Both Shire and Clydesdale horses are gentle giants and the largest horse breeds in the world. They are also the most popular draft horse breeds in the United states. These draught horses were both originally used for farm work and agricultural work as they can pull heavy loads. These horses weigh and average weight between 1700-2500lbs and between 16hh-20hh tall. They feature muscular builds with a wide chest and distinct white markings on their lower legs (especially the clydesdale breed).
The key differences between Shire and Clydesdale horses
What really sets these draft breeds apart is the distinct coloring of the Clydesdale horse (bay with white markings) while the shire breed comes in a range of colors including black, gray, bay and brown. The clydesdale is a native Scottish breed while the shire horse originated from England.
Photo: Deviant Art
Which is bigger a Clydesdale or a Shire horse?
Shire horses tend to be a bit taller than Clydesdale horses too - The world’s largest horse ever recorded was a Shire horse at 21.2hh. But they are both big horses usually standing between 16hh-20hh. The shire horse height used to be much bigger than Clydesdale horses in the 1800s, but the Clydesdale have been bred to be taller and are regurarly seen at 18hh now. The biggest clydesdale ever recorded was King LeGear at 20.5hh.
Which is better Shire or Clydesdale?
It depends what you want to use your horse for. They are very similar in nature so if you're looking for a riding horse or a pet, they are equally friendly and calm. However Clydesdale horses are a little bit more popular and more expensive to buy because of this. The clydesdale are very sought after because of their solid color with white stockings and face markings.
Are Shire horses related to Clydesdales?
No, the Shire horse was bred in England and the Clydesdale horse was bred in Scotland. Even though they look very similar - they were bred from different breeds in the middle ages. The Clydesdale horse originates from Flemish stallions bred with Scottish mares in the 1700s while Shire horses were bred from the English Great Horse.
How much do Clydesdales cost?
Depending on the training, breeding and age of the Clydesdale horse, they can cost anything from $4000 up to $60,000. Their popularity has gone up since It is best known as the horse in the Budweiser commercials.