If you are looking for a big beautiful horse, then the Clydesdale is for you! These draft horses came from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland, which is where they get their name. I was very surprised to learn they were originally one of the smaller breeds of draft horses (!) because every one that I have seen is really large.
You’ve probably seen the famous Budweiser Clydesdales that are in their TV commercials and some of their ads. I got to see them up close once and they are as awesome as you’d imagine them to be! (I love their holiday commercials, by the way, where the horses go clip clopping down the road with jingle bells, don’t you?)
The horses for the Budweiser team are born at Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville MO and you can tour the ranch if you are out that way. (It’s on my list next time I visit my cousins in Missouri.) Each horse that makes the show team must be at least 18 hands high.
You’ll usually see Clydesdales are that are bay but they can also come in black, grey, roan or chestnut. And most of them will have white markings on their face, feet or legs - even on their body every once in awhile. The Budweiser team horse all have black manes and tails.
If you think that a Clydesdales may be slow because of their size, guess again. They really do need a lot of action and exercise. And talk about a big appetite; the folks at Warm Springs Ranch say these horses can eat up to 50 pounds of hay plus 20 - 25 pounds of grain, vitamins and minerals every single day!
As you’d guess, these horses are not afraid of work and they have been used by farmers in the fields and for hauling coal and other heavy loads. Now many people keep them for pleasure riding and even shows.
If you are looking for an intelligent and gorgeous horse, and you are able to care for a horse that will need lots of hay, grain and grass to keep it well fed then you may want to learn more about this breed. One place to find out more is through the Clydesdale Horse Society which has over seven hundred members. Many of them breed this type of horse.