Irish Draught horses first “originated” in the early parts of the 20th century. Farmers in Ireland needed a horse which was more versatile than the more common heavy draught horse. The farmers needed a horse that could be used for working the land during the week, be used for leisure or hunting on a Saturday, and still be able to take the family to church on a Sunday morning without tiring out. And so, the Irish Draught horse was born.
The Irish Draught has undergone over a century of selection, and has produced a sound, warm blooded breed. The Irish Draught has good bone, and is a sensible breed. The Irish Draught isn’t as big or heavy as the name suggests, and has a smooth, graceful, free movement.
The Draught has fantastic stamina and excellent jumping abilty, as well as being well tempered and willing to do what is asked of it.
Due to the good naturedness of the breed, it makes an excellent mount for riders, whatever their age – young or old.
The stamina and agility of the Irish Draught means that it is an excellent horse for jumping, dressage and other show related activities.
The Irish Draught generally ranges from around 15.1 hands to 16.3 hands, with the female / mare ranging from 15.1 to 16.1 and the male / stallion ranging from 15.3 to 16.3 – not a massive difference.
A recent documentary (now available to watch on demand on Android TV Boxes) covered the full history of the Irish Draught, as well as going in-depth in the make-up of the horse, from it’s good, clean strong bones to it’s powerful back, strong (but not too muscular) loins and it’s smooth but free movements.
The documentary is an excellent insight for anyone looking to purchase or breed the Irish Draught, and like any horse, careful consideration should be taken into its suitability as well as whether or not you can adequately provide for an animal of this size.