The Percheron horse is a breed of horse that has origins in western France. It is a draft horse and mainly bred for use in heavy lifting work around the farm. The horse is well muscled and has a high level of intelligence. They are also very willing to work making them the good draft horses that they are bred to be. Percheron horses exists in a variety of colours but they are mostly grey or black in colour.
Not many people know that the Percheron horses were initially bred to be war horses (the bigger the better) but they were then put to work pulling carriages and later on used to pull farming ploughs in the farm. While it is a taboo to eat horse meat in some places - the Percheron horse was also used for food.
The Percheron horse size today varies from country to country - they range from the height of 15-19 hands in height in France, the United States and in Britain. This makes them one of the taller horse breeds. The weight of stallion varies from the mare by a few hundred kilos but their weights generally rotate around 800-1200 kilos. Being big eaters, the average Percheron can eat up to 30 pounds of hay in a day aside from the regular supply of other foods.
The Percheron horse have full broad foreheads and large eyes in contrast to their small ears. Their ears often give the owners an indication of the horse's well being. Their chests are also deep and wide whic are common characteristics in draft breeds. Their jaws are also quite strong and most of them have white markings on their coat in the areas around their heads and legs. Colours other than grey and black exist such as roan (but can only be registered in the United States). They look quite majestic with lots of hair covering their hooves.
Percheron horses also adapt very fast to different climates; this makes them quite versatile. Their ability to carry or pull very heavy load and still maintain their grace makes them a favourite draft horse. In addition, they are used to draw carriages for this reason.
The Percheron Horse Today
As a result of their intelligence, Percheron horses can also be trained to jump hurdles for shows. Their even temperament makes them less prone to tantrums, making them easy to instruct. They are also considered to be cold blooded horses because of this quiet temperament.
Percheron horses perform better when they are well taken care of so it is imperative to provide them this care. Attention should be paid to the hair around their hooves as these can harbour bacteria. Breeding Percheron horses with lighter breeds creates more agile horses. Or there are breeders who mix them with other breeds to produce even stronger draft horses.