The Belgian draft horse or the Belgian horse is an equine breed originating in the Brabant region of the present-day Belgium. Its tall and massive stature makes it one of the strongest breeds of the world widely used for work also gaining immense popularity as riding and show horses.
|Other Names||Belgian Horse, Belgian heavy horse, Belgian heavy draft, Belgisch Trekpaard, Brabant Trekpaard, Brabander, Brabancon, Cheval de trait Beige|
|Temperament and Personality||Calm, docile, kind, willing, steady and easy-to-handle. Foals are very playful|
|Physical Description||Light and square head; straight or slightly concave profile; short, muscular neck; powerful loins; short, broad back; heavily muscled gaskins; medium-sized hooves; lean and strong legs with some amount of feathering;|
|Colors||Chestnut or sorrel and roan with snow white markings on the legs, face, mane, and tail|
|What are they used for||For draft works like ploughing, logging, pulling sleighs, hitches, and carriages, as well as for pleasure riding, show jumping, dressage, and endurance.|
|Weight||2000 kg (Male); 1575 kg (Female)|
|Height (Size)||16.2 to 17 hands|
|Health||Subjected to more health issues than other breeds. Common diseases are
|Popular Traits||Hardy, and strong|
|Diet (How much does a Belgian Draft horse eat)||Being a draft horse it needs a good amount of hay and grain|
|Blood Type||Cold blooded|
|Country of Origin||Belgium|
|Ancestors||The Flemish horse;|
The Belgian draft horses were said to be descendants of the destriers or war horses, also called the “Great Horses” existing in the Middle Age, known for carrying knights in the war though there is no proper evidence to prove the same. The Brabant, also called the “European Belgian” was the foundation stock for the Belgian draft horses. Though developed in Europe, they were equally popular in America, with the “American Association of Importers and Breeders of Belgian Draft Horses” being set up in Wabash (Indiana) in the year 1887 for the purpose of keeping track on this breed. With the first world war there was a pause in the importing of horses to America that resumed in the 20s and 30s, and finally ended on the 15th of January, 1940. Erwin
In fact, till the 1940s both of them belonged to the same breed. However, after the Second World War, the Brabant remained confined to Europe and was bred selectively to attain a thicker and heavier stature along with a greater amount of feathering on its limbs, while the Belgian breed evolved in the United States as tall and light-bodied horses with clean legs (devoid of feathers). Moreover, the Brabant breed also differed in colors compared to the American Belgian, mostly found in shades of red, bay, blue roan, sorrel and chestnut with black and gray being rare. Post-war Brabants were used in farms and also for meat while in the USA they were used for agricultural purposes along with pleasure riding.