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Ardennes
Ardennais

History

The Ardennes is one of the oldest breeds of draft horse and is still used today. They were named after their mountainous homeland region on the French-Belgian border. The Ardennes is thought to be a direct decent from the prehistoric Solutre horse. Solutre-Pouilly is a community in the region of Bourgogne in eastern france. In the late nineteenth century Ardennes horses were not only used to heavy work but also for riding because back then they were not as massive as the are today. In the Roman era however, Arabian blood was added to increase stamina and endurance. Percheron, Boulonnias and Thoroughbred blood were added but had little impact and the efforts were eventually abandoned. Because the Ardennes had high strength, stamina and energy, they were of high demand during the Revolution and World War I.

Today these horses are so massive because of the many years of heavy draught work and the requirements of agriculture. This breed can still be found working on farms and is a great asset since if can thrive on a minimum amount of feed. In addition to the original small Ardennes, two other types of this horse are recognized. The first, a larger version of the Ardennes known as the Auxois and the other is a heavier, larger framed Ardennes du Nord (originally known as Trait du Nord).

Conformation The Ardennes has a straight profile with large eyes, a low flat forehead, long ears and wide, open nostrils. They have a thick neck leading into arched and strong shoulders. Their body is very muscular and compact with a short back. They have very sturdy legs and strong joints with large, round hindquarters.
Height

15 - 16 hh

(hh= Hands High, one hand is 4 inches)

Color Predominantly roan, red-roan, iron gray, chocolate chestnut or liver chestnut. Also acceptable for registration is bay, brown, light chestnut/sorrel , and palomino. Not acceptable for registration is black, dappled gray, white and all other colors.

 

   

 

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