15 facts about the Ardennes horse (2023)

You may not have heard of the Ardennes horse breed before, but once you do, you'll be amazed not only by its looks but also its peaceful personality and long history.

15 facts about the Ardennes horse (1)

This majestically beautiful horse breed is one of the oldest draft horse breeds in the world.Hailing from Belgium and France, these horses are as unique as they are breathtaking.They have changed over the years, but one thing remains the same. Ardennes horses are here for the long haul.

Here are just a few fascinating facts about this fascinating horse breed.


1.Ardennes horses are considered medium-sized draft horses.

The average Ardennes horse is between 15 and 16 hands tall and weighs between 1,500 and 2,200 pounds. They are relatively short compared to their massive girth.

They have shorter necks than typical horses, along with broad, extremely muscular bodies.Thanks to its size and genetics, the Ardennes breed fits well into the draft horse category. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

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2.They are very hardy and can easily withstand harsh winters.

The Ardennes horse owes its unwavering ability to withstand harsh climates to its native climate in the French Ardennes. They were bred to withstand severe winters and extremely cold climates with ease.

They are generally hardy animals and rarely get injured or diseased.Their remarkable size and abundance of hair allow them to stay warm even in extreme cold. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

3.Despite their size, Ardennes horses are very docile and tend to behave calmly.

15 facts about the Ardennes horse (2)

Ardennes horses may be powerful beasts, but that doesn't mean they are difficult to control. On the other hand,This breed is known for its calm and docile personality.

They are easy to train and exhibit very gentle manners, making them very easy to move and handle for adults and children alike. One would think that such a large horse would be difficult to handle with its prodigious strength, but this is simply not the case with the Ardennes breed. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

4.They were world famous as artillery horses in Europe after the French Revolution of 1789.

Their muscular build and short stature, as well as their robustness, made them ideal horses for carrying artillery during various wars in European history.

They were able to transport weapons and ammunition with ease. TTheir attractive demeanor and strength made them perfect candidates for the job,and they were extremely successful and gained a reputation that few horses of the time could match. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

5.Ardennes horses can develop lateral bones, a common hereditary condition that often affects draft horses..

Sidebone is a common condition that manifests itself when a horse's coffin bone cartilage, found in each of its hooves, hardens and turns into bone.

Ardennes horse breeders have been trying to "reduce" this condition for years.A study conducted by two veterinarians, Ove Wattle and Ulf Hedenstrom, found that 95% of Ardennes horses still develop the lateral leg despite efforts to prevent it.

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They also found that horses of this breed lacking lateral bones can produce offspring that develop lateral bones later in life. Fortunately, this condition does not appear to have any adverse effects on horses. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

6.They have beautiful feathers covering their pasterns, a common feature of draft horses.

There are many characteristics of Ardennes horses that make them the beautiful creatures they are today. Most horses have small amounts of hair on the back of their legs, known as fetlocks, but draft horses, including Ardennes, tend to have a larger amount. This is often called feathering. This visually appealing fringe tends to cover the entire hull, especially during the winter months.(Those ones)

7.They are excellent workhorses.for farms and can work in difficult mountainous terrain.

The stature and muscular build of Ardennes horses make them perfect for farm work and clearing a path through difficult mountain terrain.Their calm demeanor allows them to be easily trained for agricultural work, and their undeniable strength allows them to work almost effortlessly.

This remarkable skill helped create an alternative to the popular trend of using the Ardennes horse for meat. While this is still a common aspect of French and Belgian culture, the working skills of the Ardennes horse help cement its place on many farms across Europe. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

8.The Ardennes horse breed has often been used as a basis for new breeds or as a means of improving an established breed.

The many qualities of the Ardennes horse that make him an ideal horse also make him an ideal breeder.Over the years, many other draft horse breeds were created based on the Ardennes breed.

Both the Baltic Ardennes and the Swedish Ardennes were initiated with the Ardennes lineage. This breed was also used to promote the Comtois horse breed. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

9. They are very successful in competitive horse riding events.

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The Ardennes horse has achieved great success in riding events.(Those ones) These events include pulling wagons and carriages, pulling implements with work harnesses, and combined driving competitions.

Draft horses often have their own series of classes, as they can easily pull heavier loads.The Ardennes breed has been extremely successful in draft horse driving events over the years thanks to its impeccable breeding, small stature and muscular build.

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10.That oneAssociation of Riding for the Disabledin the UK uses Ardennes horses as part of its programme.

The calm demeanor of the Ardennes horse makes them excellent candidates for children and adults of all skill levels.

That oneAssociation of Riding for the Disabledhas several Ardennes horses on its premises and uses them for therapeutic riding clinics for the disabled.

These horses are extremely reliable and easy to handle. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

11.They used to be smaller.

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Today, the average Ardennes horse is between 15 and 16 hands tall.In the past, the largest horse in the Ardennes was only 14 hands high.

Its size grew as Belgian draft horses were added to the mix. This gave the Ardennes breed a wider girth and increased height.

They originally weighed around 1,200 pounds before Belgian draft horse blood was added. After that, her weight increased to at least 1,500 pounds and even an impressive 2,200 pounds. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

12. The Ardennes breed is descended from prehistoric horses.

The Ardennes breed is believed to be a direct descendant of Solutrean horses. These horses were short, stocky horses from prehistoric times. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

They were hunted by the prehistoric peoples who lived at the time and were considered the main source of food. These horses existed at the same time as the Gravettian horse, a much smaller and less stocky breed of horse. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

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13.The Ardennes breed comes from years of crossbreeding and breed expansion.

The original Ardennes race did not have the size and energy that the Ardennes of today possess. In 1800, the Ardennes strain was crossed with the Arabian breed by Napoleon for added strength.

Later, more strains were added to the mix. Thoroughbreds as well as Percheron and Boulonnais were added to the Ardennes bloodline to add size and conformation, essentially making him a true draft horse in the truest sense of the word.

Finally, Belgian bloodlines were added to further enhance the greatness of the Ardennes, creating the beautiful Ardennes bloodline that is recognized today. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

14.Clover Oaks Farm in Florida imports, breeds and breeds masterful Ardennes draft horses.

Located north of Tampa, Clover Oaks Farm is one of the few in America to import, breed and show Ardennes horses.They were one of the first farms to import the Ardennes breed to America in 2003.

They just imported champion bloodlines and promoted this rare and unique breed of horse in America. They also successfully breed horses imported from the Ardennes. πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Those ones)

15. Recent popularity due to appearance in Red Dead Redemption 2, the video game

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In 2018, Rockstar Games released the sequel to their classic game Red Dead Redemption. In this version of the video game, players start out as Arthur Morgan.

The Ardennes War Horse is one of the most popular breeds and can be purchased in Bay Roan or Strawberry Roan colors.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an amazing game that allows adult gamers to spend time in the saddle in the comfort of their own home. The Ardennes are just one of many horses to choose from!

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final thoughts

These are just some of the many amazing facts about the history and personality of the Ardennes horse breed. This draft horse can do a lot more than just be a beautiful horse. They make excellent riding horses, are proven champions in the competitive driving world, and are vital on many farms around the world.


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