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Draft Horse Harness

Driving draft horses in harness is a popular pastime in the United States and worldwide. In some areas draft horses are still used for work as they have been for centuries.



Below you will find draft horse harness for sale. Please scroll down for the definition of a draft horse, and information about common draft horse breeds.

Below: A pair of harnessed Haflingers pull a plow. Haflingers are a versatile breed, often used for riding, driving, and as a small draft horse.

Haflinger draft horses in harness


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What Is A Draft Horse?

By strict definition, a "draft horse" is any horse used for pulling heavy loads (the word draft means means "to draw" or "haul").

However, to most of us, the phrase "draft horse" is used to mean a horse that is one of the heavy, large, and powerful draft breeds such as Percheron, Belgian, Clydesdale, Shire, and so on. These breeds of horses are not only quite tall, they are heavily muscled and very powerful.

Below: A Percheron draft horse works in harness.

A gray Percheron draft horse pulls in harness


Draft Horse Breeds

There are numerous draft horse breeds in the United States and the world. Below are four of the most common breeds of draft horse.

Percheron - Percherons can range in height from between 15 to 19 hands, with ranges from 16.2 to about 17.3 being common. Their color is well known for most commonly being gray or black, but other colors such as sorrel, bay, roan, etc. are also found in the breed. They typically have quiet and gentle natures.

Below: A team of six matching Percheron draft horses in matching harness pull a wagon.

Draft horses pulling a wagon

 

Belgian - Belgians are most commonly approximately 16.2 - 17 hands in height, but can be found considerably taller. Their most predominant color pattern is sorrel or roan with a much lighter mane and tail with wide blazes and tall white socks or stockings. Like most of the draft breeds, Belgians are known for their gentle, easy-going dispositions. The Belgian draft horse is currently the most common breed of draft horse in the United States.

Below: A team of Belgian draft horses pull a stagecoach.

A harnessed team of Belgian draft horses pull a stagecoach

 

Clydesdale - Clydesdales are typically larger than both Percherons and Belgians, with a mature height of over 18 hands being common. They come in a range of colors, with bay, brown, chestnut or sorrel, and black being common. White hairs scattered throughout the body ("roan") is also common, as are very wide blazes, tall white socks or stockings, and white spots on the body.

Below: Harnessed Clydesdales pull a plow.

Two Clydesdale horses in draft harness pull a plow

 

Shire - Shires typically reach a mature height of approximately 17.2 hands. Their preferred colors are black, brown, bay, or grey. White patches or roan color patterns are discouraged or even banned.



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