Lithuanian Heavy Draught




Lithuanian Heavy Draught photo
Photograph by Novickas. License: Public Domain.




FACTS

Description
The Lithuanian Heavy Draught is a heavy draft horse breed. It has a large, well muscled and well boned body. The head is medium sized with a straight profile and the neck is well set, thick and strong. The back is long and slightly curved while the chest is deep and wide. The legs are short, strong and muscular and have very little feather. Lithuanian Heavy Draughts have very strong hindquarters and hooves. Overall, they have they have the appearance of a very robust animal.

Size
15 to 16 hands

Colours
The Lithuanian Heavy Draught usually comes in chestnut. Other common colors are black, bay and gray. The mane and tail are usually flaxen.

Temperament
The horse has a very calm disposition and is a willing worker. It can cope well in adverse conditions without complaining and will work hard without tiring easily. These horses possess exceptional stamina and endurance, are intelligent and willing to learn.

Suitable for
The Lithuanian Heavy Draught's strength and endurance make it suitable for heavy work. These horses are mainly used in agriculture and perform heavy draft work. They are also used in the meat industry. Their docile nature makes them wonderful companion animals.

Care
Draught horses are generally stronger and larger than many other horse breeds. This means that they require much more food than other breeds. They need approximately twice as much food as other horses in order to develop properly and thrive. They also need more space than other breeds, if kept indoors. In cold climates, draught horses develop heavy coats, so a good grooming is essential to keep them clean.

History
The Lithuanian Heavy Draught breed was developed in Russia towards the end of the 19th century. It is the outcome of the crossing of the Zhmud breed with Swedish and Finnish breeds. Although the breeding of Lithuanian Heavy Draughts began in 1894, the breed only became registered in 1963. By 1964 the breed had become very popular in Lithuania, with more than 62,000 registered individuals. These glory days are long gone, as the breed is nowadays almost extinct.

Breeding
All stallions of the breed have to pass certain tests before they qualify for breeding. This is done in order to ensure the preservation of the breed. Lithuanian Heavy Draughts are sometimes crossed with Altai horses as this has proven to improve their meat yield. They live on average 25-30 years.