The 8 Tallest and Most Powerful Cold Blooded Horse Breeds on the Planet | Complete Overview

Although everyone has a different taste in horses, tall and powerful horses are what most horse enthusiasts prefer.

So if you are one someone who likes tall, strong and stunning horse breeds, then this article is for you.

The 8 tallest and most powerful cold-blooded horse breeds are Italian Heavy Draught Equine Breed, Rhineland Heavy Draught Horse, Schleswig Heavy Draught Horse, Pinzgauer Noriker Coldblood horse, Murakoz Horse Breed, Suffolk Punch, Clydesdale Horse Breed, and the Shire Horse breed.

Keep on reading to know more about these fantastic Equine Breeds, like their specifics, characteristics, and some interesting facts.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Italian Heavy Draught Cold Blooded Horse Breed

The unusual, striking color of this horse, combined with its quick and energetic action, makes it a pleasure to watch.

It stems from the Breton horse and has been much appreciated in Italy as a strong and willing worker on the farms. 

Unfortunately, mechanization has largely outmoded it, and today it is bred more for the slaughterhouse than for the farm.

Horses of this breed have powerful shoulders, deep broad chest, little or no withers; deep girth, compact, robust body with a broad, flat back and strong loins; round, powerful hindquarters; hard legs with pronounced joints and moderate feather; boxy feet.

Characteristics and Origin of Italian Heavy Draught Cold Blooded Horses

  • Origin: Italy – northern and central areas.
  • Height: 15-16hh.
  • Colour: Classic colour is a dark liver chestnut with chestnut/blond mane and tail; also chestnut, roan.
  • Character: Active, willing, lively horse, though kind and docile. 
  • Physique: Heavy draught horse. Fine, rather long head with a tapering muzzle, medium-long ears, alert expression; short, crested neck, often convex on the underside

Rhineland Heavy Draught Horse Breed 

The Rhineland, or Rhenish, horse was developed towards the end of the 19th century to meet growing demand from agriculture and industry. 

Rhineland Heavy Draught | A Cold-Blooded Breed from West Germany

By the early 20th century, it had become the most numerous of all the German breeds and was bred all over the country, often going under various local names. 

Today it and its offshoots are fast dying out from lack of demand. One of the very few Rhineland types to exist nowadays is the Niedersachsen Heavy Draught.

See also  4 Principal Italian Horse Breeds | Italian Heavy Draught, Maremmana, Murgese and Salerno (Quick Breed Comparisons)

It has muscular shoulders and hindquarters; body dense, deep-girthed, with a broad back and powerful loins: legs muscular and short, with a medium feather.

Characteristics and Origin of Rhineland Heavy Draught Horses

  • Origin: West Germany.
  • Height: 16-17hh.
  • Colour: Chestnut, red roan with blond mane and tail, red roan points.
  • Character: Good-natured, obliging animal which matures early.
  • Physique: Massive, bulky horse of enormous power. Relatively neat head with a kind eye and open nostril; strong, crested neck.

Schleswig Heavy Draught Horse Breed

This breed is similar to Jutland, to which it is closely related to the Suffolk Punch, though it is a shade lighter and more cob-like than either.

A Kind Cold Blooded Horse from Germany | Schleswig Heavy Draught Equine

Bred, like the Rhineland, to satisfy a 19th-century demand for a strong agricultural and industrial worker of good temperament, it contains a variety of bloodlines. 

It derives largely from Jutland and Suffolk horses, helped by Breton and Boulonnais blood. Even the Thoroughbred and Yorkshire Coach Horse had small parts to play in its history, though their influence is not noticeable.

It has short, muscular legs, lightly-feathered. Good mover.

Characteristics and Origin of Schleswig Heavy Draught Horses

  • Origin: Germany – Schleswig-Holstein.
  • Height: 15.2-16hh.
  • Colour: Almost always chestnut, often with flaxen mane and tail; occasionally grey, bay.
  • Character: Kind, gentle, willing.
  • Physique: Compact, dense horse. Plain, rather large head with convex profile and kind eye. Short, crested neck; powerful front with a broad chest. Deep girth withers almost unnoticeable. Body rather long and slab-sided.

