Australian Draught Horse

Australian Draught Horse: A Robust and Powerful Breed

If you ask any farmer or breeder in Australia, they would tell you about the Australian Draught Horse (ADH) – a highly versatile, strong and reliable breed. These horses have been an integral part of Australian agriculture and cultural landscape for over 150 years. With a fascinating history and incredible temperament, it’s no wonder these horses are still widely popular today. In this article, we dive deep into the world of ADH, exploring its history, temperament, height, characteristics, lifespan, colors and health.

Australian Draught Horse History

The Australian Draught Horses are a prominent variety of draught horses. Their heritage can be traced back to late 19th and early 20th century when they were brought to Australia, mainly from England, Scotland and Ireland. These horses were primarily used for heavy hauling of timber, farm produce, and other bulk items in rural areas. They were also used to transport troops and supplies during wartime. Over time, they have also been used for other purposes, including riding, driving, and horse shows.

Australian Draught Horse Temperament

ADHs are known for their calm and docile temperament, making them great horses for beginners and those who are inexperienced. Due to their ability to remain calm under stressful situations, they also make great work horses. They have a great work ethic and are easy to train. They enjoy human interaction and are very affectionate towards their owners.

Australian Draught Horse Height

ADHs are typically larger than other horse breeds. They can weigh up to 1,500 kg and can stand up to 18 hands high. Their height, combined with their muscular build, makes them ideal for heavy work requirements.

Australian Draught Horse Characteristics

ADHs are known for their robust and muscular build, especially around their neck and shoulders. They have a broad chest and deep girth, making them well-suited for carrying weight. Their legs are strong and sturdy, and they have thick hair around the fetlocks. They have a large head with kind eyes and long, floppy ears. Their mane and tail are usually thick and flowing, and their coat is smooth and shiny.

Australian Draught Horse Lifespan

An ADH has an average life expectancy of about 20 years, which is slightly shorter than some other breeds. However, with proper care and attention, they can often live longer. As with all animals, their lifespan may be influenced by genetics, diet, activity level, and other factors.

Australian Draught Horse Colors

The Australian Draught Horse comes in a range of colors. They can be grey, brown, black, sorrel, and bay. Some ADHs may also have white markings on their face, legs, and tail. Regardless of the color, their coat is usually shiny and dense.

Australian Draught Horse Health

ADHs are generally healthy and hardy animals, but they can still suffer from various health problems, such as respiratory issues, joint problems, and skin conditions. It’s important to ensure that they receive regular veterinary care, vaccinations and are wormed regularly. A proper diet and sufficient exercise are essential to keeping them healthy and avoiding obesity.


In conclusion, the Australian Draught Horse is a remarkable breed of horse, both in terms of its history and its physical attributes. Without a doubt, they are strong, reliable, and hard-working horses that have played an essential role in Australian agriculture for over a century. Their gentle nature and affectionate personalities make them an ideal choice for beginners, families, and experienced riders alike. Whether you’re a farmer, breeder, or just a horse lover, the Australian Draught Horse is an impressive breed that deserves recognition and appreciation.