What is the Largest Horse Breed in the World?

When most people think of large horse breeds, Shire horses likely come to mind as one of the first. Standing up to 17 hands (4 inches per hand), these massive creatures can weigh over 2,000 pounds!

Shire horses once used to tow barges and pull carts; today they’re more often found at living history farms as peaceful yet hardworking companions. Their calm demeanor makes them great creatures to work alongside!


The Shire horse breed is one of the world’s largest. Not only is this magnificent beast extremely powerful, but its gentle demeanor also makes them easy to train and less likely to spook easily, which makes shires perfect riding mounts.

Historically, this breed was commonly employed to transport large carts such as brewer’s drays and coal wagons for transportation purposes. They were also often seen pulling canal boats along England’s waterways. Today, however, this horse still serves an invaluable function in forestry work where motorized vehicles would cause irreparable harm to the environment.

As well as serving in this capacity for agricultural work, horses are commonly seen at parades and public events; they may even be used to pull traditional gypsy caravans at rural fairs.

Shires can be magnificent to look upon, yet require special care for their health and welfare. Shires are susceptible to certain conditions like lameness and Chronic Progressive Lymphedema (CPL), making regular vet check-ups and diet the key ingredients to their overall wellness.


Belgian horses are well-renowned for their impressive strength and calm disposition, often used for pulling carriages and sleighs as well as plowing and other farm work. Additionally, Belgians make excellent riding horses with comfortable seats and big strides – often utilized at events like paardenprocessie competitions or meadow-surfing competitions.

These giant animals can be found throughout the world, but are particularly popular in Europe. Bred originally as farm helpers, horses are now also used in equestrian sports such as carriage driving and show jumping as well as for pleasure riding.

These beautiful horses can also be seen pulling sleighs and providing rides at events like Warkworth, Ontario’s Maple Syrup Festival. Their flaxen manes and ornate leather harnesses make these majestic beasts an impressive sight.

Belgian Draft Horses (Belgians), like other draft breeds, suffer from high rates of limb diseases. One such disease is chronic progressive lymphedema which results in fluid accumulation in their lower limbs causing serious health complications if left untreated. Another issue affecting large draft horses is Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM), causing muscle weakness and lameness; some horses experience it early while others develop it over time.


Clydesdales are one of the world’s largest horse breeds and one of the smartest creatures around. These horses feature calm temperaments, making them popular choices for parades and carriage riding. Originating in Scotland as draft and farm animals, their thick haired legs come in various colors; you may recognize them from Budweiser beer commercials as they serve as their company mascot.

The Percheron horse breed is well-known for both its strength and beauty. These tall horses with powerful frames and elegant gaits were originally used on farms or fields for work purposes but are increasingly seen at parades or competitions; its name, which comes from Scotland where these horses first emerged, reflects this.

The Shershire is another massive British horse breed with thick coats that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, often bay, brown, black, or gray in color, but some even display chestnut hues. These horses are most widely known for use as heavy carts on farms, in breweries and coal mines; and at historic sites where living history exhibits are hosted.


The Comtois is an ancient breed of horse from France that is widely used today for farm work and heavy draft work such as hauling logs in high pine forests or vineyards of Arbois. Reaching 15.1 hands at maturity, these horses boast thick bodies which makes them extremely strong; additionally they possess calm yet patient dispositions making training them simple, as well as strong work ethics that desire pleasing their handlers.

These large equines are distinguished by their impressive strength and stamina. However, they’re also gentle creatures, making them perfect for farm work or military service. Comtois horses are widely preferred by smallholders, arboriculturists, viticulturalists, and arboriculturists, due to their small stature which enables them to navigate tight spaces easily; additionally they’re famed for being balanced enough to move safely over mountainous terrain with confidence.

The Comtois is known for its distinctive square head with alert eyes. It boasts long neck and withers with smooth contours, as well as short sturdy legs with no feathering tendons or feathering of their short but sturdy legs – qualities which come in handy during their heavy-duty jobs. Available colors for the Comtois include chestnut and bay.






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