Clydesdale Horse Height – Fun And Amazing Facts!

Last Updated on December 2, 2021

It is safe to say that Clydesdale horses are one of the true giants of the horse world! With their weighty bodies, long feathered legs, and floating mane and tail, these gentle giants are impressive sight indeed. But how about Clydesdale horse height – just how tall are they?

Let’s take a look at the size and height of the Clydesdale horse breed and find out more about this enormous horse.

What Is A Clydesdale Horse?

The Clydesdale is a very large breed of horse, known as a draft breed. A draft horse is one that was used for manual work, such as pulling heavy wagons and farm machinery. The Clydesdale is a very old breed of horse, which was once very popular as a farm workhorse.

These days, it is more common to see a Clydesdale horse at a farm park, petting zoo, or equine display. The horses used in the famous Budweiser horse-drawn parade are Clydesdales!

This wonderful breed of horse is very tall, with a wide, muscular body. Their feathered legs are long and strong, with a beautiful strutting movement. Despite their size, this is a gentle and kind breed of horse that is renowned for being easy to handle.

 how tall are clydesdale horses

How Many Hands Is A Clydesdale Horse?

You may not know that horses are measured in a very unusual way. The height of a horse is described in hands – so when someone asks how many hands a horse is, they don’t mean the things on the ends of your arms!

This ancient method of measuring horses stems from when measuring sticks were not readily available, and a standard method was needed. A hand is equal to 4 inches, which was the average width of a man’s hand! Therefore the height of a horse is stated as the number of hands and inches it measures.

The height of a horse must be measured at a certain point that always remains at the same height. If we measured the height of a horse at the head or on the rump, the height would change constantly. This is why the height of a horse is measured at the withers – the bony spinal prominences at the base of the neck.

So, now we know how horses are measured, what exactly is the Clydesdale horse height?

The height of a Clydesdale horse can be anywhere between 16 and 20 hands high.

Male Clydesdale horses tend to be taller than females, coming in at 17 to 19 hands high.

Female Clydesdale horses are between 16 and 18 hands high, which is still pretty tall!

Occasionally you will come across a Clydesdale horse which is taller than 19 hands high. One of the tallest Clydesdale horses ever recorded was an enormous 20 hands and 2 inches tall!

How Much Does A Clydesdale Horse Weigh?

It will come as no surprise to find out that Clydesdale horses are very heavy! An adult Clydesdale will weigh between 1500 and 2200 pounds. Male Clydesdales tend to weigh more than females. This impressive weight is more than a small car!

The height and weight of the Clydesdale horse mean that they are now one of the tallest and heaviest breeds of horse in the world. In fact, the heaviest Clydesdale horse ever recorded weighed an incredible 3000 pounds!

How Tall Are Clydesdales When They Are Born?

As one of the largest breeds of horse in the world, the foal of the Clydesdale is also a considerable size. A newborn Clydesdale foal will weigh between 110 and 180 pounds, and can stand over 3.5 feet tall!

When a foal is born, its legs are already nearly the length they will be in adulthood. As the foal gets older, it will increase in height as the body grows, but the legs will have very little growing to do! This is why newborn foals appear to have such long, gangly legs.

Clydesdale Horse Characteristics

Like many coldblooded breeds of horses, Clydesdales are gentle, calm, and dependable. Their huge size can be very daunting at first – after all, their hooves are larger than a human head! However, these gentle giants quickly earn the trust of even the most nervous horse handler.

These magnificent horses have many great characteristics and personality traits. These intelligent horses are willing to please and easy to train. They enjoy spending time with people and will develop a strong bond with their owner or handler.

So, although these horses are enormous in both size and weight, they are much easier to handle and train than you might think. They will work well as a team and do not get bored of even the most monotonous tasks. This is why the Clydesdale horse was once the most popular working horse in the world.

How Tall Are Clydesdale Horses Compared To Other Breeds?

It can be hard to try and imagine just how tall these equine giants really are! Let’s try comparing them to some other breeds to see how much bigger they are in reality.

  • Shetland Pony

The Shetland pony is one of the most famous small equines, with an average height of just 10 hands high. This means that most Shetland ponies could walk straight under the belly of a Clydesdale!

The elegant Arabian horse really couldn’t be much more different from the Clydesdale. With their fine bodies and floating movement, they are miles apart from the bulky, powerful Clydesdale. When it comes to size, the Arabian stands at just 14.1 to 15.1 hands high – much smaller than their draft horse counterparts!


As we have learned, Clydesdale horses are one of the gentle giants of the horse world. The height of a Clydesdale horse is normally between 16 and 19 hands high. Clydesdale mares tend to be slightly shorter than geldings, and stallions are the tallest examples of this breed.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Clydesdale horses. Have you ever met one of these wonderful ancient breeds of horse? Or maybe you know a horse breed that is even bigger than the Clydesdale? Please add a comment below!