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August 07, 2008 | | Comments 0

Dutch Draft Horse

Knowing the Dutch Draft Horse

The Dutch Draft Horse is one of those breeds that do not have much past history. Like many modern work horse breeds, this one has a straightforward story. It is hoped that its tale may not end in its disappearance.

The Dutch Draft Horse

There was a point in time when draft horses were highly sought after. They were especially so in various northern European countries. Draft horses were large horse breeds that were intended for heavy, physical farm labor. In fact, the word draft is an old word that now has a modern connotation of pulling, heaving or drawing. In a way, draft horses were the predecessors of today’s farm ploughs and tractors.

Of course, each country had different soil and environmental conditions. This meant that draft horses with different characteristics were also required depending on the place they were going to be used in. Hence, there are now different breeds of draft horses. One breed is the Dutch Draft Horse which has been specifically bred for use in some regions of the Netherlands specifically in Holland

The Dutch Draft Horse looks a bit like the Brabant and the Belgian Draft Horse. This is mainly because the Dutch Draft received some influence from these two horse breeds. Aside from these main bloodline influences, the Dutch Draft also received some influence from Zeeland horses.

Unlike other horses, the Dutch Draft has an uneventful and short history. Some accounts pin the beginning of their breeding in the second decade of the 1900s. It is possible though that the popular use of this draft horse began only during or after the Second World War. In this case, they have had only a few years of serious use before some farms replaced them with mechanical farming tools and equipment.

Dutch Draft Proportions

The Dutch Draft Horse is considered the heaviest or all the other draft horses that originated in the Dutch region. It is however, actually smaller in height compared to other European drafts. It only has a height measurement of 16 hands. Like other draft horses though, it also exhibits a large, heavily muscled body from head to hooves. This is highly ideal for any farm horse.

Aside from large, muscular bodies, Dutch Drafts also have ideal temperaments. Since they need to be managed for farm work, gentleness, and ease of disposition are highly valued traits. The Dutch Draft Horse is particularly noted for its deliberately calm movements. When prompted though, a Dutch Draft can also work quickly and in an animate manner.

Dutch Draft Horse Use

The Dutch Draft is popular for being able to endure long periods of work. This is even if they have to work on heavy loads. The Dutch Draft however also faces the same problems as any draft or work horse alive today. They are no longer as necessary as they once were even in small family farms. Machines now perform the traditional work of draft horses. The Dutch Draft Horses are now a bit limited in number. It is hoped that more effort can be exerted for the preservation of this excellent breed.

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