Clydesdale Horse Breed: History, Characteristics & Price

Clydesdale horse picture

The Clydesdale is an iconic horse breed, originating from the River Clyde in Scotland. It has been used as a workhorse since the 18th century and is known for its strength and beauty. Today, it is still popular as a show or freight horse, but also as an all-around riding or pleasure horse.

Clydesdale Horse History

The Clydesdale breed dates back to the 1700s when Flemish stallions were imported to Scotland and crossed with local mares. The result was an impressive horse that soon became popular among farmers for its strength, stamina, and sure-footedness. In 1877, the Clydesdale Horse Society made its debut in Scotland with a vision to preserve and protect this celebrated equine breed. In 1842, the breed was exported to North America, where it never became popular as a farm animal and was used to pull breweries and circus wagons.


Clydesdales are known for their unique and recognizable appearance, characterized by feathered legs and a high tail carriage. These horses have strong and muscular bodies with broad chests, long necks, and large heads.

Clydesdale horse size

Clydesdales typically stand between 16 to 18 hands (64-72 inches) tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds.

The lifespan of Clydesdale horse

The average life expectancy of a Clydesdale is between 25 and 30 years, although some horses have been known to live much longer.

Colors of Clydesdale horses

Clydesdales come in a variety of colors, with the most common being bay (brown) or black.

The temperament of the Clydesdale horse

Clydesdales are known for their gentle and friendly temperaments. They are intelligent, hardworking, and loyal animals that make wonderful companions.

What is the Clydesdale horse used for?

The Clydesdale horse is used for a variety of purposes. It is primarily used for harness racing, show jumping, dressage, eventing, and other equestrian sports. The breed is also used for hauling and as a draft animal in many areas of the world. With its powerful build, it is able to pull heavy loads over long distances with ease. Additionally, its even temperament makes it well-suited for riding and other forms of leisure activities.

Price of Buying a Clydesdale Horse

The price of buying a Clydesdale horse can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the quality and age of the horse. Good quality with excellent bloodlines could cost anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000. The cost may also be affected by how well-trained the animal is or how extensively it is used for shows or riding. If you are looking to buy a Clydesdale horse, be sure to consider all of these factors before making your purchase. 

Regular Monthly Clydesdale Horse Expenses

In addition to the cost of purchasing a Clydesdale horse, you must also consider the regular monthly expenses associated with owning and caring for one. These costs may include veterinary fees, feed, hay, shoeing and other supplies. Depending on your situation and the needs of your horse, these expenses could range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.

  • Boarding – Boarding a Clydesdale horse typically costs more than keeping one at home due to the heavy workload associated with dealing with such a large animal. Boarding fees can range from $500/month to over $2000/month, depending on the facility and services offered.
  • Feed – Clydesdales require a high-quality, nutrient-rich diet to stay healthy. Purchasing feed and hay can cost anywhere from $150-$175 per month, depending on the type of feed used and how much your horse eats.
  • Health Care – It’s important to keep up with regular vet visits and vaccinations for your Clydesdale horse. You should also consider investing in proper hoof care, which can cost anywhere from $100-$150 per visit.
  • Training – If you plan on using your horse for competitive purposes, or even just to ride around your ranch or farm, it’s important to train him properly. You may want to look into hiring a professional trainer with experience working with Clydesdales, who can help teach him the necessary skills. Training fees typically range from $50-$100 per hour.

FAQ About Clydesdale Horse

What is special about Clydesdale horses?

Clydesdales are considered to be one of the most majestic breeds of horses due to their large size and strong musculature. Their strength and endurance make them ideal for pulling heavy loads, as well as for riding and sport. They are also known for their long, feathered legs and luxurious mane and tail.

How fast are Clydesdales?

Clydesdales are not especially fast, as they have been bred for strength rather than speed. Generally speaking, their top recorded speed is about 20 mph; however, this can vary slightly depending on the individual horse and how much training it has had.

How much does a Clydesdale eat per day?

Clydesdales consume anywhere from 10 to 12 pounds of hay per day, depending on their size. Their diet should also include ample amounts of grains like oats and barley. Fresh water must also be available at all times in order to keep horses hydrated and healthy.

Why are they called Clydesdales?

The breed is named after the River Clyde in Scotland, where they were developed as a draft horses in the late 18th century. The horses are believed to have descended from several breeds including Flemish horses, Shires and Suffolks.

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