Large Size Horse Breeds

Draft horses were developed specifically to pull heavy loads. Draft horses tend to be large in size with large bodies that make them easy to train; examples such as Sampson from Shire horses who reached 18 hands tall and weighed over 3000 pounds are great examples of draft breeds.

Clydesdale horses may be familiar to you from Budweiser commercials, and Belgian Draft dogs such as Big Jake. He stood over 20 hands high and weighed almost 2,000 pounds!


As its name implies, the Clydesdale is a large breed of draught horse, standing from 16-18 hands tall and coming in several colors: bay, brown, roan or black. These horses feature thick feathers with silky textures that feel luxurious against your hands as they move freely at both walk and trot speeds; their large feet allow for hauling heavy loads while remaining free-moving during both gaits; with well-formed hoof heads that do not contract which could potentially cause sidebone or ringbone issues.

Lanarkshire horses originated in Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries, taking their name from their geographical home of Lanarkshire’s valley of the River Clyde. Lanarkshire farmers needed powerful horses for handling difficult farm work as well as coal haulage.

This relaxed breed is easy to train and responds promptly to commands, making them suitable for heavy haulage or casual afternoon rides. Their feet also allow them to navigate muddy conditions easily.


Shire horses are one of the largest and most well-known breeds of horses, known for their feathered legs that protect from mud fever bacterial infection. Therefore, regular and thorough brushing is vital so as not to matt their feathering over time.

The Shire horse breed is popularly used in pulling competitions, pleasure riding and dressage riding. This gentle yet willing breed responds well to training techniques; its large size requires ample accommodations and equipment suitable for its size.

Like other draft horses, Shires can be susceptible to polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM), an accumulation of glycogen in muscle tissue. This condition can lead to tying up, so it is crucial that weight and body condition be closely monitored. A diet rich in quality hay, grass and grain as well as nutritional supplements like Mad Barn’s Omneity can help provide vitamins, minerals, yeast cultures biotin as well as other vital elements essential for optimal digestive health, coat quality, metabolic function hoof strength as overall wellbeing.

Belgian Draft

Belgian draft horses are among the strongest large size horse breeds. Due to their power and friendly disposition, these large black horses are highly sought-after for farm work, pulling carriages and sleigh rides as well as their athleticism and beauty – which make them popular with horse enthusiasts from America, Denmark Germany Austria-Hungary. Vollezele Belgium hosts one of the premier Belgian Draft museums which draws tourists from these various nations as well.

Belgian Draft Horses (originally Flanders horses), introduced into America during the 19th century when sent by their home country of Belgium for exhibition at St Louis World Fair and International Livestock Exposition in Chicago by breed enthusiasts, established the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation with an eye towards maintaining quality traits in this breed.

These versatile horses are well suited to cold climates with thick coats that provide them with protection from the elements. Common uses for them include plowing, logging and providing sleigh rides at maple syrup farms; competition in horse riding disciplines like Western and jumping is another popular activity they are used for; their short lifespan and tendency towards weight gain may make management challenging, and some health conditions such as mud fever or pastern dermatitis could arise as well.


Percherons were immensely popular with people in the 19th century due to their strength and beauty. Even competition hitching classes were held for these gorgeous horses at local fairs and county shows!

The breed standard describes these horses as having wide and deep chest and croup, as well as plenty of back ribs, long necks that arch forward into long sloping shoulders that give an impression of compact strength, large heads with long straight profiles topped by large kind eyes and large necks that arched forwards.

Once, only grey or black horses could be registered as Percherons; now, however, these large horses come in various shades such as roan, sorrel, bay and excessive white may also be found among their breed. Although white may not be desirable to all registries. Percherons are intelligent horses known for being easy to train; known for their good temperament and willingness to learn new tasks under saddle; capable of carrying heavy loads for long distances while working under saddle with great success under saddle as well as having steady gaits without major health concerns like polysaccaccide storage myopathy being an exception.

Suffolk Punch

The Suffolk Punch is one of Britain’s native heavy horses. Although mechanisation of farming has contributed significantly to their decline, they remain popular with enthusiasts who work tirelessly to ensure they remain part of rural history. They can often be seen parades and displayed at special centres; additionally they can also be ridden competitively.

This breed’s hallmark characteristics include dense bone structure and expressive gait. These dogs can carry heavy loads while performing well under saddle. Even with all their power and stamina, however, they require less food than other large breeds. Their chestnut hue often features star, strip, or blaze markings on their faces.

Thomas Crisp of Ufford owned the Suffolk that became the standard in 1768; all modern Suffolks can trace their bloodlines back to this stallion. Farmers utilized crossbreeding strategies between Norfolk Trotters, Norfolk Cobs and Thoroughbreds in an attempt to relieve genetic bottlenecks; these efforts only had limited long-term effects on the breed itself.






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