Last Updated on April 1, 2022
It is safe to say that Clydesdale horses are one of the heavyweights of the equine world! With their huge bodies, feathered legs, and floating mane and tail, they are an impressive sight indeed. But how much do Clydesdales weigh?
Let’s take a look at the size and weight of Clydesdale horses and find out more about this wonderful breed.
What Is A Clydesdale Horse?
Clydesdale horses are a very large breed of horses. They are known as a draft breed; this refers to horses which were used for heavy work such as pulling farm machinery. This is a very old breed of horse, which has been used as a workhorse for many years.
Nowadays, you are more likely to see a Clydesdale horse at a petting zoo or farm park. Although they are not used for work much anymore, Clydesdales are still a popular and much-loved breed of horse. If you’ve ever seen the famous Budweiser horse-drawn parade, the horses they use are Clydesdales!
Clydesdale horses are very tall with wide, muscular bodies. Their most famous feature is the beautiful, feathered legs, which they flick out as they strut along with a high-stepping gait. Clydesdales are truly gentle giants however and are very calm and friendly horses.
How Much Do Clydesdale Horses Weigh?
Clydesdale horses weigh between 1500 to 2200 pounds (680 – 1000 kilograms). The weight of a Clydesdale horse varies according to whether they are male or female, with the males normally weighing more. The heaviest Clydesdale recorded weighed an amazing 3000 pounds!
Interestingly, in the past, Clydesdale horses used to weigh less. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that horse breeders began to gradually increase the height, and therefore the weight, of these impressive horses. The modern-day Clydesdale is now one of the tallest and heaviest breeds of horse in the world.
What Is The Average Weight Of A Clydesdale Horse?
The average of how much Clydesdales weigh differs depending on whether it is male or female. A male Clydesdale, called a stallion or gelding, has an average weight of 1700 to 2200 pounds (770 to 1000 kilograms). Mature stallions tend to weigh more than geldings. A female Clydesdale, or mare, weighs an average of 1500 to 2000 pounds (680 to 770 kilograms).
So, we’re talking some pretty big numbers here! Let’s see if we can put this in context to try to understand just how huge these wonderful horses really are.
If we have a Clydesdale at the top end of the weight scale – 2200 pounds – what would this be similar to? Well, let’s take a look!
A full-size Clydesdale weighs the same as:
- Five Shetland Ponies
- Two Grizzly Bears
- Six Reindeer
- Or Sixteen Humans!
What Is A Healthy Clydesdale Weight?
If you own or care for a horse, it is very important that you make sure that they are at a healthy weight. Horses which are underweight, or overweight are at risk of many health conditions, some of which might be life-threatening.
When it comes to a huge breed of horse like the Clydesdale, it is essential that you monitor their bodyweight carefully. To do this you will need to find out how much Clydesdales weigh. Being overweight is particularly risky for large horses, leading to long-term medical conditions such as laminitis and insulin resistance.
But when it comes to monitoring the weight of a horse, what is the best way to do this? Most horse owners do not have a set of scales suitable for weighing a horse. This means we need to find other ways to check the weight of a horse.
The first thing to look at is whether there are any scales in your area you can use. Your local veterinary clinic may have some horse weighing scales, or there could be a weighbridge you can take your horse to.
If you don’t have access to any scales, then there are some other ways to check the weight of a horse:
- A device called a weigh-tape can be used to calculate the weight of a horse. This is a specialized measuring tape, which is used to measure around the girth. The tape then gives you an estimation of the weight of the horse based on the girth measurement.
- You can also use a normal measuring tape to take a specific set of measurements. Using a formula, these measurements are used to calculate the bodyweight of the horse. This method is considered to be slightly more accurate than the weigh-tape.
Body Condition Scoring
Any of these methods will tell you how much your horse weighs, but not if they are over or underweight. For this, you will need to carry out an assessment called body condition scoring.
This is a method which helps horse owners to understand if their horse is the right weight. It does not give you the actual weight of your horse but assesses if they need to lose some weight or if you need to give some extra feed.
Body condition scoring works by taking a close look at various different parts of the horse’s body. The shape of each part is compared to a chart and given a score. The overall score is then added up to give a final figure, which tells you if your horse is underweight, overweight, or just right!
For example, as part of the body condition score assessment, you would look at your horse’s ribs. In a horse at the perfect body weight, the ribs should not be visible, but you should be able to feel them easily. In overweight horses, it will be difficult to feel the ribs, while in underweight horses the ribs will be clearly visible.
So, as we’ve learned, Clydesdale horses weigh between 1500 and 2200 pounds This makes them one of the heaviest breeds of horse in the world, and one Clydesdale weighs as much as five Shetland ponies put together!
We’d love to hear your thoughts about Clydesdale horses. Have you ever met one of these giants of the horse world? Or maybe you know a horse which is even bigger than a Clydesdale? Perhaps you have questions about how much Clydesdales weigh? Please add a comment below!
How much does the biggest Clydesdale horse weigh?
King LeGear is believed to be the world’s tallest Clydesdale horse on record. He was standing 20.5 hands high and weighted stunning 2,950 pounds at the age of 7 years old. He was owned by the founder of a patent veterinary medicine company based in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. L.D. LeGear. Not much is known about this horse, apart from the fact that he was alive around the turn of 20th century. However, he must have been an amazing and impressive animal, according to his measures.
Which is bigger Clydesdale or Shire?
Shires and Clydesdales share the same basic physical characteristics. Shire horses are often slightly larger than the Clydesdales, but they have the same basic structure. Clydesdales are normally slightly smaller and a bit more compact than Shires, but they’re not much less broad than the Shires, either.
Both Shires and Clydesdale are a draft horse breed. They were originally bred for pulling carts, plows, and farm work. Both breeds are very sturdy and make excellent work animals. However, nowadays they are often used for pleasure riding or as family horses due to their calm nature and gentle temperament. Both breeds are very intelligent, well-mannered, and good-natured and are extremely loyal to their owners.
How many acres does a Clydesdale need?
A good rule of thumb is 1.5 to 2 acres of open, intensely managed land per horse. A farmer should always strive to maintain two acres per horse, though, in order to maintain a good supply of feed for his animals as the location and weather can have a huge effect on the actual production of forage. There are many other factors that influence the production of forage, such as the quality of the soil and the amount of rainfall. You should be able to find the specifics for your area by contacting your local agricultural department.
The type of forage you will produce will depend on the type of horses you own and the environment you live in. In general, pasture grasses are best suited for all types of horses. The most common grasses are red clover, alfalfa, timothy, and orchard grass. All of these can be dried and used as hay.
How much do baby Clydesdales weigh?
The weight of a newborn foal can range from 110 to 180 pounds. The mother of the foal may produce up to 100 pounds of milk daily, and the foal may gain up to 4 pounds a day in the first few months. Their mothers provide them with colostrum in the first 12 hours of life, which is a special immunoglobulin-rich milk that protects them against infections. A foal’s behavior depends on their age. Young foals are more active than adults, but the younger a foal is, the more likely it is to be playful. Foals that are older tend to be more inquisitive and curious. As the foal ages, their behavior becomes more mature, and they develop independence.
The United States has the most Clydesdales in the world. Canada, Great Britain, and Australia are all close behind. There are approximately 600 new horses registered in the US annually.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE