About Trait Du Nord Horses
Trait du Nords are heavy draft horses developed and bred in
France. Trait du Nord’s ancestry includes bloodlines from the Ardennes,
Belgian, and Boulonnais breeds, and are sometimes incorrectly referred to as a
branch of Ardennais horses. They became recognized as a separate breed of their
own at the beginning of the 20th century, and the studbook for the Trait du
Nord was established in 1919. Today, although they are still bred in the area
around Lille, in the Pas-de-Calais, the Aisne, the Somme, and the
Seine-et-Marne departments, they are declining in numbers.
They have a reputation for great pulling power and
hardiness, as well a calm disposition. They are considered well-suited to draft
and farm work in hilly and rough terrain. Their head is proportionally small in
relation to the body, with small ears, set on a short and muscular neck. Their
chest is broad and deep, their shoulders sloping and muscular, relatively low
withers, a short back, and muscular hindquarters. Their legs are short with
well-formed joints, fairly large hooves, and feathering on the lower legs. They
are bay or roan in color. They range in height from 15.3 to 16.1 hands high and
weigh between 1,320 and 1,760 lbs.
Today they are used in a variety of situations, including
farm work and timber haulage, as well as recreational activities, both in
harness pulling assorted horse-drawn vehicles, and under saddle for trekking.