Clydesdale Horse Guide: A Mighty and Majestic Breed

Published April 7, 2021
Clydesdale horse

The Clydesdale is a draft horse known for his style and elegance. The famous breed originated in the Clyde Valley of Scotland in the eighteenth century. Citizens in the U.S. celebrate the Budweiser Clydesdales every year. Eight of the beer brand's draft horses pull wagons to honor the prohibition laws' repeal, undoing the ban on alcohol consumption.

Clydesdale Horse Breed Overview

Clydesdales pull trees out of the woods and haul up to 5,950 pounds. To improve the Clydesdale breed in the nineteenth-century, locals introduced shire horse blood. Today, the Clydesdale horse is known for its ability to high step and carefully bred for hard-wearing and good quality hooves. This horse is one of the most successful heavy breeds.

Origin and History

The breed originated in Scotland in the mid-eighteenth century. The Duke of Hamilton imported Flemish horses to improve and increase the size of the native draft stock. Shire horse blood was also introduced in the mid-nineteenth century to enhance the first Clydesdale horse.

Clydesdale horse

Clydesdale Height and Weight

The size of a horse is measured in hands or "hh." These heavy draft horses are called gentle giants for a reason. Some of the mature stallions may weigh up to 2,200 pounds.

  • Height at the withers: The Clydesdale is between 16.2 and 18hh.
  • Weight: The average weight for this breed is between 1,600 and 1,800 pounds.

Clydesdale Colors

The most common color for a Clydesdale is bay. The horse breed's notable markings are four white socks to the knees and hocks and a well-defined blaze or bald face.

  • Bay
  • Brown or chestnut
  • Gray
  • Roans
  • Black
girl lying on huge Clydesdale horse

Fun Facts About the Modern Clydesdale

The modern Clydesdale is lighter than its ancestors and is distinctive in appearance. Breeders focus on a few traits, including "close movement," with the forelegs placed under the shoulders and the hind legs close together.

Budweiser Clydesdales

In the U.S., the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company uses Clydesdales to promote Budweiser beer. The brand only uses bay geldings with four white legs and a white blaze. The tradition started back in 1933 to celebrate the repeal of the prohibition laws that banned alcohol consumption.

Clydesdale Horses

Clydesdales Must-Have Action

This horse is known for his high-stepping movement, and every step lifts off the ground. This breed is designed with hard-wearing and good-quality hooves.

The Breed That Built Australia

Horse lovers may find this breed in Russia, Germany, South Africa, Canada, the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. Clydesdales earned the title, "the breed that built Australia." Most Clydesdale horses live in Australia, the U.S., and Canada.

Large Animal Vet Consult

This horse breed is for any animal lover hoping for a draft horse for work or show. If this horse is on the shortlist of breeds you plan to bring over to your pasture, work with a large animal vet to determine the horse looks bright.

Clydesdale Lifespan

The lifespan of the Clydesdale horse is between 20 and 25 years. Horses live for a long time, so this is a big commitment. Work with your equine vet to ensure your horse is in good health.

Clydesdale Horses Grazing

Clydesdales Are Heavy Draft Horses

Heavy horses are known as coldbloods and draft horses. All the draft horse breeds, including the Clydesdale, share similar traits. For example, the heavy horses all have short, strong limbs, which enable the breeds to exert great power at slow speeds. An excellent resource for this draft horse is the Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A.

Clydesdales Are Known For Style and Elegance

The beautiful Clydesdale horse is known for promoting Budweiser beer and its high-stepping movement seen in parades! This draft horse is one of the largest and most successful heavy horse breeds. If you think the modern Clydesdale is a good fit for your pasture or barn, reputable breeders may answer questions about this working horse.

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Clydesdale Horse Guide: A Mighty and Majestic Breed