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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Did You Know? Incredible Draft Horse Facts

Draft horse facts are interesting

Who doesn't like horses? These giant animals are not only fast but also very smart. A draft horse is one of the largest and most popular species of horse. According to researchers, one doesn't need to put in a lot of effort to maintain a draft horse, as they require fewer calories than a lot of other horse species. Their power and stamina make them perfect for farms. They were also largely used during the war because of their calm and courageous nature. Draft horses were not only responsible for carrying the soldiers but also to pull provision wagons and artillery. Belgian draft horses are one of the most famous draft breeds. Big Jake, a Belgian draft horse, won the Guinness world record of being the tallest living horse. While a Belgian draft breed might hold the title of the tallest living horse, it is one of the most important shire draft horse facts that a (Shire) horse named Sampson still holds the record of the tallest horse ever.

The skin of a draft horse is hairy, but a lot of them have feathers on the lower half of their leg. Draft horses are so flexible that they can participate in a number of events. It is quite an interesting sight to watch these horses perform at various contests. Pulling competitions, halter contests, pleasure driving, and open shows are some of their strengths. Keep on reading to know some amazing American cream draft horse facts and more.

If you like reading about animal facts do not forget to check out Przewalski's horse and Highland cattle.

Draft Horse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Draft Horse?

A draft horse is a type of horse.

What class of animal does a Draft Horse belong to?

A draft horse belongs to the class of mammals.

How many Draft Horses are there in the world?

Although the draft horse is one of the most popular horse breeds in the world, the exact number is still not clear. They are mostly found in parts of Europe and America.

Where does a Draft Horse live?

During the early 19th century and late 20th century, a large number of draft horse breeds were imported to the United States from Western Europe. Belgians are from Belgium, Clydesdales are from Scotland, Percherons are from France, and Shires are from England.

What is a Draft Horse's habitat?

A draft horse mostly lives on a farm, since it is a herbivore. Because of their strong and skillful qualities, people from all over the world are fond of them. They have a distinct willingness to work which sets them apart from, not just other horses, but also other animals.

Who do Draft Horses live with?

Draft horses live in their own family group, also called a 'band'. Although, they might get separated after being sold to some other place. In that case, they live with their owners.

How long does a Draft Horse live?

A draft horse can live up to the age of 25-30 years. Drafts are most likely to get infected with diseases like chronic progressive lymphedema. In this case, the skin present in the lower half of the leg of the horse grows thicker and forms encrusted lesions. This disease does not respond well to most treatments and often turns deadly.

How do they reproduce?

The mating time for reproduction depends upon a lot of external factors such as climate. The gestation period lasts about 340 days. One of the most common reproductive complications in draft horse mares is the 25% chance of ovulating two follicles during its heat cycle. This complication along with their larger body increases their chances of giving birth to twins. As soon as a foal is born, it should be tested for any complications. The mare is said to be extremely protective of its foal.

What is their conservation status?

Draft horse breeds are most commonly found in Europe and America.  However, their conservation status is Not Listed under IUCN Red List.

Draft Horse Fun Facts

What do Draft Horses look like?

Draft Horse facts are fun to read.

Drafts are easily distinguishable because of their large size and strength. They are said to be very active. Apart from its size, what distinguishes them further is the presence of feathers on their body. Apart from silky smooth hair certain breeds of draft horses have feathers on their legs. Clydesdale, Ardennes, Shire, and Drum are draft breeds with feathers, even Percheron and Belgian have light feathers on the lower half of their legs.

How cute are they?

Draft horses have soft hair, feathers, bright color, and a strong body. All these qualities make it really cute to look at.

How do they communicate?

There are two primary methods that horses use to communicate- vocally and through body language. Turning of the head, flicking ears, or simply by looking they can send their desired message. They make noise in urgent situations, or at extremely emotional times. It can be a call for emergency, or a loving nuzzle towards its newborn.

How big is a Draft Horse?

