How Much Does a Clydesdale Cost?

Jessica McDaniel
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How Much Does a Clydesdale Cost: Range of Horse Price

Clydesdales are strong draft horses that were originally bred in the county of Clydesdale, Scotland. They were primarily used for farming and pulling plows. Today, Clydesdales are bred for show, racing, and pulling competitions. They are very popular in the United States. Clydesdales are known for their huge, impressive physical stature, and are known for their large heads, long manes, and feathery tails.

How Much Does a Clydesdale Cost: Cost of an Average Horse

Clydesdales are often referred to as "gentle giants," who make great family horses. This powerful breed hails from Scotland, where horses of similar stature were used in the plowing and transportation of heavy goods in their native country. The mighty breed eventually made its way across the Atlantic ocean, where they were used for farm work in the United States.

The breed has a long life span of about 25 years. They have an average height of 16.3 and easily weigh in at around 1,500 pounds. The biggest Clydesdale of all time was Magnum P.I., who measured just over 19 hands tall.

Clydesdales are known for their splashing gait and massive size. They are known for their soft temperament and calm demeanor, which makes them perfect for riding, sport events, and shows. While the average Clydesdale does occasionally make appearances in the show ring, they aren’t as common as some other breeds.

Thanks to their massive size, it’s not recommended to take on this breed if you don’t have much prior experience with horses. This breed is generally more comfortable with experienced riders who can take a firm and confident approach.

Cost of an Average Draft Horse

Cost of an Average Clydesdale Horse

Many people don’t realize that Clydesdales aren’t a distinct breed but rather a larger type of Thoroughbred. However, if you love the look of the majestic horse breed, then consider the costs of a Clydesdale horse.

Clydesdales have a unique build with a larger frame than that of a Thoroughbred. A Clydesdale can weigh as much as 1750 lbs (15% more than a Thoroughbred), making them a great choice for large adult riders as they support weight more easily. While Clydesdales are described as “gentle giants” in the Thoroughbred world, the breed is still difficult to handle, especially if you need to do daily routines with your horse.

Clydesdales also require more upkeep. They have a thicker coat that takes more time to maintain and they are less tolerant to heat compared to Thoroughbreds.

And even though they are larger size than Thoroughbreds, Clydesdales aren’t as fast.

The Real Cost of a Clydesdale Horse

The Clydesdale breed is acknowledged for its powerful physique. Clydesdales are pack animals by nature, and they can carry loads as heavy as 900 pounds. They are never meant to be pets. These horse breeds are working horses that pull carriages and carts. They have strong bodies and powerful muscles and can tolerate strenuous work.

Clydesdales are bred mainly for one purpose only. They are bred as work horses. While you can own one, they are definitely not the ideal pet because they are naturally working horses. If you proceed to buy one, you should have a clear idea if you can take the horse to work when you need to, or if the horse can be a part of competitions in the show ring.

Most Clydesdales are currently employed to pull carriages in many states. They are trained early to understand where they have to go, and some have a defined route that they are expected to follow daily.

The working standard is a common disqualification when registering a Clydesdale. If they fail to measure up to their high standards when they are inspected, they are usually not eligible to be registered in the stud books. The working standard is of very high quality because they are bred mainly for work.


Clydesdale horses require a high-protein diet to grow to their full size. Good forage is a large part in their diet, but it’s important to feed them a nutrient-rich commercial feed in addition to the forage to ensure that your big guys get the caloric and nutritional value they require to produce strong, glossy hair coats.

Additionally, feed should be available to them at all times. If, for any reason, the horse goes hungry, it will consume the body feed that it can to survive, and your horse will grow a weak, coarse coat.

Tack/Harness Equipment

  • A saddle for riding a horse is the most important piece of equipment.
  • Other types of protective riding gear or safety measures may be necessary depending on the breed or level of activity of the horse. These include:
  • A bridle secures the bit in the mouth
  • A breastcollar, or breastplate, is a protective plate which prevents the animal from tossing its head too far upward
  • A crupper is a strap that prevents the animal from raising its tail
  • A pair of flank cinch straps attaches to the saddle and is used to keep the saddle in place
  • A headcollar or hackamore is a noseband without leverage that uses a noseband to control the horse
  • A martingale is a strap that runs across the chest of the horse, fastened to the saddle, which limits upward motion of the head
  • A girth is a strap that is tightened around the horse's belly to keep the saddle in place
  • An overreaching strap can be used to prevent the horse from overreaching its neck with its head while being ridden


Your Clydesdale will require at least 12 cups of good hay and pellets each day. They will go through approximately 1.5 pounds of pellets per week and 4.5 – 5 lbs of good hay per week. These measurements are for proper weight and energy.

If you live in an area where good hay is not constantly available and have a limited budget, you can opt to buy the more economic and readily available grass hay which can serve in place of good quality hay. Make sure to check the ingredients on the label as this hay will often contain seeds, corn, and preservatives.



Clydesdale horses are beautiful, elegant animals and are a pleasure to be around. Many Clydesdale owners will tell you the horses are affectionate, highly intelligent, and have a gentle manner.

Clydesdales are one of the only breeds of horses that are recommended to be used around children and even infants. The gentle nature of Clydesdales makes them excellent for therapy use and visiting patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

While Clydesdales are naturally docile, it’s important that you give them a good amount of exercise to maintain muscle tone and mental stimulation. Because Clydesdales are eager and willing to work, they are perfect on the farm. However, Clydesdales are also great on trails, in shows, and as show animals. The open-minded attitude of the Clydesdale, where they can be turned from a work horse to an ambassadorship horse, makes them a great choice for many horse owners.

Although the Clydesdale is a larger horse, the breed is known for its “get-up-and-go” personality. Because of this, it takes a little more time to train a Clydesdale, but they are not difficult to work with once you've spent the time to learn how to communicate with them.