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Are Belgian Horses Actually Bigger Than Clydesdales?



Are Belgian Horses Actually Bigger Than Clydesdales

Belgian horses and Clydesdales are two well-known and popular draft horse breeds that have many similarities. Both beloved for their strength, endurance, and majestic appearance, these two breeds have often been compared in terms of size. People often assume that Belgian horses are larger than Clydesdales.

But is this actually true? In this post, we will take a closer look at the two breeds and explore whether Belgian horses are really bigger than Clydesdales.


Belgian horses and Clydesdales are similar in many ways. Both are known for their power and ability to pull heavy loads. They are also both popular breeds for farm work, carriage rides, and other forms of transportation. However, when it comes to their size, there are some notable differences.

Belgian horses are often referred to as “gentle giants” because of their large size and calm temperament. They typically stand between 16.2 and 17 hands tall, which is equivalent to 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches at the shoulder. They can weigh anywhere from 1,800 to 2,200 pounds. Their bodies are more compact and muscular compared to other draft breeds which gives them their unique appearance.

On the other hand, Clydesdales are also large horses but tend to be taller and leggier than Belgians. They can stand up to 18 hands tall which is equivalent to 6 feet at the shoulder, and weigh between 1,800 and 2,200 pounds making them a little bit heavier than Belgian horses. Their long, flowing manes and tails, along with their feathering on their legs, makes them a cherished sight during parades and shows.

While both breeds are undoubtedly large, Clydesdales stands taller – which has led to their reputation as being the largest horse breed. However, this is a little misleading, as size varies from one horse to another. Not all Clydesdales will be taller than all Belgians, and it’s important to note that it’s not just height and weight that determines size but muscle mass and structure as well.

Another difference between the two breeds is their origin. Belgian horses were first bred in medieval Belgium, while Clydesdales hail from Scotland. Belgian Horses were bred for work purposes, namely their use in farming, whereas Clydesdales were originally bred for war and as draft horses for heavy hauling such as the transportation of logs and other materials. Clydesdales made their claim to fame in America due to their popularity in Anheuser-Busch beer commercials.


While both Belgian horses and Clydesdales are large, strong, and gentle, there are differences between these draft horse breeds.

Belgian horses are just as heavy, with a more compact muscular appearance and shorter stature, while Clydesdales are generally taller and leggier horses with longer feathering on their legs and their trademark long manes and tails. When it comes to determining which breed is bigger, it’s important to remember that it’s not just height and weight that determines size.

Both breeds have distinct characteristics that make them unique, and ultimately it depends on the individual horse. Both are incredibly majestic breeds that individuals are likely to fall in love with.

I am Tommy, an avid equestrian who is passionate about the lifestyle. Writing for an equestrian blog has been a lifelong dream of mine, as I have been around horses my whole life. My mission is to share all the knowledge and experiences I have gathered throughout the years in order to help others reach their goals in this amazing sport. My dedication and enthusiasm towards horses and all things related to them never cease to amaze me!

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