The breed we are presenting today is not widely known in America but the Ardennes horse is an early breed of European draft horse that is precisely different from other heavy horses of its nature. It’s been around for about 2,000 years and with their massively muscled bodies, remarkable strength and gentle attitude, the Ardennes is an instant favorite for anyone who has the chance to own one. Check out these interesting facts about the Ardennes horse to learn more about this beautiful breed.
1. Ardennes are considered one of the oldest draft breeds in the world. The Ardennes horses were bred 2,000 years ago in the Ardennes plateau near the border of Belgium and France. It’s considered that the Ardennes horse is a descendant of the now-extinct Solutré horse. The ancient horses were participants to some of history’s greatest events, and breeding has led to only detailed differences in the modern Ardennes horses.
2. Napoleon influenced how the Ardennes horses are today. he ancestors of today’s Ardennes horses looked similar to how they look now, but during the Roman era, these draft horses stood were shorter. They didn’t have the endurance of other heavy horses and Napoleon decided to change them by adding Arabian blood to the mix. Through selective breeding, the Ardennes horse progressively got taller. It also improved its endurance.
3. They were the preferred mounts for knights and soldiers. There were only a few horse breeds that could carry the weight of a knight in full armor. Their peaceful personalities made them easy to train in wartime circumstances, and they were necessary for large armies requiring to transport armored soldiers and heavy equipment.
4. The Ardennes horse is considered one of the most well-behaved horse breeds. A huge sized horse may be intimidating for all the riders but these giant horses wouldn’t hurt a fly. They’re the real definition of “gentle giants.” Most people define them as being kind, tolerant, and almost always patient.