Irish Draught Horses
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About Irish Draught HorsesAbout Irish Draught Horses



Irish Draught horses are native to Ireland. They are a lightrndraught breed that was historically developed for work on farms. Today theyrnhave adapted to the ever-changing pace of equestrianism to become a very versatilernbreed. As a foundation breed of the Irish Sport Horse, the Irish Draughts temperamentrnmakes them easy to work with in any discipline. Along with characteristics of strength,rnintelligence, courage, and light action they are an ideal equine to partner withrnfrom amateur to professional rider.

rnrnFrom the earliest times horses have always been a part of Irishrnlife. Over the years small active native horses were crossed with Norman horsesrnand Spanish Andalusian stallions to increase the size of the native breed. In addition,rnthe Thoroughbred has also played a significant role in the development of the IrishrnDraught breed throughout the centuries. References to the Irish Draught Horse daternback to the 18th century. At the time a great increase in the area of land underrntillage took place and this created a demand for bigger, stronger, and more docilernhorses. Irish breeders developed a draught horse that was lighter and more adaptablernthan the heavier draught horses found in England.

rnrnDue to the small size of farm holdings in Ireland most farmersrncould not afford to keep more than one horse. A breed developed that was could bernused not only to ‘plough, sow, reap and mow’ but also to hunt, ride and drive thernfamily to church on a Sunday. Consequently, today’s Irish Draught Horse is not simplyrna working horse, but a riding and leisure horse as well.

rnrnTheir wonderful temperament makes them easy to work with in anyrndiscipline. Their strength, intelligence, and lightness of step means that theyrncan perform in many varied disciplines including showjumping, eventing, dressage,rnhunting, showing, driving, le trec, and endurance riding. Above all, their reliabilityrnmakes them extremely safe and sound horse for the amateur and leisure rider.

rnrnToday the Irish Draught horse can be found competing in everyrnaspect of equestrian sport. Ever since show jumping had its birth in Ireland andrnwent on to become an international sport, Irish Draught crosses have been a foundationrnbreed for the Irish Sport Horse. The even temperament, athleticism, and durabilityrnof the breed, crossed with Thoroughbred and sport horse breeds has created a potentrnmix which is well up to the demands of today’s equestrian sports.

rnrnSource: Irish Horse Gateway (www.irishhorsegateway.ie).

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