Largest Horse Breeds In The World – Complete Guide

The world of horses is a diverse place, with many different breeds and types. Some are tall and some are short, some have wide shoulders and some have long legs – but when it comes to the largest horse breeds in the world, there are only a few that stand out from the rest.

The following blog post will take you through all of them.

What Are The Largest Horse Breeds In The World?

Horses are incredible animals. They have been used for centuries as a source of transportation, and they have become the focal point of many cultures around the world.

These animals are graceful and powerful if you ever stop to think about them.

As for the largest horse breeds in the world, there are currently only a handful that come close to being considered “big horses”“.

There is more to horse breeds than just their use in war or as pets – there are over 300 different types of horses.

Let’s explore this topic in more detail when it comes to the largest, specific horse breeds.

Largest Horse Breeds In The World

The largest horse breeds in the world are often thought of as draft horses, but that is not always true. The Clydesdale and Shire can be considered some of the largest horse breeds in the world, with a height range from 16 to 17 hands tall. These heights may seem small compared to other animals like elephants and giraffes, but they are still taller than the average human standing at five feet.

Draft Horse Breeds (History, Facts and Stats)

Draft horses are bred to have a more muscular build, which is why they often seem larger than other breeds. Draft horse sub-breeds include the Clydesdale and Percheron – two of the biggest stallions in the world.

Draft horses were originally bred to be strong and large, not for racing or riding like other breeds. They are generally docile animals that have a long life span – more than 25 years – which makes them ideal livestock for farming and pulling carts in carriages.

Drafts were first used by humans as early as 2500 BCE. They were mainly used by the military and for pulling heavy loads through deep snow or mud, although they are sometimes still seen in farming today.

Draft horses may seem large to humans – taller than six feet at times- but they’re still smaller than animals like elephants and giraffes. They have a reputation as being very gentle and tolerant of humans. They are sometimes called “gentle giants.”

They can be any color, but the most common types are brown or black with white markings on their heads, faces, legs, and feet.

Draft horses usually stand between 16 to 19 hands in height (64-76 inches), although some breeds have been known to reach 20 hands.

Drafts are usually born with a natural gait that is smooth and comfortable for riding – some breeds can trot or pace the way a human might walk instead of just walking awkwardly as most horses do.

Some draft horse breeds include Percherons, Belgian Draft Horses, Shire Horses, Clydesdales, Haflingers, Oldenburgers-Witheringsires.

These horses are usually used in agricultural work because they have such a calm and patient demeanor with humans, other animals, and livestock.

They’re also bred to be very heavy-weight (2000 pounds or more – 910 kg).

The only downside that these breeds of horse share are their lack of speed since it’s tough for them to gallop or trot quickly on long distances – but they can easily walk at speeds up to 4 miles per hour (on average).

Clydesdale Horse Breed

The Clydesdale is a horse breed that was developed in Scotland. The name comes from the Scottish town of Lanarkshire which has been called “Clydesdale” since 1826.

It is one of the largest breeds and can be used for draft work because they are strong enough to pull heavy loads but also have a high degree of stamina. They were originally bred as farm horses, but today are often used in parades or even movies due to their large size.

The Clydesdale is one of the biggest horse breeds in the world, and can stand from 16.25 hands (66 inches) at the shoulder. They range from a weight of 800 pounds for females up to 1800-2200 pounds for males.

The average height is about 15 hands or 68 inches tall, not including ears. These horses are strong enough to pull heavy loads but also have high stamina so they’re perfect for farm work because they’re used every day doing many different jobs on farms such as plowing fields, pulling carts, and carrying loads.

Shire Horse Breed

The Shire horse is a breed of draft horse, primarily used today for show and leisure purposes. It is one of the largest breeds in the world, with mature horses averaging over 17 hands high and 2200 pounds (1000 kg).

The most common coloration is bay but they can also be seen chestnut, black, gray, roan, and many others.

Shires were originally bred to pull heavy loads on farms where no other type of draught animal could work well because they have great stamina when carrying weighty objects at a walking pace for long periods.

However, as farm machinery became more advanced this was less necessary so there are now only about 1500 Shire Horses left in Europe; principally located in the English counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Derbyshire.

The Shires are often seen pulling beer carts in pubs or breweries throughout Britain. They also make good show horses due to their calm temperament which ensures they pose no danger to either horse-rider or members of the public watching them perform on a British racecourse.

The breed is not as commonly found abroad but there’s about 25000 living within Canada and it’s among the most popular draft breeds for pulling carriages in North America today; with many Canadian roads featuring “slow” vehicles (which means more than 40km/hour) having restrictions imposed by law regarding how those driving such vehicles should behave around horses so that accidents can be avoided.”

The heaviest recorded Shire horse weighed approx. 2259 pounds (1524 kg).

Belgian Horse Breed

Belgian horses are known for their versatility and willingness to work. The breed is said to be the most popular in Europe, with a total of over 1 million Belgian Horses living there. Originally from Belgium, the breed is now found all around the world, including Australia, North America, and South America.

