Breed Profiles - Clydesdale

By: Horse Deals

Find out all about the Clydesdale horse, including typical height, colours, conformation, temperament and ideal disciplines

Breed Profiles - Clydesdale
Breed Profiles Clydesdale

Clydesdale horse breed summary:

Origin - Scotland
Height - 16hh to 18hh, male horses can reach over 18hh
Colour - Usually bay but can be black, roan, grey and chestnut
Conformation - Broad head, high withers, very muscular body and an arched neck
Ideal disciplines - All-rounder, showing, driving

The Clydesdale originates in Scotland where they were bred for use in agriculture. They started as a smaller draft horse but selective breeding means that they soon became one of the largest draft horses, which has made them a popular choice for parades and as the drum horses for the Household Cavalry. The breed was officially recognised in 1826 but a breed registry wasn’t established until 1877. During the war the breed numbers decreased significantly and this worrying trend has continued, leading to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust officially declaring the breed as vulnerable to extinction in the 1970s. The population has increased since then but the breed is still classed as vulnerable.


The Clydesdale horse is a very large breed, standing between 16 and 18 hands on average. Male horses tend to be larger and can reach well over 18 hands. Clydesdale horses are usually bay, but can also be black, roan, grey and chestnut. They nearly always have lots of white on their body and white, thick, flowing feathers. The Clydesdale has a broad head, high withers, very muscular body and an arched neck.


Clydesdales are known as gentle giants and tend to be very laid back. They are docile and have a good stamina for work.

Ideal Disciplines

The Clydesdale is ideal for:


• Showing

• Driving

For more information on the breed visit the Clydesdale Horse Society.


If you are looking for Clydesdale horses for sale, take a look at a range of adverts on Horse Deals >