The Clydesdale horse is native to Scotland. It is a large draft horse, but it wasnt at the beginning of its development 300 years ago. They passed over great changes through the history, used and bred by people for different purposes.
Scotland needed a horse that will be well suited to the harsh environment and can survive their climate. The Clydesdale origins are from the Clyde Valley Clydesdale area in Scotland. During the 18th century local mares were crossed with the Flemish horse from South Africa, other English breeds and later Shire blood was also added. The goal was to improve and refine the existing breed for agriculture uses.
The most distinguish characteristic of the breed is their feathering on the lower legs and they are also known for their size. That makes them easily recognizable. The average height is between 16.3-18 hands high. Some stallions can stand more than 18 hands and weigh over 1000 kg. The average weight of the Clydesdale horse is between 820-910 kg.Bay is the most common coat color that appears at the Clydesdale horse, but brown, chestnut, black, grey and roan can also occur.
They are often white underbelly and the feathers above the hooves are mostly white, although at black legs they are black. The Clydesdale has a beautiful, strong head with a straight or slightly convex profile. They have a broad forehead, eyes are bright and intelligent the ears are small and the muzzle is wide and sometimes can be white with black spots around the lips. The neck is long, crested and arched, withers are very high shoulders are sloping with heavy bone structure back is short and chest is deep.
The legs are long and well formed, high quality feet are rounded and hooves are striped, black and white.Initially the Clydesdale horses were used as pack horses, for transport, pulling carts, draft and forestry work. Queen Elizabeth was very impressed of the appearance of a colorful Clydesdale, which was pulling milk cart, that she pressed it into royal service as a drum carrier. In the past they were used as war horse.
Today they are very popular at advertising, being Budweiser Beer Companys mascots for over 75 years. There were eight horses at the beginning and today there are five teams of amazingly beautiful Clydesdale horses with great size. All of them are bay with white feathering, trained and dressed up for shows and parades.
The Clydesdales are famous for their grace, high stepping leg action with a seemingly eager, active gait, giving an impression of quality and power. They have been influential, spreading its bloodlines worldwide, creating and improving many heavy breeds.
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