Today’s Horse Facts: The Clydesdale

Clydesdale horses are known for their huge size and “feathered” feet.


Today’s Horse Facts: The Clydesdale

Bay Clydesdale with One Black “Feather”


Whenever I think of the Clydesdale breed, I think of either big strong circus horses or muscular steeds that pull heavy wagons. One thing is for sure, no matter what Clydesdales do for their day job, they all have the same look about them: big thick necks, muscular round rumps, and “feathers” on their four feet.

Have you ever touched a Clydesdale? Have you ever ridden one? Clydesdales are usually that huge, they are too big to ride with a saddle. But some brave riders will attempt to straddle a Clydesdale bareback. Ouchy! But these horses are … well, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take our 10-question quiz, and see how much you know about this beautiful breed of draft (draught) horses:

  1. The Clydesdale originated through Flemish stallions in Clydesdale, Scotland.
  2. The breed goes as far back as the late 1400s.
  3. A popular use for this breed in the past was war horses.
  4. Clydesdales’ height ranges from 14 hands up.
  5. They can weigh as much as a ton or more.
  6. Clydesdales can be all white.
  7. A distinguishing mark of a registered Clydesdale is his “striped” hooves.
  8. A nickname for Clydesdales is “gypsy horses.”
  9. The breed almost became extinct all over the world by the 1950s.
  10. The Clydesdale has been an important part of the development of the Gypsy Vanner breed.

 Let me know if you got at least eight of these questions correct. If so, then you are a Clydesdale expert! Here are the answers:

  1.  T
  2.  F  It originated in the 1700s.
  3.  T
  4.  F  They range from 16 hands and higher.
  5.  T
  6.  F  They are usually black, bay, brown, or chestnut with white, sometimes black, feathers.
  7.  T
  8.  T
  9.  F  It was only in England that the breed almost became extinct. In the 1970s, British horse lovers started to preserve the breed and now it flourishes in that country. Other countries, like Australia, have successfully bred thousands of Clydesdales over many years.

10.   T 

Clydesdale Mare and Foal


If you want to learn more about this beautiful breed of draft horses, look up these other websites to check on additional facts:

 Next time, we’ll take a ride to visit some Kiger Mustangs. But, you say, you already did Mustangs last November! Well, Kiger Mustangs are a special kind of Mustang, so we’ll take a look at that unique breed due to a personal request by one of our horse loving readers.

Happy riding!


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