For centuries, big horses have been bred to help humans through all species of jobs. Indigenous pulling chariots come riding in parades and also racing in competitions, these noble creatures have actually been of great usefulness to mankind.

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In this post, us will discover some of the largest steed breeds in the world, their history, and also the qualities that make them was standing out. But before that, let’s learn a point or two around a horse’s size, shall we?

World’s Largest steed Breeds

1. Shire


Height: 17 – 19 handsCountry the Origin: EnglandLife Expectancy: 25 – 30 years

The Shire is at this time the largest equine breed in the world, and it’s well-known for its tall, muscular build and feathered legs. The is additionally one the the horses with an easy-going temperament.

This breed is commonly bay, grey, black, brown, or chestnut. It has actually an interesting history, the most notable gift pulling giant carts the ale native breweries come homes. However it has served many other purposes including farming, riding, and fighting at battlefields.

Even in contemporary times, farmers with small farms are finding this each other of steeds a much better eco-friendly alternate to tractors.

Perhaps among the factors Shire steeds are used to perform hefty tasks is that they in history rank among the strongest breeds. In the 1920s two Shires are claimed to have transported a fill weighing more than 40 tons!

However, as result of the ever-increasing mechanization of transportation equipment, human being have turned come the much more modernized way of carriage, which has actually resulted in the variety of Shire equines decreasing significantly.

But many thanks to institutions like the American Shire equine Association, there is hope because that this nearly extinct breed of horses. Due to their effort, Shire equines are slowly starting to make a comeback.

2. Clydesdale


Height: 16 – 18 handsWeight: 1, 800 – 2, 000 poundsCountry that Origin: ScotlandLife Expectancy: 20 – 25 years

Clydesdale is slightly smaller sized than the Shire and is listed for that high stepping gait. Most Clydesdales have a only coat with white markings top top the feet, legs, and also face. Some horses even have markings under the belly. A Clydesdale can likewise be black, grey, or chestnut in color.

This each other of equine is gentle yet energetic and also is favored because that its high trainability and also easygoing nature. Some of the notable attributes include soft feathery legs, a large forehead, and a long arched neck.

Owing to their gentle and also energetic nature, this beautiful creatures are provided on farms and other areas requiring their abilities. In addition, because of their flashy appearance characterized by the white, feathered hooves, these equines are likewise used for shows and also parades.

3. Percheron


Height: 15 – 19 handsWeight: 1, 900 – 2, 000 poundsCountry that Origin: FranceLife Expectancy: 25 – 30 years

Did you understand Percheron steeds were once considered the tallest in the world? it is right! original Percherons might even go up to 19 hands in height.

The crossbreeding the Percherons with lighter horses like the Arabian, however, had actually a far-ranging influence ~ above the size and also strength of these horses. However there is likewise an upside to it; it additionally contributed to their elegant appearance.

Today, Percherons are used in parades, riding, horse shows, and also many other horse activities. They are also some of the many intercrossed, especially when the reproduction involves a larger horse and a smaller sized one.

This breed of horse is finest known for its hardiness, willingness come work, and capacity to stand up to severe climates.

Percherons are mainly black or gray. Their size, however, depends on the country they room bred. Those bred in France or the USA, for instance, have tendency to be bigger than comparable breeds in an excellent Britain.

4. Belgian Draft


Height: 15 – 18 handsWeight: 1, 800 – 2, 200 poundsCountry that Origin: BelgiumLife Expectancy: 18 – 24 years

Originally recognized as the Flanders Horse, The Belgian Draft equine is one of the equines historically provided for farming. Today, the steed is still supplied in agriculture work and also cart pulling and in shows and also riding circles.

Even despite Belgian Drafts have actually feathered hooves favor the Shires and Clydesdales, they carry out not boast a long, elegant neck as these two breeds do; your neck is short and also muscular. And most of lock are typically bay, roan, sorrel, or chestnut in color.

Belgian Drafts space generally shorter than numerous of the horses thought about larger breeds but we still have some that have actually been uncovered to flourish as huge as the Shire. The most famed giant Belgian was the Brooklyn can be fried that stood as much as 19 hand tall and also weighed an ext than 3, 000 pounds.

5. Dutch Draft


Height: 15 – 17 handsWeight: 1, 500 – 1, 700 poundsCountry of Origin: The NetherlandsLife Expectancy: 15 – 20 years

Dutch Draft is one of the rarest breeds of horse, yet still ranks among the largest horses ever before known. It is a crossbreed that the Belgian Draft and the Ardennes, and also one the the most well-known in ancient equine activities.

Over the years, dutch Drafts have excelled at farm work, where they have been offered to pull exceptionally heavy lots for prolonged periods of time. Lock are an extremely intelligent and also have a reasonably calm demeanor. These horses are additionally known to walk slower than other draft breeds.

Most netherlands Drafts have actually a bay, grey, or Chestnut coat. They likewise have a straight head, quick legs, a broad neck, and also an all at once muscular body. Add to they have actually those beautiful feathered hooves obtained from your Belgium ancestors.

6. Suffolk Punch


Height: 16 – 18 handsWeight: 1, 900 – 2, 200 poundsCountry of Origin: EnglandLife Expectancy: 25 – 30 years

As the name hints, the Suffolk punch originated from Suffolk, England a place well-known as house to breeze horses since the 1500s. The is an excellent Britain’s oldest indigenous breed of horse, mostly bred for farm yard work.

