The Brabant, often referred to as the Belgian Heavy Draft, is the ancestor of the well-known “blond” Belgian Draft horse that we see in the United States. For ease of use, this name has been abbreviated to Belgian. To start the story, it’s believed that Belgians are the direct lineal descendants of the “Great Horse” of the middle ages. The lowlands area of Western Europe gave rise to the large black Flemish horses that was referred to by medieval writers.
The Brabant, or Belgian Heavy Draft, was ideally suited to the climate and rich, heavy soil of the region, thus Belgian breeders over the years defied pressure to make lighter cavalry horses and focused on breeding it. The Belgian breeders were able to create a versatile heavy draft horse with remarkable power by preventing foreign blood from entering the breed and using selective breeding to foster desired attributes.
The Belgian horse’s average height is between 16 and 17 hands tall (1.62 to 1.72 meters) The head is relatively petite, elegant, and has a thoughtful look. Although not as “huge” as the Brabant, the Belgian Draft is more frequently seen in the United States and nevertheless has the same proportions.
The physique is small, with a narrow, short back and strong loins. Massive quarters with a distinctive “double muscling” across the croup. The legs are short and powerful, and the gaskins are highly muscled. For a draft horse, the hooves are medium in size and just lightly feathered.
The majority of early Belgians were bay, with chestnut/sorrel and roan coming a close second. The sorrel and roan colors, however, have been bred for by American breeders since the 1920s, and now these are by far the most popular colors of Belgian horses in the US. The chestnut or sorrel color, with its white mane and tail, white facial stripe, and four white socks, is the most sought-after color.
The Belgian is renowned for its gentle demeanor and manageability. They are still employed for a variety of draft tasks, including as sleigh and hitch pulling, forestry, and plowing. In addition, riding draft horses is becoming more and more common in a range of disciplines, including western and jumping.
Are Belgian horses good for beginners ?
Selecting a Belgian horse for a new rider would be an unusual choice due to the horse’s size and strength, but it’s not uncommon as the breed is so popular. Due to their superb temperament, these horses do often become school horses for beginners. They are gentle in hand and under saddle and owners will tell you they’re beloved for their intelligence. The gentle giants are known for being quiet and docile and yet more than willing to please when tasked with a job they understand. They’re hard-working animals that are loyal, easy to handle, and friendly to their human companions.
The following footage is about the gentle giant Belgian Draft horse named Simon van Straten. The stunning black horse gallops around in the pasture showing off his majesty.