Drafts are one of the biggest horses. They are about four times the size of an average full-grown goat. They are almost 64 to 76 in or 163 to 193 cm tall. Big Jake, who is a draft horse and broke the world record of the tallest living horse in 2010, is a Belgian draft horse.

How fast can a Draft Horse move?

The exact speed of a draft horse is not known.

How much does a Draft Horse weigh?

Draft breeds like American cream draft, Belgians, Percheron, and Clydesdales are known for their heavy weight. They generally weigh between 1400-2000lb (640-910 kg). In terms of weight, a Belgian draft horse is bigger than a Clydesdale. Although Clydesdale can be taller, both breeds can be referred to as gentle giants.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male horse is referred to as a stallion or gelding and a female horse is referred to as a mare.

What would you call a baby Draft Horse?

A baby draft horse will be called a foal. A foal can have an identical twin, especially in the case of draft horses.

What do they eat?

Draft horses are farm animals, therefore, good quality grass and forages are an essential part of its diet. Apart from that, a well-balanced mixture of grains should be provided for extra energy and minerals. Feeding a draft horse requires a good understanding of nutrient requirements based on age, size, work as well as stage of reproduction.

Are they dangerous?

Horses are herbivores, so they do not prey on any living beings which makes them less dangerous. One factor that makes them dangerous is their weight. This particular breed of horses is extremely heavy, therefore, if lost control they can cause serious injury to anyone.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, draft horses can make a good pet. Belgian draft horse is an extremely popular pet because of its ability to work, and its strength. It is known to be perfect for farm work.

Did you know...

Despite their large size and heavy weight, a draft horse (breed) requires fewer calories than a lot of other horse breeds. Due to this reason, they belong to the 'minimum maintenance category' and are preferred over other horses.

Draft horses are more prone to dehydration and heat stress and should be taken additional care of during hot weather. This happens mainly due to their lower skin-to-muscle area ratio, which spreads heat from other working muscles.

Drafts have round backs, which makes it difficult to fit the track. Thus, before riding it one must ensure that the saddle fits well and doesn't cause back pain. Apart from the saddle, its bit is equally important. If it's too small, it will pinch its mouth and cause a lot of pain. If you do not know well enough, ask for help from a professional. Sweeny is a condition resulting from ill-fitted harnesses, which due to immense pressure damage the nerve of the animal present just above the shoulder. This condition has a history, especially overdrafts.

A Belgian draft horse, which is one of the most popular breeds of drafts, is also called the gentle giants. This is because of their size and kind disposition. They are easy to recognize among other horses because of their tails, this is one of the easiest yet interesting Belgian draft horse facts.

According to the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation, the Belgian breed of drafts has outnumbered all others in America. The same organization (The Belgian Draft Horse Corporation) said that a Belgian is from the most direct lineal descendants of the 'Great Horse' from medieval times. The Belgian draft horse corporation is an organization from America that aims to protect and maintain a pure Belgian breed.

Draft Horse breeds

Draft horse breeds are among the most popular among other horse breeds. Some of the most famous ones are Belgians, Percheron, and Clydesdales. The Belgian draft horse originates from Belgium, and is the most popular breed, especially in America. This is mostly because of their skill and strength. Percheron is one of the oldest breeds and originates from France. Clydesdales from Scotland is perhaps the most recognizable breeds of drafts, and are known for pulling the Budweiser hitch.

Uses of the Draft Horse

Draft horses are extremely useful on farms. Besides that, they can be used to pull and lift heavy weights, logging, plowing, hitches, and pulling sleighs and carriages because of their strength. A Belgian can pull about 8000 lb of weight. During the World Wars, draft horses played a crucial role in not just carrying the soldiers but also by actively participating and using each of their small skills.

They are called 'cold blooded' because of their capability to follow instructions, not in the way that reptiles are cold-blooded. Hence, they are perfect for beginners. They tend to follow all commands, therefore, are perfect to ride. While riding, you must know the pros and cons, both for the safety of yourself and the horse.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including deer and plains zebra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Draft horses coloring pages.

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