Pinzgauer Noriker Horse Breed

This ancient horse breed is said to have been bred under Roman rule in the Kingdom of Noricum, which covered roughly the same area as Australia does today. “Pinzgauer” refers to the Pinzgau district of Austria.

An Austrian Cold Blood Horse Breed with Docile Character | Pinzgauer Noriker Horse

About the time of the Renaissance, the Church took an interest in its development and enriched it with Andalusian and Neapolitan blood.

Bred as it has long been in the mountains, the Noriker is adapted to the steep hill country so that few heavy breeds can match.

For this reason, it is still in demand in central and southern Europe and is said to be on the increase.

It is also known as the South German Cold-Blood.

This breed’s Legs are medium-short with pronounced joints and little feathers. Good feet. Very sure-footed and moves well.

Characteristics and Origin of Pinzgauer Noriker Horse Breed

  • Origin: Austria and Germany. 
  • Height: 16-16.2hh.
  • Colour: Predominantly bay, chestnut (often with flaxen mane and tail): also spotted, dun, skewbald. 
  • Character: Alert, active, docile.
  • Physique: Plain, heavy head with gentle expression; short, thick neck: powerful, rather upright shoulder, large chest: long barrel with a broad back, good hindquarters

Murakoz Cold Blood Horse Breed Hungarian | Active Equine Breed

Bred in the south of Hungary on the banks of the river Mura, the Muraköz is a selective blend of native mares with quality Hungarian stallions, Ardennais, Percherons and Norikers.

Why the Murakoz Cold Blood Horse Declined in Numbers?

It is a robust and active horse, well fitted to heavy farm work, and it met the Hungarian need so well that shortly after the First World War, one out of every five horses in the land was a Muraköz.

Many were killed during World War II, and it is now most unlikely that it will ever regain its former numbers.

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It has a strong body of medium length with a pronounced dip in the back; rounded hindquarters with sloping croup. Short, muscular legs with pronounced joints and medium/light feathers. Round feet.

Characteristics and Origin of Murakoz Cold Blood Horses

  • Origin: Hungary. 
  • Height: About 16hh.
  • Colour: Usually chestnut, often with flaxen mane and tail; also bay, brown, grey, black.
  • Character: Docile, willing, active.
  • Physique: Plain, neat head with convex face, kind eye, large ears. Neck short and lightly-crested. Very powerful front, almost no withers, deep girth.

Suffolk Punch Cold Blood Equine Breed | English Cold Blood Equine Breed with High Intelligence

It was mentioned as early as 1506, and from about the turn of the 18th/19th century seems to have been carefully and selectively bred.

All Suffolk horses trace back to a smallish chestnut trotting horse called Blakes Farmer, who was foaled in 1760.

It is a deservedly popular animal. It has excellent conformation, a gentle and charming disposition, and it comes to hand early and can work until well into its twenties.

The Suffolk Punch is one of the purest of all breeds of heavy horse.

It seems to have arisen quite naturally from local animals of the Great Horse type, Norfolk Trotters, Norfolk Cobs, with possibly a touch of Thoroughbred.

Though its great service to agriculture is regrettably becoming a thing of the past, its presence and personality ensure that it will continue to attract enthusiasts who want to preserve it for its own sake.

The physique of Suffolk Punch Cold Blood Horse Breed

It has a massive shoulder with a deep, wide chest, flat withers; deep girth, body dense and almost cylindrical, with a broad, strong back and round and powerful hindquarters. 

With Dense, clean legs with good bone, short cannon bones, and pasterns; no feather. Good action in all paces, but especially at the trot. Long-lived, hardy, and an economical feeder.

Characteristics and Origin of Suffolk Punch Cold Blood Horses

  • Origin: England – East Anglia.
  • Height: Around 16-16.2hh.
  • Colour: Exclusively chestnut. Seven shades exist – red, gold, copper, yellow, liver, light, dark. No white markings, though faint stars or stripes are sometimes apparent.
  • Character: Kind, honest, intelligent, active. 
  • Physique: Dense, compact heavy draught horse with short, clean legs. Short, attractive head with kind eyes, well-set on a muscular, crested neck.

