The Clydesdale is Scotland’s indigenous breed of heavy horse.

The Clydesdale

It takes its name from the district of Scotland through which the upper reaches of the River Clyde flow. It is from this area, now known as South Lanarkshire, that the breed originated in c. 1700.

Conformation, Colour and Characteristics:   At first glance, the Clydesdale bears a marked resemblance to the Shire, especially as it also has the distinctive long silky hair, or ‘feather’, on its lower legs. However, it is generally lighter in build, has a longer neck and its forequarters are markedly higher than its hindquarters, with very clearly delineated withers.  Females generally range from 16.3 – 18hh while the males are 17.1 – 18.2hh.   Traditionally, the preferred colours are dark brown or bay with a white blaze over the face and white legs to just over the knees and hocks.   However, chestnuts, blacks, light bays and roans are occasionally seen.   The Clydesdale should give the general appearance of strength, power and activity.

Uses: The Clydesdale breed was traditionally used for farm work in Scotland, and is now used throughout the UK in forestry operations, for showing and driving, and even for riding. For more information, please contact the Clydesdale Society on