Horses are arguably the most beautiful animals in the animal kingdom. Horses have played an essential role in the history of humankind.
These wonderful beasts have served mankind in various ways, from pulling chariots to riding in parades and competing in races.
Medieval wars were utterly dependent on the speed and strength of the horses.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the world’s tallest horse breeds, their history, and the qualities that distinguish them.
- How tall is the average horse?
- Top 10 tallest horses in the world
- Frequently Asked Questions
How tall is the average horse?
Most people think of horses as large animals, and for the most part, this is correct.
The average horse height is around five feet, and the average weight is between 800 and 1200 pounds.
To be considered a horse, the animal must be at least 57 inches tall. But some equines are only two feet tall!
On the other hand, some massive steeds weigh around 2,200 pounds and stand well over six feet tall.
Top 10 tallest horses in the world
1. Big Jake
Big Jake was the tallest living horse in the world from January 2010 to the end of his life (June 2021). He was a red flaxen Belgian gelding.
Big Jake stood at 20 hands 2.75 inches or 6 ft 10.75 tall. He weighed around 2,600 pounds, according to the Guinness World Records.
The surprising matter is that Big Jake was the offspring of two average-length horses. At the time of birth, he weighed 240 lbs, 100 lbs heavier than what is typical for that breed. Then he kept on growing and broke the record of the tallest living horse in the world.
Unfortunately, the heaviest horse in the world Big Jake died on June 28 of 2021. The world will miss this majestic horse.
2. The Shire
The most giant horse breeds are usually draft horses bred for doing hard tasks like plowing and other farm labor. The Shire is a British breed of these. The Shire is currently the largest horse breed in the world.
The average height of a Shire horse is around 17 to 19 hands, and the average weight is between 1800 to 2400 lbs. The life expectancy of these horses is 25 to 30 years.
The Shire breed came to establishment around the mid-eighteenth century. The usual color of this breed is grey, black, or bay. It is known for its tall, muscular body and feathered legs.
The transition of agriculture and transport into mechanical means reduced the need for Shire horses since the 1960s. Their numbers decreased rapidly from a million to a few thousand.
Currently, the breed is considered “at-risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
A bay colt with white markings on the feet, legs, and face is typical of Clydesdales.
Some Clydesdale horses have marks under their belly. Clydesdales come in a variety of colors, including black, grey, and chestnut.
The average height of a Clydesdale horse is around 16 to 18 hands. Their average weight is about 1800 to 2000 lbs with a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years.
Smooth but lively, this kind of horse is favored for its high training and ease of use. The remarkable features include silky feathery legs, a broad front, and a long arched neck.
Percheron is a breed from the Huisne river valley in the western portion of the former Perche province. The name Percheron originates from there.
Percheron horses were considered the tallest horses in the world at one time. The average height of these horses is around 15 to 19 hands, and their average weight is 1900 to 2000 lbs.
They are generally gray or black and well-known for their intelligence and their desire to work.
Crossbreeding with lighter horses like the Arab had a considerable impact on the size and strength of the Percheron breed.
But there is also a positive; it has also helped make its appearance attractive to the human eye.
Percherons are currently used for parades, riding, horse exhibitions, and many other equine events. They are also among the most intercrossed, particularly if a larger and a smaller horse is mating.
5. Suffolk Punch
The Suffolk Punch got its name from Suffolk, England, home to draft horses since the 1500s.
It is the oldest native horse breed in the United Kingdom, breed largely for farm work. It’s a big draught horse that’s always chestnut colored.
Some of them have white patterns on their legs and their faces. The legs are short, thick, and muscular. The horse is usually rounded, and that’s why it’s given the nickname “Suffolk Punch.”
The average height of a Suffolk Punch is around 16-18 hands, and the average weight is around 1900 to 2000 pounds.
Intelligence, gentle disposition, and readiness work as some of Suffolk’s main characteristics. The breed also needs relatively little food, which makes domesticating easy.
6. Belgian Draft
At the time of origin, this breed was known as the Flanders Horse. Later it became known as the Belgian draft for convenience. Belgian Drafts are historically used for all kinds of farming activities.
Even to this day, there are countries where these horses are used in agricultural work.
The average height of a Belgian draft horse is around 15 to 18 hands, and the average weight is around 1800 to 2200 pounds.
Despite having feathered hooves like Shires and Clydesdales, Belgian Drafts do not have the long, graceful necks of these two breeds; instead, their necks are short and muscular.
The majority of them are bay, roan, sorrel, or chestnut colored.
7. Dutch Draft
The Dutch Draft is a rare breed of draft horse that originated in the Netherlands. It is a cold-blooded creature with a large build and a calm demeanor, and high stamina.
It currently ranks as among the largest horses ever known.
The average height of these horses is around 15 to 17 hands, and the average weight is between 1500 to 1700 pounds. They have a relatively smaller life expectancy, approximately 15 to 20 years.
Dutch Drafts have excelled at farm work for many years, where they have been employed to draw enormous loads for long periods.
In addition, these horses are seen to walk more slowly than other draft breeds.
8. American Cream Draft
The USA lost a lot of its previous horse breeds. The American Cream Draft is the only historic American breed still living.
All breed horses are recognized by their unique cream color, also known as “gold champagne.” American Cream Draft was first bred in Iowa in the early twentieth century.
Its existence was under threat in the 1930s during the great depression, but it somehow managed to survive the crisis.
The average height of this breed is around 15 to 16.5 hands, and the average weight is around 1600 to 1800 pounds. Their life expectancy is 25 to 30 years.
Currently, this breed is under threat of extinction due to an autosomal recessive genetic disease.
9. Australian Draught
In Australia, the genesis of draught horses was when English and Flamingo cart breeds were introduced to Australia in the early 1800s. The breed was developed by crossbreeding between The Shire, Percheron, Clydesdale, and Suffolk Punch.
Their color can be diverse hues from white, black, gray, roan, and brown due to the multiple horse breeds. Recently, the Belgian Draft blood has also been added to the breed, resulting in new colors and characteristics within the race.
The average height of an Australian Draught is around 16 to 17 hands, and the average weight is around 1350 to 2000 lbs.
The common characteristics are a moderately long neck, broad chest, rear and hip, and a well-muscled shoulder.
The Australian Draught competes in plowing, harnessing, and leading classes and sometimes forestry when machinery is not viable.
Bulonnais, the most elegant of all drafts, is also known as the White Marble.
It has been one of the most historic breeds since time immemorial, and its genesis dates back to when there were no crusades.
According to one historical estimation, the origin of this breed can be traced back to the time of Julius Ceaser’s invasion of England. Naturally, this breed has been modified many times by humans by crossbreeding with other breeds.
The modern Boulonnais was bred around the 19th century.
The average height of a Boulonnais horse is around 15 to 17 hands, and the average weight is around 1300 to 1700 pounds.
These horses are easy to work with despite their big size. They are friendly, active, and enthusiastic, making them great friends for humans.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope you learned something about these horses from our article. If you have any comments or queries, let us know in the comments below.
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