Ardennes Horse

Ardennes Horse photo
Ardennes Stallion
Photograph by Vassil. License: Public Domain.


Other Names

The Ardennes horse falls under the category of draft horses. This is a truly cold-blooded breed that is the also one of the primary draft horse breeds in existence today. This breed gets the name from its place of origin, which is the Ardennes region of France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

These animals have heavy bones and strong and thick legs which make them apt for draft work. The height of these horses ranges between 15-16 hands. Their weight ranges between 1500 to 2200 lbs. These horses have bulky heads and their face is broad with either a straight or convex profile. They have small, but pointed ears.

These horses have a broad and muscular shape. Their body is compact and has a short back. The legs are sturdy but short. The legs have strong joints and the feet are small in comparison with the overall size of this animal. This breed has fetlocks that are feathered. These animals are able and strong.

Despite their size, it is an economical animal to maintain and feed. The Ardennes horses are gentle and kind creatures. They are very tolerant and docile in nature too.

15-16 hands

The most common colors of this horse breed are grey, bay, chestnut, roan and palomino. In rare cases, if the color of the coat is black, such horses are not registered.

Suitable for
In the initial stages, this breed was used as cavalry mounts, thanks to their sturdy nature, strength and stamina. These horses were also used to pull heavy artillery and other supplies.

In modern times, this breed is bred mainly for meat since it has a muscular body. They are also used as farm horses and as pleasure mounts. These horses are also used to improve the quality of other horse breeds.

The Ardennes horse is assumed to be the direct descendant of the pre-historic horse named Solutre. The grounds of Ardennes have been used as the breeding ground for the ancestorss of this breed for over 2000 years. This horse that had a height of just 14 hands during the Roman period was cross bred with the Arabian horses by Napoleon in order to increase the endurance levels and strength. In order to further increase their weight and strength, they were cross bred with the Belgium draft horses.