The Irish Draught horse is a breed of heavy draft horse from the island of Ireland. Its conformation and history make it one of the most versatile, strong, and reliable breeds today. With its gentle temperament and natural athleticism, this hardy breed has been used for centuries for agricultural work, hunting, show jumping, eventing, dressage, and even light harness racing.
Irish Draught Horse History
The Irish Draught horse originates from Ireland and is thought to be descended from Celtic war horses. It was first developed in the 1700s and was originally used for farm work and pulling heavy loads. Over the years, it has become popular as a riding horse due to its strength, agility, and gentle nature.
Irish Draught is usually bay, grey, or chestnut in color. It has a strong yet elegant conformation with deep flanks, good bone, compact feet and powerful shoulders and quarters. The head is shapely with a straight profile and long ears, while the neck is well set on with a crested mane and powerful chest.
Irish Draught size
The Irish Draught is a large breed of horse, with the average weight being between 1,300 to 1,500 pounds per horse. It generally stands 15.2 hands (62 inches) to 16.3 hands (67 inches) high and at the withers.
The lifespan of the Irish Draught horse
The average lifespan of an Irish Draught horse is 25-30 years. With proper care, nutrition and exercise, the Irish Draught can have a longer lifespan with some living up to 30 years or more.
Irish Draught horse temperament
The Irish Draught is known for its kind and gentle temperament, making it an ideal mount for novice riders and children. It is a hard-working horse that is eager to please but can also be strong-willed if not handled correctly.
Irish Draught Horse Price
The price of an Irish Draught horse can vary significantly depending on the quality, age and training. Prices typically range from $3000 to upwards of $40,000 for a top-quality mount, with show-quality horses at the higher end of the spectrum.
What are Irish Draught Horses Used for?
Irish Draught horses are suitable for a variety of uses, including dressage, showjumping and general leisure riding. Their combination of strength and temperament make them well-suited to pulling heavy carriages or carts or competing in competitions such as eventing or endurance racing. Due to their versatility, they are also an ideal choice for breeding to produce a variety of offspring for different disciplines.
Regular Monthly Irish Draught Horse Expenses
The cost of owning an Irish Draught should also be taken into consideration, including regular veterinary care, farrier visits, and other supplies such as blankets, feed buckets and hay. Ultimately, the costs of owning an Irish Draught should not be a deterrent—with proper care and maintenance, these hardworking horses can provide many years of loyal companionship.
- Boarding – The average boarding cost for an Irish Draught ranges from $400 to $800 a month, depending on the facility and location.
- Feed – A regular diet of hay and grain will cost approximately $150-275 per month.
- Farrier Care – Shoes should be applied every six weeks at an estimated cost of $125 -$200 per visit.
- Vet Care – Vaccinations, worming and other routine vet care can range from $250-$400 per visit.
FAQ About Irish Draught Horse
What do you feed Irish Draughts?
Irish Draughts typically eat hay and grains, as well as any supplements that may be recommended by a vet. Additionally, they should have regular access to clean water and salt licks.
Can Irish Draught horses be ridden?
Yes, Irish Draughts can be used for riding. They possess the calm temperament and strong work ethic that makes them perfect for recreational riding, such as trail and endurance.
How high can an Irish Draught Horse jump?
Irish Draught Horses can jump up to 3,6 feet. Their jumping prowess, paired with their strength and soundness, makes them a great choice for eventing or show jumping.
What age do Irish Draughts stop growing?
Irish Draughts stop growing in height between 4 to 5 years of age. However, they continue to fill out and fill their frames until about 7 or 8 years old.