Clydesdales average at a 17 hand or 18 hand height, which is extremely tall for a regular riding horse. If you’re not used to riding a horse of this height, it may take some adjusting for you to get used to it!
There are two, arguably three, disciplines that Clydesdales really excel at. The first two are trail and dressage. Lastly, though not an official discipline per se, Clydesdales are great pleasure and family horses.
Clydesdales are known for being gentle and easy-going. They do not spook or startle easily, and they are very level-headed. As mentioned earlier, they also have comfortable gaits. For these reasons, Clydesdales can be great trail horses.
Clydesdales, like many other draft breeds, also excel at lower level dressage. They are beautiful horses that can have very flashy, correct gaits. They are great horses to learn dressage on and will be gentle and forgiving to a rider that may not be perfect.
Lastly, Clydesdales make great family horses or “husband” horses. They are generally low maintenance and extremely level-headed. They don’t require a regular training program and can be ridden by children and those who may not be as experienced in the saddle.
So, yes! Clydesdales can be ridden, and in fact, make great riding horses. But, before putting a deposit down on your gentle giant, make sure your goals are aligned with the physical abilities of a Clydesdale.