Amish Draft Horse
A Amish draft horse with his mane flying in the breeze
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A noble Belgian Amish draft horse with his mane flying in the breeze.
A draft horse (US), draught horse (UK) or dray horse (from the Old English dragan meaning to draw or haul; compare Dutch dragen and German tragen meaning ‘to carry’), less often called a work horse or heavy horse, is a large horse bred for hard heavy tasks such as ploughing and farm labor. There are a number of breeds, with varying characteristics but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.
Draft horses and draft crossbreeds are versatile breeds used today for a multitude of purposes, including farming, draft horse showing, logging, recreation, and other uses. They are also commonly used for crossbreeding. While most draft horses are used for driving, they can be ridden and some of the lighter draft breeds are capable performers under saddle.
Draft horses are recognizable by their tall stature and extremely muscular build. In general, they tend to have a more upright shoulder, producing more upright movement and confirmation that is well-suited for pulling. They tend to have broad, short backs with powerful hindquarters, again best suited for the purpose of pulling. Additionally, the draft breeds usually have heavy bone, and a good deal of feathering on their lower legs. Many have a straight profile or “Roman nose” (a convex profile). Draft breeds range from approximately 16 to 19 hands high and from 1,400 to 2,000 lb (640 to 910 kg).
Draft horses crossbred on light riding horses adds height and weight to the ensuing offspring, and may increase the power and “scope” of the animal’s movement.
The largest horse in recorded history was probably a Shire named Mammoth, who was born in 1848. He stood 21.2 hands (86 inches, 218 cm) high, and his peak weight was estimated at 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb, about 1.47 tons).At over 19 hands (76 inches, 193 cm), a Shire gelding named Goliath was the Guinness Book of World Records record holder for the world’s tallest horse until his death in 2001.
12×18, 16×24, 20×30, 24×36, 8×12