Clydesdale Horse Breed | riendly Cold Blood Equine Breed from Scotland

Clydesdales originate from Lanarkshire, the Lowland county through which the Clyde runs (the old name for Lanarkshire was Clydesdale). 

Friendly Cold Blood Equine Breed from Scotland.

In the mid-18th century development of the Lanarkshire, coalfields led to a significant improvement in road surfaces, so that shoulder-haulage by horses. Could be substituted for pack carrying.

The Origin of Clydesdale Horse Breed

Local farmers, anxious to profit from the need for heavier, stronger horses to pull the loads, crossed their hardy native mares with much heavier Flemish stallions, which were imported for this purpose. They named the result the Clydesdale.

The new breed quickly became popular and has been a regular export from the British Isles for more than a century, going wherever horses were required for haulage.

In 1911 a Clydesdale established a British record for heavy horse prices when the stallion Baron of Buchlyvie was sold at auction for £9,500.

The physique of Clydesdale Horses

Its Forelegs are straight and directly under the shoulder, hind legs also straight. Many feathers. Covering long pasterns and hard feet.

Action straight with a long, free stride, feet picked up cleanly with the inside of every hoof visible to anyone they were walking behind – active movers for their bulk.

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Characteristics and Origin of Clydesdale Horses

  • Origin: Scotland – Lanarkshire.
  • Height: Average 16.2hh. 
  • Colour: Bay, brown, black, roan, with much white on the face and legs and sometimes on the body. Bay and brown are the commonest colours.
  • Character: Active, brave and friendly.
  • Physique: Broad, flat face, neither dished nor roman, wide muzzle with large nostrils, clear, intelligent eyes. Long, well-arched neck, high withers: short, strong back setting into heavily-muscled hindquarters. 

Shire Cold Blood Horse Breed from England | Tallest Horse Breed in the World

This controversial horse-controversial in the sense that it attracts enthusiasts, and enthusiasts attract argument has a grand, although none too-precise history.

Shire horses are the tallest horses in the world.

It derives from the Old English Black Horse, which in turn stems from the Great Horse of chivalric times. 

The Great Horse’s ancestry is uncertain, but it is likely to have come from northern European stock, especially from the black Friesian horses.

The extreme height of the Shire may be partly due to Thoroughbred blood, which would also account for its aristocratic appearance.

Brief History about Shire Horses

When the demand for war horses seized and the need for strong agricultural animals became apparent, breeders were quick to recognize and improve the merits of the Shire. 

Standards of quality were established early on, records were kept, and in 1878 the Shire Horse Society was established.

With mechanization, demand for the Shire declined. Its continued existence is ensured by its popularity as a team horse to pull brewers’ drays (now mainly ornamental) as well as its ability to draw crowds to the show ring.

It is a horse that breeds true; it is a pleasure to work with, and though its great strength is no longer needed – it can pull five tons-it will always be welcome.

The Physique of Shire Horse Breed

Its body is dense and rounded; back broad with strong loins; hindquarters full and powerful, often with sloping croup.

Excellent legs, long for a heavy horse, with dense bones. Abundant feathers, fine and silky. 

The breed possesses great strength and stamina and is of the sound constitution.

Characteristics and Origin of Shire Horse Breed

  • Origin: England Central counties (Shires). 
  • Height: Average 17hh. Can reach, and even exceed, 18hh.
  • Colour: Bay and brown are the commonest, always with white markings; black and grey are not unusual.
  • Character: A gentle, docile horse, so kind that it usually be trusted with a child; active, industrious, adaptable, enduring. 
  • Physique: Medium-sized head of delicate proportion, faintly-convex profile, kind eye, broad forehead, long, slender ears. Neck long and arched. Well-set on powerful, sloping shoulders with a deep front.

Wrapping up on the 8 Tallest and Most Powerful Cold Blooded Horse Topic

In a nutshell, in this article, we’ve looked at the tallest and strongest cold-blood horses. We’ve discussed their origin, use, and specifics, along with some interesting facts about them.

The shire is the tallest one of them all; in fact, it’s the tallest horse in the world. The Suffolk Punch horse is very intelligent.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned a lot. We have plenty of other articles which you can read to gain a deeper understanding of all the popular, rare, and strange horse breeds.

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