The Belgian horse is a versatile breed that excels in many disciplines, including dressage. The breed’s willingness to work and its inherent calmness makes it an ideal choice for beginners.

It can also be used as a packhorse or even as a light draft horse, pulling carriage loads of up to 600 pounds (270 kg) over long distances due to its endurance and stamina.

Belgian horses have been bred selectively for centuries with the goal being not only beauty but versatility too so there are now nine recognized types that vary in height from 66 inches (168 cm).

They come in all colors except roan or appaloosa, though black predominates by far; bay comes second followed by chestnut and their coat color varies from dark bay to light chestnut. The most common type is the heavy draft horse, averaging in height at about 17 hands (173 cm).

Percheron Horse Breed

The Percheron Horse breed originated in the 18th century as a result of crossbreeding French horses with larger Flemish stallions brought over by invading armies during that time.

This powerful beast can reach up to 18.1 hands high and weighs between 1100-2600 pounds (500 kg – 1200 kg), making it one of the largest breeds available today.

Percherons excel not only because they’re large – but also because they have an amazing temperament. They are very patient and gentle with humans, which makes them a popular choice for children just starting to ride.

Percherons are black or dark bay in coloration with a distinctive blaze on the head running from their lower lip upward. Their coat also varies between having one white foot (which is increasingly rare) or two front feet that are colored while hind-quarters may be all white or of any other colors found among draft breeds.

A Percheron can trot from 7 to 10 mph. If required they can use brute force to tow loads of heavy goods such as canal barges at low speed over long distances without tiring, unlike lighter horse breeds who would become exhausted after only a few miles.

Percherons are excellent for plowing fields, pulling carts of heavy goods over long distances including carrying passengers and doing other farm work.

They can pull greater weights than lighter horse breeds because they have a longer stride which gives them more power per step while the length of their body provides an efficient surface area to push with their legs as well as means that overall less energy is expended at any speed when compared against shorter horses.

The parameters of this horse were considered very rare exceptions rather than typical specimens. For this reason, most Perchersons are approved by breed registries under the “Heavy Horse” category.

Dutch Draft

Dutch Draft horses are incredible animals. They are large, but they have a very calm disposition and temperament.

The Dutch are bred for use as farm animals such as pulling carts or plows. This breed is also used to pull carriages in competitions like the Queen’s Cup which takes place every year at Smithfield Showground in England.

A Dutch draft horse averages 15-16 hands in height.

Dutch Draft horses are registered as “Heavy Horse” with their respective breed registries such as the Welsh Pony and Cob Society.

They can be any color, but they usually have a brown or black mane and tail.

Dutch Draft horses are intelligent and strong, but they’re docile enough for a first-time horse owner to train. They can be trained to do any job requiring strength including pulling logs in the woods or working on farms with cattle and sheep.

They have an average weight of about 1650 pounds which is lighter than most draft breeds like Clydesdale’s at 1700 pounds. Their calmness makes them ideal workhorses that require little maintenance, other than regular grooming and feeding every day.

Dutch drafts usually get along well with humans as long as you take time to acclimate them when bringing them home from the farm or auction house (they were bred originally for agricultural purposes). The breed also has natural immunity against many horse-related diseases.

The Dutch Draft is a heavy horse breed that originated in Holland, hence the name.

If you’re looking for an easygoing horse who likes humans, this might be the breed for you.

American Cream Draft

The American Cream Draft is a breed of horse that was created in the early 1900s. The purpose behind this breeding program was to create large, sturdy horses for heavy work on America’s farms. These days, they’re popular because they are sweet and docile animals who make great companions.

They usually weigh about 1600 – 1800 pounds which makes them lighter than Clydesdales at 2000 pounds. They have a natural ability to carry larger items like bales of hay or bags full of grain with no problem whatsoever-a definite plus if you’re looking for an easygoing horse who likes to work.

The benefits of owning an American Cream Draft Horse are many, but the most obvious one is their size. They are large horses with an average height of 15 – 16 hands and make excellent workhorses on farms or at shows, fairs, and parades.

These animals have been mentioned in many books including Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye.

It was generally believed that these horses were only bred to be draft horses for farm use as they’re often called Percherons which means “big” or “large.”

However, American Cream Draft Horses can still compete successfully in show jumping competitions because they’re so well-built. These strong horses can carry heavy weights without too much issue thanks to their short backs and deep chests.


Brabant horses are known for their large heads, powerful necks, and long manes. They are a unique breed of horse that can be found in the Netherlands. Brabants were originally bred to pull heavy loads over long distances but today they are mainly used as leisure riding horses because they have an easy temperament and strong constitution.

Brabant horses have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years and typically stand at 15 – 17 hands tall with females being slightly smaller than males. This is one of the largest horse breeds found worldwide, but their size doesn’t detract from how gentle these animals are.

The average weight ranges between 2000 to 3000 pounds. The Brabanter has a large head that is larger than the rest of its body.