The variety of Suffolk horses significantly reduced in the late 1940s and nearly became extinction in the 1950s. This bottom curve has continued over the years and today there are just a few of these steeds left, v their standing considered critical by the American Livestock breeds Conservatory.

Suffolk Punch equines are constantly chestnut in color. Some have actually white markings ~ above the legs and face however are really rare. The legs are short and also muscular, with dense bone. Generally, the horse has a rounded appearance, thus its name, the “Suffolk Punch”.

Intelligence, docile nature, and the willingness to occupational as several of the significant attributes of Suffolk. Also, the each other requires relatively little food than various other draft horses, which provides it less complicated to domesticate.

7. American Cream Draft


Height: 15.1 – 16.3 handsWeight: 1, 600 – 1, 800 poundsCountry of Origin: united StatesLife Expectancy: 25 – 30 years

The American Cream breeze is the only historical draft bred in the united state still in existence. It has actually an appealing cream coat, beautiful amber eyes, and a excellent white mane and also tail. Part breeds have actually white markings.

This horse has actually the usual draft configuration, v a wide chest, short, solid back, and properly muscled hindquarters. That is mostly used because that driving, shows, riding, and also farm work.

As with Suffolk Punch, the American Cream draft is considered a critical breed. The number of registered breeds, however, has increased over the years, but it’s still not at a suggest of being considered safe.

8. Australian Draught


Height: 16 – 17.2 handsWeight: 1, 320 – 1, 980 poundsCountry of Origin: AustraliaLife Expectancy: 20 – 30 years

The Australian draught was arisen by crossbreeding 4 pure draught breeds: Shire, Clydesdale, Percheron, and also Suffolk Punch.

Known for its strength, hardiness, and moderate temperament, Australian Draught to be historically offered for draught work. In modern times, however, this equine is used for shows, riding, and farm work.

As a an outcome of the multiple steed breeds used in comes up v this breed, the coat have the right to be of different colors consisting of white, black, gray, roan, and also brown. The blood the the Belgian breeze was also added to the breed much more recently, which has resulted in more colors and also traits within the breed.

Some the the notable physical traits include a solid and durable physique, clear alert eyes, medium-length neck, well-muscled shoulders, broad chest, hips, and also hindquarters, and also light, medium-feathered legs.

9. Boulonnais


Height: 15.1 – 17 handsWeight: 1, 250 – 1, 650 poundsCountry the Origin: FranceLife Expectancy: 20 – 25 years

Also recognized as the White Marble, Boulonnais is the most elegant of every drafts. It is among the breeds that have been about for part time, through its origin dating back to the times there were no crusades.

Some specialists argue that you can trace this breed ago to the steeds that the calvary that Julius Caesar left behind prior to invading England.

Over the years, Boulonnais horses have actually been overcome with other breeds prefer the Arabian, Andalusian, and Spanish Barb to filter them, and the resulting breeds have more been intercrossed to produce other draft horses.

Boulonnais horses are typically gray in color, but modern-day breeds sometimes have a black or chestnut coat. Your head is short and distinctive, v a broad forehead and small, erect ears. The neck is thick, muscular, and gracefully arched and also the legs are solid and solid with clean joints.

Despite their big size, these equines are straightforward to occupational with. They room social, active, and also energetic, which renders them exorbitant companions.

10. Jutland


Height: 15 – 16.1 handsWeight: 1, 430 – 1, 760 poundsCountry the Origin: DenmarkLife Expectancy: 25 – 30 years

Jutland acquired its surname from the famous Jutland Peninsula and also is among the most renowned horse each other in shows, films, and also festivals. That is calm, gentle, docile, and also energetic, which renders it easier for humans to domesticate and work with.

Most the the horses are chestnut-colored however there space some that come in various other colors prefer bay, black, gray, or roan. Some may even have white markings on legs and face.

In addition to this distinctive colors, Jutlands have other distinctive physical attributes like convex face profile, low and also flat withers, short and arched neck, large chest, right shoulders, and short, muscular back.

They are believed to be a descendant the the Fredriksborg horse and also some of the ancient breeds provided to build the Suffolk Punch. Modern-day breeds, however, have been occurred with Suffolk Punch and also Ardennes.

How to recognize a equine Size

The largest horses are normally the tallest. This means you should know just how the elevation of a steed is measured in order to number out whether the horse falls in the category of huge breeds or not.

Horses space measured in hands, often abbreviated together “hh” or “h”. Statistically, one masculine adult’s hand is equal to 4 inches.

So, if someone tells you a horse is 16.4, for instance, it means that the equine is 16 hands and also 4 inches. The largest horse breeds will typically measure between 16.2hh and 19hh in height.

In the olden days, the elevation of a horse was measured using the really hands. One would location one hand next to the equine’s hoof on the ground and also the 2nd hand above it, then eliminate the first hand native the early position and also place it end the 2nd and keep doing this over and also over until the critical hand is rested on the horse’s wither.

But over the years, points have changed and plenty of different instruments have been devised to measure up the elevation of a horse quicker and more accurately, the most reliable being a equine measuring stick.

Simply hold the rod perpendicular to the floor beside the horse and also even it v the highest suggest of its withers. Keep in mind down your measurement. If you are using a tool that only procedures in inches, division the analysis by 4.

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Here is a short video that explains, in detail, how to measure a horse’s height.