Clydesdale Vs. Regular Horse – What Is Their Difference?

In many aspects, the Clydesdale horse is different from the regular horse because of its features. It is a draft horse that started mainly for the use of the military for wars, however, it ended up on the farm when other horses came into the picture.

However, there has been a threat of the Clydesdale horse going into extinction. This breed also serves well for ceremonial purposes because of its gentle gait and calm temperament. Its size and strength also distinguish it from regular horses, especially its position as one of the biggest horses in the world.

Clydesdale Vs. Other Horses

Although the Clydesdale horse is still smaller than the Belgian horse, it is still a stocky and strong horse that can perform load-hauling tasks effectively. They have high withers, sloped shoulders, and an arched neck that makes them particularly energetic and willing to work.

Clydesdale Vs. Other Horses

Size Comparison

In size, the Clydesdale horse can be considered to be huge. The height ranges from 17 to 18 hands tall compared to regular horses that are within the range of 15 to 17 hands tall. However, the majority of the horses range between 16 to 16.2 hands. Ponies can be below 14.2 hands tall.

The average weight for a Clydesdale horse is 2,000 pounds while regular horses weigh about 900 to 1200 pounds which is half of the entire weight of a Clydesdale. e horse. Compared to other horses, the Clydesdale horses are heavier, weightier, and even taller in most cases.

Breed Type

Different horse breeds are categorized into three: cold blood, hot blood, and warmbloods. Hot bloods are known for their high level of endurance, spirit, and speed. If there’s any breed that is always at the forefront of racing, it is the hot blood.

The cold blood is those that are calm and quiet in terms of their temperament. They have the patience to haul heavy loads and perform difficult tasks. Draft horses happen to fall under this category of which the Clydesdale horse is part. Ponies also fall under the category of cold bloods.

Some warmbloods show characteristics across both the breed of warmbloods and that of cold bloods. In the cases where other regular horses are either hot blood or warmbloods, the Clydesdale horse is typical cold blood.


Regular horses are usually fiery and energetic, they have so much spirit that it requires a high level of attention when riding them. However, a Clydesdale horse is a gentle horse that doesn’t get upset easily compared to other breeds such as the Thoroughbred and Arabian.

Although its size is intimidating at first, it is a great choice for timid horse riders because of the way it responds easily to stimuli. With the docile Clydesdale horse, you can enjoy a sweet trail ride without dealing with the fear of your horse misbehaving.

Strength Comparison

Not only is the regular horse shorter than the Clydesdale horse but it is also heavier than most. The light nature of regular horses makes it easier for them to engage in sports and also helps them in moving faster. The Clydesdale horse falls short in this aspect.

As a heavy breed, the Clydesdale horse makes up for its lack of quick reflexes with its power and stamina in carrying a heavy load. Although regular horses can manage to pull a carriage, however, they are lacking in capacity when it comes to carrying heavy stuff for long periods.

Life Expectancy

A Clydesdale horse has the normal lifespan of most horses. It is likely to live between 25 to 30 years conveniently. However, other horses such as the Criollo and the Cleveland Bay have high chances of making it to 35 or 40 years. Even the Shire horse has a life expectancy level that reaches up to 45 years of age.

The life expectancy of the Clydesdale horse is greatly influenced by its size, diet, breed type, and level of care that the horse gets. If you provide a Clydesdale horse with a rich diet and good attention, you can even expand its life expectancy and increase the level of satisfaction you get from your horse.

Leg Feathers

The Clydesdale horse has feathers on its leg. If you pay attention to this horse breed, you would see the long, thick hair around its lower leg area. This hair on its leg contributes massively to its place as a show horse used for ceremonies and parades.

Regular horses have hair around the area of their leg but compared to the Clydesdale horse, it is quite little. These horses are mostly used for riding purposes rather than for national exhibitions and fairs like the Clydesdale horse.

Among the Household Cavalry of the British army and the American brewery, the Clydesdale horse is a popular character that is seen at the forefront. This is because of its build, strength, and general outlook that fits into their events.


Every horse breed has its features and characteristics that contribute to human society as a whole. The Clydesdale horse is such a kind that has served humans throughout history, this is why the breed is being protected from going into extinction.

Horses have their strengths and weaknesses, it is your job as an owner to discover the specific capabilities of your horse. Remember that all breeds are unique in their way.

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