Top 5 Small Draft Horse Breeds That Will Blow Your Mind

Horses are one of the most common pet animals that have been used for riding and games since the early ages. These animals generally, are usually muscular and large in size used mainly for manual labor. However, as years go by, crossbreeding give rise to a new category of horse which is the small draft horse breeds.

Are you confused about petting small draft horse breeds?

Well, let us tell you they aren’t just a past thing. After the Second World War, 2,000 registered draft horses remained in the country. But in the 1970s, they started becoming popular.

So, are you seeking the right small draft horse breed for your farm? We have completed our research over the top 5 best small draft horse breeds. For your right purchase, we have made the entire process easier for you.

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What Are Small Draft Horse Breeds?

The term draft means to pull or draw out a cart, which describes the motive of this animal breed. The draft horses are very strong, easygoing, and patient.

As you know, horses are very big in size, but the height of draft horses is 4.5 feet to 6 feet. We have categorized small draft horses according to their height. Those are:

  • Belgian Draft
  • Haflinger
  • Irish Draft
  • Percheron
  • Shire

The best things about the small draft horse breed are that they aren’t used for work only; they can be ridden by anyone. And many of them can be ridden in either English or Western-style too. 

Many people still believe that small draft horses can be found in show rings, having the ability to compete in halter, dressage, conformation, and jumper/hunter classes too.

Here in this article, you are going to know about the top 5 small draft horse breeds for your farm or house. You will get a piece of good information about different breeds, characteristics, price, and size or weight.

Top 5 Small Draft Horse Breeds 

There are many other niche works that draft horses can fill, too. Below we have listed a few specifications and a comparison of the top 5 small draft horses.

BreedsSizeAppearanceCost
Belgian Draft5.5 feet to 6.5 feet1,800 pounds to 2,200 poundsLarge head, muscular legs, feet (minimum feather).$4,000 to $7,000
Haflinger4.5 feet to 5 feet800 pounds to 1,300 poundsChestnut color, white or flaxen mane, and tail. $5,000 
Irish Draft5 feet to 6 feet1,300 pounds to 1,400 pounds Strong bones, wide forehead, bold head, and long ears.$10,000
Percheron5 feet to 6 feet1,600 pounds to 2,300 poundsWhite markings and black or grey color.$1,000 to $10,000
Shire5.3 feet to 6.3 feet1,800 pounds to 2,500 poundsCoarse in build, feathered legs and chestnut (bay, brown, black, or gray)$2,000 to $20,000
Size, appearance and price comparison chart of small draft horse breeds.

Belgian Draft

Belgian Draft
A group of Belgian Draft horse feeding outside

The Belgian Draft horse is called by different names in different places. This breed originated from modern Belgium’s Brabant region.

The size of Belgian Draft is 5.5 feet to 6.5 feet and weighs approx 1,800 pounds to 2,200 pounds. 

The Belgian draft horse is best known as a good decision maker and brave. This breed is self-aware and gentle.

The American Belgians are mostly light chestnut; they have a flaxen mane and a tail. Their head is comparatively well-shaped and small. American Belgians Draft in North America is not as huge as the European Brabant; however, both have a similar build.

The Belgian draft breed needs to be groomed frequently and regularly. They have to feather around the feet, which need to be maintained and tangled-free. Remember to pay attention to the hooves and keep them trimmed.

Their lifespan is 20 years or more. You can buy a Belgian Draft horse at $4,000 to $7,000. 

Haflinger

Haflinger small draft horse breed
Haflinger small draft horse breed

The other name for Haflinger is the Avelignese. This horse breed was developed in northern Italy (named Hafling in the South Tyrol part) and Austria during the 19th century. The  Haflinger came after the crossing of a mountain pony and an Arabian stallion.

The size of Haflinger is approx 4.5 feet to 5 feet. While they weigh about 800 pounds to 1,300 pounds.

The Haflinger is a hardy, compact, and strong horse highly popular among adults and children. You can see this breed performing driving, excelling in dressage, trail riding, and jumping.

The Haflinger horse breed is hardy and so sound, they can survive on fewer amounts of food. They have strong lungs and heart and lungs to survive in the mountain air. They can remain healthy and active for up to 40 years.

The average price of this breed is approx $5,000 or more. 

Irish Draft

Irish Draft
Irish Draft

The Irish Draft horses are Ireland’s national horse breed, which was initially developed for farming use. They are also known as Irish Draught Sport Horses.

The size of the Irish Draft Horse is 5 feet to 6 feet and weighs 1,300 pounds to 1,400 pounds.

The Irish Draft Horses are versatile, athletic, and powerful animals. This breed is best known for its willing nature, good temperament, and docility. They have a pleasant head, a short shin, good bone, and a good spring of rib.

Irish Drafts are usually crossbred with Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds to produce a top-quality sport horse. 

This horse breed requires regular grooming, which consists of brushing and bathing. And take good care of their hooves, ears, and eyes.

The average price of an Irish Draft horse is approx $10,000.

According to The Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association (IDHBA), this breed is known as “Horse For All Seasons.”

Percheron

Percheron breed of small draft horse
Percheron breed of small draft horse

The Percheron horse breeds originated in the Huisne river valley. Although the exact origins of this breed are still unknown, their ancestors have been in the valley since the 17th century. Percheron was bred as war horses.

The height of Percheron is approx 5 feet to 6 feet. And the weight of these horses is 1,600 pounds to 2,300 pounds.

Usually, Percherons horse breed is black or gray in color, they are well muscled. This breed is best known for its willingness to work and intelligence.

Originally bred as war horses, Percherons were warhorses; but, today they can be seen as pulling carriages, hayrides, and sleighs. With their stamina and strength, they are ideal for use in farms and logging.

The Percheron is not prone to health issues and is an easy keeper for owners. Grooming them in a good way is important for this horse breed. In cold climates, their coats can get really heavier and the hair over their ankles can approach bacteria in the mud or soil.

The average price of the Percheron is approx. $1,000 to $10,000.

Shire

Shire small draft breed
Shire small draft breed

Shire horse is a British draught horse breed. You can see them in grey, black and bay color. It originated in the middle section of England. 

The Shire draft horse breed was established in the mid of the 18th century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, their count of Shires increased, and many of them exported to the U.S.

The height of the Shire breed is 5.3 feet to 6.3 feet, and their weight goes up to 1,800 pounds to 2,500 pounds.

The temperament of Shire’s draft horse breed is usually good. They are docile and sometimes quite tough to handle. The Shire breed speaks easily and is reliable by nature.

The Shire horse breed was originally used to draw carriages to pass brew from the factory to the public houses.

Shire horses eat well, so provide them with plenty of hay and water. Take care of their feathered ankle to avoid scratches. The Shire horses require a big stable or room for moving around. 

You can buy this breed for $2,000 to $20,000, and it is quite expensive.

How To Take Care Of Draft Horses?

Like other pets, the draft horses need to be treated well. Basically, in homesteads and farms, draft horses are used to carry a heavy load. Below we have enlisted 5 tips to take care of your pet:

  • Keep your draft horse in a big room or in a three-side covered stable.
  • Provide them suitable living conditions.
  • Grooming is a must, so clean their body, feet, and ears.
  • Fresh hay and clean water is required for every type of horse breed. 
  • Your favorite horse needs regular worming, vaccinations, and evaluations for lameness issues.

Conclusion 

We hope you have found the required information and enjoyed reading the specifications of different small draft horse breeds.

We recommend comparing the prices and characteristics of every breed. Let us know when you are adding a new horse to your farm?

Do let us know your views in the comment section.