Horses of extreme height and weight are out of this world. And the Belgian breed is a great representative of popular draft horses. This article reveals interesting facts about Belgian Horses, their temperament, and characteristics.
Belgian Horse History
The Belgian Draft Horse breed came from Brabant in Belgium. It’s one of the strongest horse breeds. The popularity of the draft horse has spread beyond Europe. That’s a favorite draft horse in the United States.
Belgian Draft Horses may be descendants of destriers (war horses) from Medieval times. There’s no strong record though. The Belgian Draft Horse came from the Flemish “Great Horse” that was bred as a battle horse. The Brabant was a foundation stock for Belgians.
Belgians were exported from their country of origin to the rest of Europe. Breeders needed larger draft breeds for farming and industrial use. Since then, National horse shows occurred in Brussels to promote the breed. As a result, the population of Belgian Horses has increased. The Belgian Draft Horse became a national heritage of Belgium.
Belgian Horses were actively used during World War II. The horse was developed to be large and muscular. The equine had to carry soldiers and pulling weapons. The American Belgian Draft horse has a bit different conformation. The horse is lighter and taller. The breed was commonly used in farming and pleasure riding.
The number of horses has decreased during wartime. Luckily, American breeders succeeded in keeping the “right” draft horse. Eventually, they developed their own type of Belgians.
The American Association of Importers and Breeders of Belgian Draft Horses was formed in 1887. It aims to keep the records of Belgian Draft Horses. It was renamed the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America in 1937. The founders are Harmon Wolf, Abraham Straus, Nathan Meyer, with the help of their lawyer James D. Conner, Jr. It aims to keep the records of Belgian Draft Horses. And to keep the draft horse breed pure in America.
The modern Belgian breed is versatile. You can find a horse in a range of equestrian disciplines. These include halter, plowing competitions, driving, and more. Besides, Belgian Horses are superb companions for pleasure riding. Some representatives are still used at farms and ranches.
Belgian Draft Horse Temperament
The Belgian Draft Horse has a gentle temperament. It’s a highly sensitive animal that makes it a perfect family pet. The Belgian Horse tends to be willing to work. They are commonly used in farming for pulling, plowing, and logging.
Belgians have a brave nature, they are not easily spooked. Some Belgian Draft Horses can be demanding. This is a cold-blooded breed. The Belgian is easy to handle, which is a plus. Owners love this horse for being kind and docile.
Belgian Horse Characteristics
The Belgian Draft Horse has a refined small head. The body and legs are short but massive. The back is wide and the loins are powerful. The quarter mass is muscular. Compared to other draft breeds, the Belgian has hooves of medium size. The legs are strong and powerful. There’s little feathering on the lower limbs.
The Belgian Horse lifespan is 25 to 30 years, which is impressive. The same goes for a Morgan Horse.
As for health-related issues of Belgians, the junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) is the one. It’s an inherited genetic disorder that hits newborn foals. The JEB leads to losing large spots of skin in foals. That’s usually ended up with euthanasia. Scientists are trying to search for a cure to eliminate this disorder.
Belgian Horse Colors
Belgians are prized for a chestnut color with a mane and tail of flaxen color. Previously, Belgian Horses were commonly bay. But nowadays, you’re likely to meet roan and sorrel equines in the USA. That’s due to American breeders has spread these coat colors.
The Belgian Draft Horse is loved for its pretty white markings. They commonly occur on the horse’s face and lower legs (white stockings).
Belgian Horse Height
So, how tall is a Belgian Horse? The Belgian Horse height goes from 16.2 to 17 hands tall. A Belgian Horse named Big Jake is the tallest horse in the world. The horse’s height is 20 hands 2.75 inches tall with no shoes included. It weighs 2,600 pounds. The record was set at Smokey Hollow Farms where Big Jake is kept.
Belgian Horse Weight
So, how much does a Belgian Horse weigh? The Belgian Horse weight is 2,000 pounds on average. Brooklyn Supreme was another Belgian Draft horse that set the record in the 1940s. It’s the largest Belgian Horse that weighed 3,200 pounds.
How Much Does a Belgian Horse Cost?
A Belgian Horse costs from $5,000 to $10,000. It’s an average price for a young and healthy equine. The price depends on the Belgian’s color, age, gender, health condition, build, and training experience.
Belgians are a great option for beginners. They are calm and docile. The Belgian Draft Horse is an easy keeper, which is a great perk. The horse keeps weight well and it doesn’t need an excessive amount of feed.
Belgian Horse vs Clydesdale Horse
Belgian Draft Horse vs Clydesdale Horse – who wins? The Belgian Draft Horse is larger than the Clydesdale Horse. The Belgian Horse height is 16,2 to 17 hands tall. The Clydesdale horse height is 17 to 18 hands tall. Clydesdales tend to be taller but they weigh less. The average weight of both breeds is 2,000 pounds.
Belgian Draft Horses Explored
The Belgian Draft Horse is a tremendous draft horse. It can be used in farming and industrial works. Both riding and driving disciplines suit this massive horse. Belgian Horses are loved for their calm and outgoing temperament. These are brilliant companions for beginners.
A Belgian Draft Horse will cost you around $5,000 to $10,000. Besides, you’ll need shelter, feed, and a water supply to keep it healthy.