The Comtois horse, like the Bretons, is the contribution of France to the world. This breed is the second largest breed on the French soil. The Comtois horses belong to the category of draft horses. They originated in the Comte region which is on the border between France and Switzerland.
The Comtois is a horse for light draft work. The height of this horse ranges between 14.1-15.1 hands. They generally weight between 1100-1760 lbs. It has a large head. This horse has small and alert ears. This horse has a straight neck which is short but muscular. This horse has a wide chest and rounded rib cage. The body that has a deep girth is compact and powerful. This horse has a long back which is straight. The legs are short but very strong. They have wide croups with well developed thighs. The hindquarters of this horse are powerful and the legs have slight feathering. This horse is blessed with strong joints and the hooves are hard.
The horses of this breed are hardy and strong. This horse is sure footed and has lively gaits. They have great endurance and energy levels. They are also easily trainable horses.
14.1 - 15.1 hands
The most common coat color of the horses of this breed is chestnut. They also have flaxen tail and mane. The other coat color possible is bay.
These horses were used as a part of the cavalry in the 16th century. In its native France, these horses are still used for timber work and in vineyards. They also are used to move over rough terrains. Since these horses are tough and surefooted, they are used for draft work and work on farms. They are also used as pleasure mounts. These horses are also being extensively bred for meat.
The Comtois horses are believed to be the descendants of the horses from Germany that were brought to France. The Jura Mountains at Franche-Comte have been the breeding grounds of this horse. These horses were initially used to improve the quality of the Burgundy horses.
Other horses like the Ardennes, Norman, Percheron and Boulonnais were cross bred with the Comtois Horse to ensure that they have stronger legs. Today , the breeding of these horse have also spread to the Alps, Massif Central and Pyrenees regions.