Draft Horses Vs. Riding Horses

Jessica McDaniel
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Draft Horse VS Riding Horse: Horse Types

Nowadays, horse breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Modern horses have lengths of the neck and body, a style of build, and an arrangement of legs that allow for smooth movement over a range of activities. However, before the horse became the versatile, athletic and sturdy animal we know today, different forms of horses were selectively bred for specific activities and jobs, such as pulling, running or riding.

Draft horses and riding horses are two different types of horses. Though they may look similar at first glance, they are actually designed for different purposes. Although some horses can be used for both draft and riding purposes, many of them are specialized for just one of the two. Here’s a quick overview on the essential differences between draft horses and riding horses.

窶馬tring Horses

Draft horses are known as a strong horse type. For centuries, draft horses have been used to pull large loads while plowing the fields, pulling wagons, and carriages. In most cases, draft horse is the largest horse type, although they're a bit smaller than Clydesdales.

Draft Horses

The American Quarter Horse Association acknowledges draft horses as a breed but did not start registering them until 15 November, 1973. Their first national show, the 1973 National Draft Horse Show, was not until 1976.

As they are not as common as riding horses in competition, there is no national association specifically for these horses. Draft horse owners and breeders form horse shows and associations on a regional basis.

However, there are several associations recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The official registry for draft horses, the American Draft Horse Association, was founded in 1984.

USDA regional offices offer a specific breed directory with a list of associations recognized throughout the coun