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Coldblood Horses

What are the cold-blood equine breeds?

Large horses with a gentle disposition and a placid interactive style are usually referred to as cold bloods. Cold blooded horses are descendants of the ancient European breeds used for farming, hauling and other types of heavy work.
Early cold blooded horses were also used for war: Medieval knights needed heavy, strong mounts that could be armored and carry a heavily armored man. Charging with a lance also required a horse with weight, and the heavy cold blooded horses proved equal to the task.

Draft horses are considered coldbloods; they tend to be larger than warm and hot blooded horses by a couple of hands and may weight two hundred pounds or more than warm blooded horses. Examples of cold blooded horses include the Clydesdale, the Shire and the Belgian.

Belgian Draft named Spike

photo courtesy of Denise Bell


Cold blooded horses, because of their stolid demeanor and great weight are not suitable for sports other than hauling or pulling competitions at farm shows.

Some people love the look of draft horses, who have thicker coats and manes to enable them to endure rough weather more readily than sleeker horses. Their heads and eyes are large, their legs and shoulders massive, for pulling wagons filled with hay or dung or for being in harness. The horses that once drew wagons of kegged beer or produce through the streets of the major cities of the western world were draft horses. Today, you're most likely to encounter them at working historic farms, in the Amish towns of the Midwest, or at country farm shows.

If you want a horse to work plowing or hauling on your farm or for occasional riding, a cold-blooded horse is a fine choice. Their easy manner makes them gentle with children, and it takes a lot to spook them. Some people mistake their easy going temperament for thick-headedness, but in fact draft horses are very intelligent. Built for endurance, these horses tend to have stronger limbs, often with long, thick hair around their lower legs and hooves for added warmth. These most ancient breeds were used in Europe for all kinds of work and are still bred and worked by enthusiasts.

Here breed considered cold bloods:

      American Cream Draft
      Belgian Heavy Draft
      Black Forest Chestnut
      Clydesdale
      Friesian
      Haflinger
      Noriker
      Percheron
      Poitevin
      Shire
      Suffolk Punch
      Swedish Ardennes

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