Suffolk Punch

Suffolk Ponies are a breed of horse that is native to East Anglia, England

It was believed that Suffolk Punch horses were once common on the island, but they have become rare and uncommon; however, it’s been speculated that this may be due to natural selection as people began breeding them for certain characteristics.

We can’t know for sure why these animals became so scarce or if there will be any changes in population size going forward because we don’t track the number of these breeds nowadays.

The Suffolk Punch is a medium/large size breed of horse that stands on average at about 15.5 hands and weighs between 1400 and 2100 pounds. They are said to be quite strong for their size because they are so heavily muscled in the shoulders, neck, and hindquarters.

The coat colors range from brownish dun with white markings to mostly black; there is also the occasional bay color seen but it’s not common.

It has been speculated by historians that these horses were once used as warhorses as well as farm animals before being bred more selectively in modern times just for show purposes because one of its characteristics makes them popular: height.

Suffolk Ponies have been bred in the United Kingdom since at least the 18th century, and are known for being small (standing at 14.0 hands or less) as well as agile. They come in many different colors.

The coat of Suffolk Ponies ranges from short to medium-length with silky hair that’s soft to the touch; they often have flaxen manes and tails which act like natural fly whisks when they’re out grazing on pastures all day long.

Largest Horse Breeds For Riding

A lot of people think they know which horse breed is the largest. After all, some horses are just huge and it’s easy to see how big they are. But there are a few misconceptions when it comes to size, so let’s set the record straight.

  • One misconception is that Clydesdale horses are the largest breed. They’re only big for draft horse breeds; there are many other large breeds of horses out there besides them.
  • Another misconception is that a huge horse will be fast and powerful as well. Yes, some very big horses can do tricks like barrel racing or dressage but it’s not because their size makes them faster or stronger than smaller ones.
  • A horse’s weight has little to do with its size – it’s more about the length of their legs and how they carry themselves.
  • And lastly, this may seem obvious to you but another thing people think about when they see a giant horse is how much it’s going to cost in terms of feed every month. It doesn’t have anything to do with size because it all depends on your budget.

Tallest Horse Ever

Big Jake became famous in 2012. He is the tallest horse in the world and is also a Belgian, which are strong and heavy horses.

Jerry Gilbert tells CNN Sport that he bought Smokey Hollow Farm. He was bought as a foal and he became too big for his owners. Now, Jerry and his family are fifth-generation horse breeders.

He was a large foal when he was born.

He weighed around 2600 pounds and had good genetics. “We want horses who are strong and have good conformation.”

“I called Guinness when Jake was 9. I talked to them about retiring him and he would only do competitions if we needed him.”

Jake was officially measured to be 20.3 hands. That’s very big since the average height of a Belgian horse is usually between 16 and 17 hands.

Top 10 Largest Horses Ever

#1 Goliath

This horse has a name that is from the Bible. It was born in Canada in 1992. At first, he wasn’t able to do much and needed to be treated better because he was so big. The giant Goliath weighed about 1 ton.

#2 Cracker

This horse, Cracker, was born in England and lived there for a few years. He then traveled to Lincolnshire where it became well known. He is 76.2 inches tall which is very tall and many people came to see him because of it.

#3 Radar

Radar was a Belgian horse that was born in Iowa, United States, in 1998. He was 79.5 inches tall and had 2.400 pounds. Everyone who saw him liked him because he was so big and strong.

#4 Remington

Remington was from Texas and was born in 2008. He was 80 inches tall and he weighed 3000 pounds.

#5 Tina

Tina’s owners were the couple Jim and Marge Williams. They owned a hotel and a riding school, so they chose to adopt a Shire horse called Diplomat Tina. She was only four months old when they adopted her. Williams noticed that Tina was getting bigger and taller. They took her to the Guinness World Records to see if she could be the tallest horse in the world – she was. After measuring her height and confirming it, she became the world’s tallest horse in 2007.

#6 Poe

This horse was really big. It needed a lot of food and drank lots of water. The horse ate 99 pounds of food and drank 2 liters of water every day. The horse weighed about 3,000 pounds.

#7 Big Jake

Big Jake is from Nebraska. He is 20.3 hands tall and weighs 2,600 pounds.

#8 Sovereign

When Paul Evans tried to ride this horse, it was a challenge. He couldn’t use a regular saddle because he was too small. So he had to use a box and an oil drum so that he could get on the big horse.

This horse is 84 inches tall. It is the tallest in Britain.

#9 Sampson

This horse was called the tallest and heaviest horse in the world. It was 3,360 lb (1,524 kg) tall and 84.8 inches (2.14 m) high.

#10. Zeus

This horse had the name of a God from Greek mythology. It was 86 inches tall and weighed 3,100 pounds. This horse lived with its owner, a farmer in Maine.


The world of horses is vast and diverse, with a wide variety of breeds and types.

In this blog post, we’ve had a look at the most memorable breeds in the world when it comes to the horses that have left something to be remembered by.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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