Dutch Heavy Draft

The Dutch Heavy Draft is a fairly new species of horse from the Netherlands. After World War I they were developed for heavy draft and farm work by cross-breeding a Brabant, Zeeland-type Dutch mare and a Belgian Ardennes. Since 1925, the only horse allowed to be registered into the stud book is from registered parents. Other names for the breed are Dutch Draft, Dutch Draught or Nederland Trekpaard.

It is a relatively tall horse that stands about 64 inches high. Its coat is normally chestnut, bay or gray, but rarely black. It has a well-formed head, a straight jaw and  a powerful neck. The withers are broad and low and the chest is deep. The shoulders are long and sloping. The back is short with a sloping croup (rear end). It has strong muscular legs with broad joints and is the heaviest Dutch horse breed.

Although the Dutch Draft is a large horse, it is active and does not tire easily. They are intelligent, durable and have a willing temperament.  The breed normally has a long working life. The Dutch Draft is mainly used in agricultural work, like plowing soil or clay. They were a popular horse for work throughout Gelderland, North Brabant and Limburg before mechanical plow equipment was used.

Image Caption: Dutch Heavy Draft. Credit: Summerhayes, R.S./Wikipedia (public domain)