Belgian Horse

Belgian Horse photo
Photograph by Flyhighplato. License: Public Domain.


Other Names
Brabant, Belgian Heavy Horse

The Belgian horse is the strongest and most powerful of all the draft horse breeds in the world. In addition to being the strongest, these horses also hold the record for being the tallest and largest horses in the world. The Belgian horses are the contribution of West Brabantian region of Belgium to the world. Hence, this breed is also called the “Brabant”. Belgian heavy horse and Brabancon are the other names that are used to refer to this horse.

The height of an average Belgian horse is between 15.3-17.3 hands. However, the current record holder for the tallest horse is Radar who stands around 19. 3 hands tall. The world’s largest horse called Brooklyn Supreme stand 19.2 hands tall. Though the average weight of the horses in this breed is around 2,000 lbs, Radar weighs over 2,400 lbs and Brooklyn Supreme weighs a whooping 3,200 lbs!! Thanks to the trait of being very powerful, these horses are capable of pulling heavy amounts of weight.

The head of the Belgian horse is square with either a straight or slightly concave profile. Their short neck is muscular. They have a wide back which is short. The body is short and has a deep girth. They have strong legs that are lean and have medium to heave feathering. These horses have a good gait. Their action is well suited for draft work which is what they are made for.

The Belgian horses are intelligent animals. They are also well known for their kindness and docility. They are hard working creatures and willing to please.

15.3 - 17.3 hands

The traditional coat colors of the Belgian horses are roan, chestnut, bay and black.

Suitable for
The Belgian horses are used in the field of agriculture for draft work. They are also used for pulling wagons and for pleasure riding. They also participate in various draft competitions. These horses are also used as show horses and for trail riding. The Belgian horses are also bred for their meat.

The Belgian Horses are among the ancient breeds of Europe that contributed to the development of many other draft breeds. The “Great Horse” of the medieval times is considered to be the predecessors of this breed. These animals carried the knights on their back when people went to war. The purebreds have been exported to many countries all around the world in order to enhance the other draft breeds.

In the 18th century an official studbook for this breed was released. Three types of Belgian horses were in existence till the beginning of the 20th century. They were “The Big Horse of Dendre”, “The Colossal Horse of Mehaigne” and “The Grey Horse of Nivelles”.

The advent of mechanization and industrialization post The World War II led to the decline in the number of Belgian Horses. However, in modern times, there has been an increased level of interest for this breed in America which is helping in bringing up their numbers slightly.