Top 10 Best Draft Horse Breeds


Horses have always been among the legendary and domestic animals. Their beauty, strength, and power have always kept us mesmerized. Horse owners and horse riders have always been held in awe. Draft horses or draught horses are strong workhorses that are bred to be hardworking animals. They are generally reared to perform laborious tasks such as ploughing, harnessing, and other farm work. Horses have better weight distribution than heavy machinery, so they can work more efficiently in fields. Below are the best draft horse breeds from across the world, that are known for their various characteristics.

Best Draft Horse Breeds

1. Shire Horse

The Shire is a British breed of draught horse that is among the largest as well as the tallest horses in the world. It is usually black, bay, brown, or grey. They have a long and lean head and large eyes that add to their beauty. The Shire horses are popular as riding horses due to their calm disposition and athletic movement. Shires are ridden for pleasure, trail, working cattle, police work, search and rescue work. They are a popular breed of draft horses and mostly found in the UK, Canada, and are among the oldest of the draft breeds.

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Shire Horse

Image Source: Wikimedia

2. Belgian Horse

The Belgian Draft horse is a Belgian breed of a draft horse. These Belgian horses come from the Brabant region of Belgium. It is one of the strongest breeds. These strong horses are used for farm work, and also in cities to work in warehouses, freight stations and fishing wharves. Belgian Horses are very kind, quiet and intelligent horses. This horse breed is known for its heavy body, short but strong legs, and thick muscles.

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Belgian Horse

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Haflinger

The Haflinger breed of horses is also known as the Avelignese. 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.

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4. Percheron

The Percheron is a breed of draft horse that originated in the Perche province in France from which the breed takes its name. Percherons are well-muscled and known for their intelligence and strength. They are grey or black. They have a muscular build with a broad, flat forehead and small, upright ears. Percherons 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.

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Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Friesian Horse

One of the most graceful animals in the world, The Friesian horse is a breed from Friesland in the Netherlands. They are generally black, with powerful muscles. These horses have a thick mane and tail, and feathery hair on lower legs. Friesian horses are very versatile and can be used in riding for pleasure and in competitions. They can also be used for light farm work. They are a rare and beautiful breed and have a gentle but elegant nature.

Friesian Horse

Image Source: Wikimedia

6. Fjord Horse

The Fjord horse or Norwegian Fjord Horse is from the mountainous regions of western Norway. It is a light draught horse but very robust and agile. They are relatively small but very strong horse breed. All other breeds of horse have some form of white markings; they are extremely rare in the Fjord horse. They are one of the world’s oldest breeds. They have been used for hundreds of years as a farm horse in Norway. They are found in many European countries as well as in North and South America.

Fjord Horse

7. Clydesdales

The Clydesdale Horse breed derived its name from the farm horses of Clydesdale, a county in Scotland. When they were initially reared, they were originally one of the smaller breeds of draught horses. However, today, it is a tall breed. They are often bay coloured, and also have some white markings. Due to their gentle nature, the Clydesdale horse is one of the most beloved breeds of horses. They are known for their large size and calm temperament. They can reach speeds of up to 20mph.


8. Irish Draught

The Irish Draught horse belongs to Ireland. It is the national horse breed of Ireland. These horses have been extensively used for farm work. 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. They are gentle and family-oriented horses. They are even used as police horses in many European countries.

Irish Draught

Image Source: Wikimedia

9. American Cream Draft Horse

The American Draft horse is the only draft horse breed that has been developed in the US. It has a distinct cream gold colour and a white glossy mane with amber eyes. These well-muscled and sure-footed horses are beautiful to behold. They are mostly used for riding and harnessing and are a rare yet popular breed.

American Cream Draft Horse

Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Suffolk Punch

The Suffolk Punch is an English breed of draught horse. It is also known as the Suffolk Sorrel. They are the most magnificent and beautiful breed of horses. The Suffolk Punch is the oldest native horse breed found in Britain. These horses are highly energetic and active. They have a broad head with a thick, arched neck, and a short but wide back and short legs. Unfortunately, there are now just 300 Suffolk Punch horses left in the UK. Their breed status has been marked ‘critical’ by the UK’s Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Suffolk Punch

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are the top draft horse breeds from across the globe.

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Written by Kan Dail