Ardennes Horse Breed: Facts, Lifespan & Cost

Ardennes horse picture

The Ardennes horse is a strong and versatile breed originating in the Ardennes region of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. The breed has been used for centuries by farmers throughout Europe as a draft animal, but it also made an excellent cavalry horse due to its strength, intelligence and agility. Today, the Ardennes is primarily used for recreational riding and show jumping.

History of the Ardennes Breed

The Ardennes breed is thought to be descended from horses that were used by the Celts during their conquest of the region in the 5th century BC. It was later developed as a war horse for the Roman Legion and was eventually bred with heavier breeds during the Middle Ages. By the 19th century, Ardennes horses had become popular for agricultural use, especially in France and Belgium.

Ardennes Horse Characteristics

The Ardennes is a large, strong horse with distinctive features. Its body is compact and muscular, headstrong and broad, and the neck long and arched. The legs are well-proportioned and powerful, but surprisingly light for such a big horse.

Ardennes horse size

Ardennes horses generally range in height from 15.2-16 hands or 62 to 64 inches, with an average weight of 1,500-2,200 pounds.

Lifespan of Ardennes

On average, an Ardennes horse can live for around 25 to 30 years with proper care and nutrition. However, the breed is known for its hardiness and a few members have been known to reach the age of 35.

What is Ardennes horse used for?

Ardennes horses are hardy and strong enough to pull heavy cargo, but also agile and versatile. They are most commonly used for light draught work, such as logging and forestry work, plowing, or farm use. The breed is also popular in the show ring due to its elegant conformation, strength and willingness to learn.

Colors of Ardennes horses

The most common color for the Ardennes horse is chestnut, although bay and black are also quite popular. Occasionally there will be duns and palominos, though these colors are rare in the breed. The mane and tail of an Ardennes may either be light or dark according to their base coat color.


The Ardennes is a naturally gentle, intelligent horse with an even temperament. It is easy to train and willing to please its handler, making it well-suited for light draught work, show jumping, dressage, and endurance riding.

Ardennes Horse Price

The price of an Ardennes horse can range greatly depending on where you are purchasing the animal and its individual characteristics. Generally, they can cost anywhere from $2,500 to over $5,000 USD. Prices tend to be higher if the horse is already trained or has show experience. Overall, Ardennes horses are quite affordable compared to other breeds.

Regular Monthly Ardennes Horse Expenses

Owning an Ardennes horse is not only a financial commitment but also a time commitment. To keep your horse healthy and happy, you should plan to spend at least $150-$300 USD per month on its care. These expenses typically cover food and hay, farrier visits, vaccinations, basic veterinary care, grooming supplies, and other necessary items.

If you plan on boarding your horse, you should be prepared to spend around $500-$900 a month depending on the facility. This includes hay, grain, and turnout as well as any additional services such as worming or blanket changing.

For those looking for a more comprehensive care package, many stables offer all-inclusive boarding packages that range from $1000-$1500 USD per month.

Faq About Ardennes Horse

Faq About Ardennes Horse

How much can an Ardennes horse carry?

The Ardennes horse is a heavy draft breed, so they are capable of carrying heavier loads than other breeds. They are able to carry riders up to 250 pounds and can pull very hard in harnesses. Most professional owners suggest that an adult-sized Ardennes horse should not be asked to carry more than 200-250 pounds for extended periods of time.

Are Ardennes good horses?

Yes, the Ardennes horse is a very popular breed with experienced riders. It has an excellent temperament and work ethic. Its strong and powerful build allows it to handle heavy loads comfortably, making it well-suited for both riding and draft activities. The Ardennes is also easy to train and can be quite loyal to its owner.

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