Monday, 9 January 2017

Ardennais Horses

Ardennais horses (or Ardennes) are able to survive the harsh and severe winters of the French Ardennes. 

However, their gentle and docile nature means that they can even be handled by a child. 


The Ardennais is one of the oldest breeds of draft horse.  They are thought to have been used by Julius Caesar and other Roman emperors, although they are now considerably taller, at that time they were usually about 14hh.  

They were used extensively as artillery horses during a number of different wars including the Crusades (11th century) and World War I (20th century).  The Ardennais are also believed to be the only horses to carry back the troops of Napolean from the failed Russian campaign (19th century).  

As their use in the military reduced, Belgian draft blood was introduced to increase the size and weight of the Ardennais to make them more useful as draft horses.  

The breed then suffered during World War II and numbers fell,  however, they are now popular for meat but also to work in forestry and on some farms.  Their stamina, great temperaments and agility make them useful. 


Height:  Up to 15.3hh

Colour:  Bay, chestnut or roan.

Conformation:  The head is large and set on a thick neck.  They are very heavily built with powerful quarters and short but strong legs.  They have a short and stocky appearance as they stand close to the ground and are so muscular.

Temperament: Extremely docile.

Used  for agricultural and forestry work.

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Until next time!

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