Draft Horses - Today again highly valued as a Sports- and Hobbypartner
Draft horses are large, heavy horse breeds developed for the hard work in agriculture and forestry.
They are very versatile breeds.
They are used for a variety of purposes, including farming, heavy horse breed showing and for pleasure.
Because of their strength and stamina, health, longevity, patience and a docile temperament they are again becoming popular and invaluable horses for hobbydrivers and riders.
They make excellent driving horses.
In former times they were most important for farming and transport of goods.
With the industrialisation and the invention of the steamengine, their importance decreased more and more, and after the last World War they seemed to disappear almost totally from roads and fields.
Luckily, nowadays more and more people discover draft horses again as valuable sports- and hobby partners.
They make very good family horses thanks to their versatility.
They are used for hobby-farming and excellent for forestry work, people show them in horse shows and country fairs and compete them e.g. in ploughing or pulling competitions.
Recognition of heavy horses
They are usually tall and very muscular and many have a more convex nasal profile.
This is called a "Roman nose".
These breeds were over centuries used for pulling heavy loads.
They have got an extremely strong neck, a relatively short back and very well developed hindquarters.
To carry all those masses of muscle tissue they have to have very strong and thick bones.
The shoulder tends to be more upright. This allows a more upright movement, which is ideal for pulling heavy weights.
The Shire horse, the Suffolk Punch, the Clydesdale horse and the Percheron are recognized heavy horse breeds in the UK.
Another heavy horse breed, the the Gypsy Heavy Horse, also known as Gypsy Cob or Gypsy Vanner, is gaining enormously on popularity amongst horse drivers, as they make ideal, docile and very reliable driving horses.
Continental Europe is the home of many well-known breeds, e.g. the Ardennes horse, the Percheron, the Belgian and the Schwarzwaelder Fuchs (Black Forest Horse), just to mention a few.