An exceptional all-around workhorse, the Irish Draft horse is Ireland’s national horse breed and is the country’s official horse breed. It was developed in Ireland in the 18th century from a cross of English and Spanish breeds, and it was excellent for agricultural labor, as well as for use in harness and under saddle. Following the demise of the breed’s draft role, the breed became popular as a hunter, show horse, and police horse. Aside from its adaptability, the Irish Draft is also well-known for its strength, athleticism, and goodheartedness.

The Irish Draft is a forward-moving horse with a lively and agile gait that can be ridden in any direction.


Image courtesy of Slowmotiongli/ Due to the fact that the Ardennes’ origins extend back to Ancient Rome, it is considered to be one of the world’s oldest horse breeds. Its native territory is the Ardennes area, which includes parts of contemporary France, Belgium, and Luxembourg as well as parts of the Netherlands and Belgium. Over the course of history, the Ardennes has served as a heavy cavalry and artillery horse for a variety of countries. It is also well suited for any type of agricultural or draft labor, and it is becoming increasingly popular in competitive driving as a result.

They are simple to care for because to their robust bones and broad, muscular frame.

They made contributions to the Russian Heavy Draft, Comtois, and Sokolsky horses, among other things.

Other typical labor horse breeds that we haven’t addressed yet include the American Cream Draft, Boulonnais, Breton, Comtois, Dle, Italian Heavy Draft, Jutland, Latvian, Muraköz, Noriker, and Russian Heavy Draft, to name a couple.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shires are frequently the biggest draft horses, however this varies depending on the individual horse. A Shire horse has held the world record for the largest live horse on a number of occasions, including the record for the largest horse ever, on many occasions.

Why is a Draft Horse Called a Draft Horse?

A draft horse is so named due to the fact that the term draft refers to the force necessary to pull a load, as well as something that is being pulled or dragged. Draft horse breeds are bred to have the power to draw large loads, such as logging, plowing, and hauling harnesses, and are hence known as draft horses.

What is the Most Weight a Single Horse Has Pulled?

In 1924, during a show in Liverpool, a single Shire pulled an astonishing 29 tons using a single pulley.

Do Draft Horses Make Good Riding Horses?

Yes, draft horses can make excellent riding horses when trained properly. As a result of their size, it is critical that you use the proper fitting tack on them. Draft horses are frequently crossbred with lighter breeds in order to produce a mount that is more athletic.

Are Draft Horses Good for Beginners?

Draft horses, who are noted for their calm and easy-going temperaments, may make excellent first-time horses for riders of all levels. However, despite the fact that they are normally docile horses, their great stature may be intimidating to some new horse riders.

What is a work horse?

A work horse is sometimes referred to as a draft horse (in the United States) or a draught horse (in other countries) (UK). They are also referred to as a dray (Old English for dragan, which means “to draw or tow”), carthorse, or heavy horse in some circles.

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