Belgian Draft Stallion
Characterized by massive, muscular strength, Belgian draft stallion horses are more numerous than all other draft breeds in the United States combined. These horses are stocky and extremely easy to handle, despite their large sizes. Belgian horses hold world records for being the strongest, tallest, and biggest breed of horses in the entire world.
1. Scientific & Common Names
6. Present Status
7. Present Status
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Names - Belgian, Brabant, Brabancon, Belgian Heavy Horse
The average Belgian horse is about 17 hands in height, although they can be as short as 16 hands and some even reach over 19 hands tall. They usually weigh around 2,000 pounds, but the heaviest Belgian horse weighed over 3,000 pounds. Belgian horses come in chestnut, black, bay, and roan. However, the most popular color for Belgian horses is sorrel with a white mane and tail, white feet, and some white on the face. Belgians' heads are square with a slightly concave profile. They have short, thick necks, powerful shoulders, and muscular hindquarters.
Belgian stallions are able to breed around 2 years of age. However, most often, their owners make them wait until age 3 or 4 to breed mares.
Belgians are kind, intelligent, and extremely gentle. They are also very docile and eager to please. Belgians are often used for pulling implements for farming and participating in draft competitions.
The Belgian Draft Stallion originated in Europe in the small country of Belgium. Early on, horses of the Belgian type were used to carry knights in full suits of armor into battle. Also in medieval times, Belgian horses were used for pulling farm implements and drawing carriages and wagons. Stallions of the Belgian type were exported from Belgium all across Europe to create other breeds of draft horses, like Clydesdales and Friesians. During the 1800s, the government of Belgium focused on improving the breed by careful mating of the best stallions to the best mares. In time, the nation came to regard their fine horses as a sort of national treasure. Americans imported these powerful animals and created their own version of the Belgian once importation was halted by World War I. After World War II, Belgian horse numbers across the world began to decline as farms were increasingly mechanized. However, starting in the 1980s, the breed rebounded as people began to value more natural methods of farming. Currently, the Amish, Mennonites, small farmers, and loggers value the breed as important components of their business models.
Belgians are currently the most popular draft horse breed in the United States. They are also found all across Europe. Currently, there are around 4,000 Belgian horses in the United States.