Average Height of A Belgian Horse

Jessica McDaniel
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Average Horse Height

The average size of a horse is 15.1 hands. The average height of a Belgian Horse is 15.3 hands or 60 inches. Although the averages can be used to quickly give you an idea of the size of a horse, the best way to measure a horse is by the height of the heartgirth.

Average Draft Horse Height

The average height of a Belgian horse, also referred to as Belgian, or Belgian Draft, is around 61.2-63 inches or 155.5 to 160 cm for males and 57.2 to 58 inches or 145 to 145 cm for females.

The Draft horse is known for it’s strong physique and stately appearance, which allows it move with ease and power any amount of weight and pull heavy carts for long distances.

This makes them perfect for riding on steep inclines and uneven surfaces, and they were highly sought after during the 18th and 19th centuries for all kinds of agricultural work. They are not as widespread as they used to be, but they are still used for pulling carts and plows in some countries.

Today, the horses are bred for work competitions, showing, and riding.

Reasons for Height Differences and Similarities

An average Belgian horse stands in between 14.3 and 16 hands and weighs in at around 900 pounds. Generally speaking, the horses from the Flanders area tend to be the tallest with their Belgian Warmblood counterparts standing a couple of hands shorter on average.

If you think about it, it doesn't make sense that a team of horses that stands taller would be necessarily stronger. After all, taller doesn't always mean stronger. A shorter horse could be more fit and agile. He might be able to carry more weight or do more work than a taller horse.

The height discrepancy between Flanders and Warmblood horses may have to do with the fact that Warmbloods are being bred for different physical traits than Flanders. Flanders were bred to excel in harness racing while Warmbloods are bred to win in athletic competitions. The differences in the purposes of breeding the two styles of horses would naturally result in the variation in height.

Average Belgian Horse Height

Belgian horses are typically between 16 to 17 hands tall(H.H.) and usually slightly taller than the average horse. The average Belgian horse weight goes up to 1750 lb (782 kg) for a stallion and around 1200 lb (543 kg) for a mare.

The difference in low and high heights is a very common difference in all breeds of horses but Belgian horses are rated higher than other common breeds. However; this does not affect the number of horses in the breed because such height variations are not considered to be faults and are not discriminated against. Only one time in history did the height go to extremes but that was remedied by introducing a breed inspector also referred to as a studbook keeper in the mid -19th century. The height variations were brought back to acceptable standards and the breed was saved.

Variations in Belgian Horse Height

Belgian horses are found in horse height classes ranging from nearly 14.2 hands to more than 16 hands. Height is only one trait that makes a horse a horse. A 14.2-hand horse (14.2 hands = 56.5") can move like a thoroughbred race horse, while a 16.2-hand horse (16.2 hands = 62") can be as big and stolid as an English work horse. You’ll find yourself oohing and aahing over each variation and wondering what the possibilities are.

Belgian saddle horse breeds: Those with roots in the best of the cob breeds, and comes in both driving and riding models

Belgian draft horse breeds: Are heavier, have larger heads and more massive bone than their riding counterparts

The Belgian horse, as a whole, is not as tall as a Shire, but is much more refined. A Belgian may not be as stout as a Clydesdale, but he has a longer stride and smoother gait.


The Belgian breed is a unique and well-muscled breed with large heads, deep chests, and strong legs. The Belgian Gelding just might be the right horse for you.

To have the best experience with owning a Belgian Gelding, it’s very important to be educated about his personality. This article helped you understand his personality traits that help you maintain a successful horse riding relationship.