Clydesdales are large, strong horses. Their characteristic features include their slightly curved noses, their long ears and their short necks. They have a friendly temperament and are industrious and versatile.
Shoeing a Clydesdale can be very hard work for a farrier. Their horseshoes are not just extremely large, but also weigh over 2.5 kg. This means they weigh four to five times as much as the shoes of warmbloods or thoroughbreds. Although Clydesdales tend to be stocky and extremely heavy, they can move very elegantly. They are famous for their gait: they lift their beautiful white legs very high and with great force. For this reason, they aren’t just used as draught horses, but also for shows and street parades.
Clydesdales grow more slowly than other horse breeds. The foals aren’t fully grown until the age of seven or eight, instead of four or five. They then weigh over 1,000 kg – as much as a small car. They are so strong that they can pull objects that are much heavier than themselves. This also means they need a lot of food and water. Every day, they need 20–25 kg of grain with minerals and vitamins, and around 50–60 kg hay. Needless to say, this makes them thirsty – very thirsty, in fact. Clydesdales drink over 100 litres of water per day.
Clydesdales have very big hoofs. Their horseshoes measure 5 cm from one end to the other.
Clydesdale foals are already almost a metre tall at birth.