Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Draft horses


The Draft Horse - A Great Friend

Equine evolution was characterized by a reduction in the number of toes, from five per foot, to three per foot, to only one toe per foot . Austria is known worldwide for its Lipizzaner horses, used for dressage and high school work in the famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Horses are oriented to be ridden or driven in a mass of different sporting events and competitions.


A number of equine breeds are used as draft horses with the variation being largely geographic. Draft horses are recognizable by their tall stature and extremely muscular build. Additionally, they are general for crossing to lighter breeds, especially the Thoroughbred, to create a good-minded sport equine for amateurs. Draught horses are versatile breeds used today for a multitude of purposes, including draft equine showing, farming, and for pleasure, but all share the traits of strength, stamina, health, longevity, patience and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.
They tend to have short backs with very powerful hindquarters, again best suited for the purpose of pulling. They are also by and large used for cross-breeding, especially to breeds such as the Thoroughbred. These Shire horses are used to pull a Wadworth Brewery dray delivering beer to pubs in the Devizes area of Wiltshire, England. Today, draft horses are again valued as riding horses thanks to their temperament and stamina. The draught equine declined in economic importance following the end of the Second World War, and in the latter half of the twentieth century even the most well-known of the heavy breeds were on the verge of disappearing.
The vast majority of horses used in harness racing are of yet another breed, the Standardbred. They are used in carriage driving activities, pulling coaches, traditional and modern carriages, marathon vehicles, carts and gigs etc.
Andy McMellan writes for the bi-monthy newsletter American Horse Care. It contains useful information on horses and horseback riding.

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