The Tallest Horse Breeds

the tallest horse breed

Tall and strong, these majestic animals make an impressive sight. Most draft horse breeds possess great strength to be used to pull heavy carts/carriages.

One such horse was Sampson, an extraordinary 21.2 hand high and over 3,000 pound stallion who stood a towering 21.2 hands at his shoulders. Yet these massive animals remain gentle and well-behaved.

Dutch Draft

The Dutch Draft, commonly referred to as Nederlands Trekpaard, is an impressive breed of horse developed after World War I. Characterised by massive builds and calm temperaments, these horses make excellent workhorses in agricultural, forestry, recreational, and other settings.

If you are considering buying a Dutch Draft horse, keep in mind that they require constant care and maintenance. This includes initial purchase cost as well as board, food, veterinary bills, annual upkeep expenses that increase with each size horse you own.

However, unlike most horses, Dutch Drafts are known to be calm and easy to work with – some even make great pets due to their gentle demeanor and intelligence. If you want an idea of their size, simply hold up a stick perpendicularly next to it and mark its highest point on its withers with a marker pen.


Percherons are one of the world’s largest horse breeds. Standing between 16-17 hands at their withers – measuring from the base of pinkie finger to thumb when fingers are close together with palm flat – these majestic animals boast exceptional strength and temperament; often used as carriage horses that can carry up to 2,000 pounds!

Horse-pulling breeds like Paint horses are highly intelligent and eager to please. Additionally, they can compete in horse-pull events. Many crossbred Paint horses with lighter breeds such as Thoroughbreds to use as riding horses.

The history of the Percheron horse breed remains somewhat unclear, yet its presence dates back centuries. It may have descended from indigenous mares in Le Perche Province in France that were crossed with Arab stallions at two separate points in time.

Belgian Draft

The Belgian Draft is an immense breed that stands 18 hands, or 6 feet, from ground level to their withers and weighs nearly 2400 pounds. These gentle giants love working alongside people and are known for their sweet natures and friendly disposition.

This breed emerged during medieval Europe and historians believe it may be descended from the Flemish destriers used by knights during medieval Europe. They soon came to dominate Western European farming until World War I stopped their importations altogether.

After WWII, American breeders continued breeding Belgian Drafts to meet a growing need for versatile farm horses. This breed resembles its Belgian cousin in that it stands taller and features lighter feathering on its legs; today the most iconic Belgian Drafts can be found pulling horse-drawn trolleys at Disneyland; two such horses named Rock and Dick are legendary among these drafts for how well they performed their jobs.


Clydesdale horses have become iconic thanks to the Budweiser beer commercials; this breed stands as one of the largest horse breeds. Male Clydesdales may reach 18 hands in height and 2,200+ pounds. King LeGear was known as world record holder at 20 hands tall weighing 2,950.

These horses boast a distinctive, muscular build with white markings on their legs. Their hind feet feature shoes with shoes that curve out for extra support and traction when carrying heavy loads, plus longer pasterns than other draft horses and long forelegs with wide stances.

These horses possess a relaxing nature, making them great candidates for training and competitive disciplines. Their temperament makes them suitable for carriage driving and jumping; due to their size and strength they can even help farmers in their agricultural work.


The Shire horse breed stands tallest of all horse breeds. Renowned for their size and strength, these gentle giants were once widely employed around the globe as workhorses – carrying ale carts from breweries to pubs and pulling coal wagons over rough roads. Furthermore, these horses are known for their calm demeanor.

An adult stallion may stand 17.2 hands high and weigh up to 2200 pounds, while mares tend to be slightly lighter with thicker coats, long manes reaching to the ground, long legs with feathering at their lower feet, and shorter manes than their male counterparts.

Although they are large in size, shire horses are relatively straightforward to train. They tend to be calm and friendly creatures who form close bonds with both owners and riders alike; rarely spooking or rearing; always eager to please! Unfortunately due to their large frame they require more feed than other horses, making maintenance costly.


Arabian horses were originally developed for endurance trekking across desert landscapes by Bedouin tribes. Due to their compact body and grace, Arabians make perfect competition horses as well as companion animals; additionally they’re usually calm and intelligent enough for dressage, jumping, or racing competition.

Though Sampson no longer reigns supreme as the tallest horse on earth, he still holds onto the title for tallest living animal. Big Jake stands over 22 hands high and weighs 2,300 pounds – he boasts a calm temperament which makes training easy as well as strong work ethics making him ideal as the next Guinness World Record holder.