Germanys own Draft Horse the Rhineland

Draft horses were bred to be workhorses in earlier times. They were used to plow the fields, pull the carriages and haul the large loads. They had to be strong and hearty horses.

The Rhineland Heavy Draft is a breed that belongs to Germany. This breed of horse generally has a gentle temperament, is good natured and matures quite early.  They are quick to learn and eager to please. This breed is also known by many other names to include German Coldblood, Rhenisch-Deutsches Kaltblut, Rhenish-German or Rhenish-Belgian.

Breeders went to great lengths to get horses that could handle the work. It used to be a matter of survival. The Rhineland Heavy Draft were developed mainly from Belgian drafts horses, and there are infusions from the Clydesdale, Ardennes, Boulonnais and Percheron.

In 1876 there was a studbook started for the recording of the breed. The main center for this breed is located in Wickrath. By the early 20th century the Rhineland has become by far the most popular draft horse in Germany.

The Rhineland Heavy Drafts come in a fairly wide array of colors. The body can be red roan, chestnut, sorrel, or chestnut roan and they have a distinctive blonde mane and tail, typically. The draft horses stand at the height of 16 to 17 hands. In case you are not familiar with the term hands, it is how a horse was traditionally measured. The measurement is about 4 inches. So 16 hands would be 16 x 4 inches.

This particular breed for draft horses are known for their well shaped head and very heavy jaw. Their necks are touted to be very strong and they have a high crest. For a draft horse the Rhineland Heavy Draft is considered short, but with very strong legs. The cannon bones are short and the feet are very strong.

Obviously the need for these kind of horses is outdated. They can be used for show horses and to pull carriages, but there is no need for major breeding. Machines do the work they were bred to do. So now this breed is one of the most rare draft horses in Germany. It is estimated that only 2 percent of the draft horses in Germany are Rhineland Heavy Drafts.

There is an interesting new breed that they are experimenting with that begins with the Rhineland Heavy Draft. They are trying to develop new sports horse breed by infusion with Arabian, Thoroughbred and Hanoverian blood. The goal would be a breed that is capable of competing in dressage, show jumping, and three day eventing.

It is great to keep the breed alive and well. It is great to venture out as well.