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The Majestic Clydesdale: A Complete Breed Overview

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the majestic Clydesdale horse breed! With their striking appearance and impressive size, Clydesdales have captured the hearts of horse enthusiasts worldwide. In this blog post, we will delve into the rich history, physical characteristics, and unique traits that make Clydesdales a truly remarkable breed.

Clydesdale at Clydesdale Outpost in Whitefish Montana
Hercules American Express, brother to Isabelle owned by Vivian Leaver and new to Clydesdale Outpost.

History: The history of Clydesdale horses traces back to the 18th century in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Named after the River Clyde, the breed was initially developed for agricultural purposes, serving as powerful draft horses on Scottish farms. Over time, their popularity grew, and they became highly sought after for their strength, versatility, and gentle temperament.


Physical Characteristics: Clydesdales are known for their impressive stature, standing between 16 and 18 hands high (64 to 72 inches at the shoulder). They exhibit a muscular build with a deep chest, broad shoulders, and a strong, arched neck. These horses boast feathering—a long, luxurious hair covering their lower legs—and a beautiful, expressive head with kind eyes.


Coat Colors: While Clydesdales are most commonly associated with the iconic bay coat color featuring white facial markings and four white stockings, they can also come in other hues. These include black, chestnut, and occasionally, roan. Regardless of coat color, the Clydesdale's elegance is accentuated by their white markings, which can be unique to each individual.

Clydesdales at Clydesdale Outpost on the Stillwater River
The diverse herd when canoeing on the Stillwater.

Temperament: Clydesdales are renowned for their gentle and docile nature, making them excellent horses for both experienced equestrians and beginners alike. Their calm temperament makes them reliable partners for various equestrian activities, from farm work to competitive disciplines such as driving, dressage, and jumping.


Strength and Versatility: One of the most notable characteristics of Clydesdales is their remarkable strength. They possess tremendous pulling power, enabling them to handle heavy loads with ease. Their size and power also make them ideal candidates for participation in pulling contests and parades, where they showcase their impressive capabilities.


Feathering: Clydesdales stand out not only for their size but also for their feathering, which refers to the long, silky hair that adorns their lower legs. This unique feature sets them apart from many other horse breeds and adds to their majestic appearance. Proper care and grooming of the feathering are important to maintain its beauty and health.


Modern-Day Clydesdales: While Clydesdales are no longer as prevalent in agricultural work, they have found new roles in various industries. They often take part in shows, driving carriages/sleighs, promotional events, representing brands and businesses, and they have even become popular choices for equine-assisted therapy due to their gentle and trustworthy nature.

Clydesdales are truly magnificent creatures, embodying strength, grace, and a rich history. Whether it's their towering presence, kind temperament, or distinctive feathering, Clydesdales continue to captivate the hearts of horse enthusiasts worldwide. We hope this comprehensive overview has provided you with valuable insights into the remarkable world of Clydesdale horses.

Next time you encounter a Clydesdale, take a moment to appreciate their majesty and the legacy they carry, bridging the gap between past and present with their enduring presence.


Clydesdales at Clydedale Outpost at Sunset
Rain and the herd along the Stillwater River.



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