Horses — Clydesdale


Horse and Cattle Barn, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum


This breed was developed in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Lanarkshire was formerly called Clydesdale, hence the horse’s name. Clydesdales were bred to meet both agricultural and commercial needs: working on farms as well as hauling coal. This horse was successfully exported around the world, becoming virtually the only breed of draught horse in Scotland and New Zealand.

A Clydesdale stands 16.2 to18 hands high at the withers — that’s 1.6 to 1.8 metres or 5½ to 6 feet. It weighs an average of 800 to 900 kilograms, or 1600 to 1800 pounds. These horses are well built, with strong shoulders and legs. Despite their size, however, Clydesdales give an impression of grace and efficiency.

Clydesdales are active, intelligent, and calm. They lift each foot high off the ground as they step. This allows them to pull harder and with more leverage than other horses.

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