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Draft Horse History

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We are proud to present a second page of both Draft Horse Pictures and additional Draft Horse History. This page will continue to grow as we find more and more great Belgian Horse Pictures. So remember to: BOOK MARK THIS PAGE and to check back from time to time for new photos and information. / Steve


History and Origin of the Belgian Draft Horse Breed
by Draft Horse Pictures

History shows that Belgians are direct lineal descendants of the "Great Horse" of medieval times. The Belgian, as the name implies, is native to the country of Belgium. This little country is blessed with fertile soil and abundant rainfall, providing the thrifty farmers of Belgium with the excellent pastures and the hay and grain necessary to develop a heavy, powerful breed of horse.

Belgium lies in the very center of that area of Western Europe that gave rise to the large black horses known as Flemish horses and referred to as the "Great Horses" by medieval writers. They are the horses that carried armored knights into battle. Such horses were known to exist in that part of Europe in the time of Caesar. They provided the genetic material from which nearly all the modern draft breeds are fashioned.

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The Resurgence of the Draft Horse by Draft Horse Pictures

In the US today, there are more Belgians than all other draft breeds combined. Looking at the following reasons will explain the resurgence in draft horse fortunes, and the reasons for the remarkable success of the Belgian in particular.1. A growing ecological awareness that some of the tools and methods of modern agriculture were destructive, causing many to seek alternatives, among which is the draft horse as a source of power 2. An economic crunch that makes home grown power, that runs on home grown fuel, which in turn enriches the soil in the form of manure, reproduces itself plus provides a surplus for sale, and appreciates rather than depreciates for the first half of its life, look better and better.3. Their beauty. The draft horse at his best is a spectacular beast. Once booted out at some fairs for being behind the times, they are now welcomed back as crowd pleasers. More increasingly big commercial firms are also looking to the Belgian hitch as an advertising vehicle.4. Nostalgia plays a role, albeit a minor one. Increasing numbers of horse-minded people are finding their pleasure horse in the form of a team of Belgians. Their good disposition and willingness to work make them great favorites on some of the small part-time "sundowner and weekender" type farms that continue to increase in number.


Why the Belgian Success by Draft Horse Pictures

The changes made by American breeders have developed a horse with far more style, particular in the head and neck, with more slope to both shoulder and pastern, and the good clean, flat bone that goes hand in hand with such qualities.The modern Belgian is still a great worker, and has become an excellent wagon horse. The fact that the Belgians are equally effective in pulling competition as in a hitch competition says much for the breed.Along with these changes in conformation has come a color change. The original imports came in many color coats with a predominance of bay. There were also roans, chestnut-sorrels and even a few grays. There was no particular color at the onset.

The fact that Belgians are by far the most numerous of all draft breeds in this country, plus the fact that they are much a one-color breed, makes it easier to mate a horse when needed and offers owners a much bigger market when they wish to sell.

The Belgian usually exceeds 16 hands in height and very often exceeds 18 hands. It is a docile horse and a willing worker. The American Belgian has a relatively large head and short, feathered, muscular legs and large quarters. The feet are large and have minimum feather. In America, its color is usually chestnut or roan with white or blonde mane, tail and points wich can be seen in most Draft Horse Pictures. Its weight averages between 1800 and 2000 pounds; some stallions reach 2400.

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American Cream Draft Horse Pictures

History and Origin of the Breed

The American Cream is the only draft breed to originate in the United States. The breed descended from a draft type mare with an outstanding cream color. 'Old Granny' (the first registered American Cream) appeared at a farm auction in Story County, Iowa in 1911. Her foaling date has been placed between 1900 and 1905. She was purchased by a well-known stock dealer, Harry Lakin, and began to foal several cream colored colts on the Lakin farm, all of which sold for above average prices. Eric Christian, a veterinarian in the area, became attracted to one of Granny's stallions and persuaded the Nelson Bros. of Jewell, Iowa to keep the colt. Nelson's Buck is regarded as the progenitor of the breed. He was kept as a stallion and sired several cream offspring but Yancy, a cream colt out of black Percheron mare would be his only registered get. Yancy would go on to sire Knox 1st in 1926 out of a bay grade Shire mare. Knox 1st would go on to sire the most influential stallion to the American Cream, Silver Lace.

Breed Characteristics

The ideal American Cream is a medium cream color with white mane and tail, pink skin and amber eyes. Some white markings are also very desirable. Pink skin is the determining factor in securing this rich cream color. Dark-skinned Creams often do not have a satisfactory color. Further when mated with other Creams, they generally produce too light or nearly white offspring. Therefore, the most sought after strain of American Creams has always carried the pink skin trait as can be seen in many Draft Horse Pictures. These vary but little in color throughout the year and the white markings contrast beautifully with their rich cream color. The amber eyes are also an unusual and distinguishing trait of the American Creams. The colts are foaled with nearly white eyes. In a short time they begin to darken and by maturity have turned to an amber color.

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The American Cream draft horse

The American Cream draft horse may be classified as a medium draft type. In the beginning, American Creams weighed perhaps less than 1,400 pounds, but their weight increased until by 1950 some mares weighed 1,600 to 1,800 pounds and some stallions weighed a ton or more. Early breeders attributed this size increased to selective breeding of the most promising American Creams to outstanding animals of other breeds. Draft Horse Pictures show Height ranges from 15.1 to 16.3 hands. With their type and action, they make good show horses and also are of a size that fits into the average person's plans.A characteristic of these horses, which makes a lasting impression on those who have handled them, is their good disposition. The person who keeps a team wants one not only trustworthy, but one in which they can take pride as well. They will, therefore, be pleased to note the uniformity in color and type of the American Creams, making for easily matched teams.Early records show that the percentage of Cream colts foaled to parents who were both cream colored was about 75%. The more Cream breeding in the foal's background, the more sure it was to be Cream. In later years both inbreeding and line breeding were practiced with many good results in both type and color.

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Draft Posters 2013

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Clydesdales 2013

Clydesdales - 2013 Wall Calendar

Often referred to as the "Gentle Giant", the Clydesdale is a Scottish breed that was bred as a farmer's working horse. Over the years these intelligent, sturdy animals have become popular with recreational riders. Perhaps even more so than its incredible physique, the Clydesdale's most distinctive feature is the long silky bouquet of hair growing below its knees, swaying gracefully with every step of its feet. Those who appreciate these magnificent horses are sure to enjoy these Clydesdales wall Horse-Calendars.

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