The pre-industrial motor

A draft horse (US), draught horse (UK and Commonwealth) or dray horse (from the Old English dragan meaning "to draw or haul"; compare Dutch dragen and German tragen meaning "to carry" and Danish drage meaning "to draw" or "to fare"), less often called a carthorse, work horse or heavy horse, is a large horse bred to be a working animal doing hard tasks such as ploughing and other farm labour. 

Draft horses and draft crossbreds are versatile breeds used today for a multitude of purposes, including farming, draft horse shows, logging, recreation, and other uses. They are also commonly used for crossbreeding, especially to light riding breeds such as the thoroughbred, for the purpose of creating sport horses of the warmblood type. While most draft horses are used for driving, they can be ridden and some of the lighter draft breeds are capable performers under saddle.

Working terrain

Most of the time on hard ground

Rest place/daily stay

Outside and in stables

Horse characteristics

There are a number of breeds, with varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.

Shoeing location



When shoeing a draft horse, your tools must be made for the job. The shoes are bigger and thicker and the nail sizes are correspondingly so. Anvil, forging tong, nail hammer; they all have to be heavier and bigger than normal. Hot shoeing is a must, because it is almost impossible to shape a thick shoe when it is cold. Toe clipped shoes are recommended as this helps the propulsion.

Show our draft horses products
Draft horse in competition

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