How horses are measured
Before we look at some of the tallest horse breeds, we first need to know how horses are measured. Horses are measured in “hands”, where each hand equates to 4 inches. When measuring a horse’s height, the measurement will start from the ground to the highest point between the shoulder blades.
“The world’s tallest horse is currently a Belgian horse “Big Jake”, standing at just over 20 hands (82.75 inches)”
How tall are horses?
A horse considered tall would be at least 16 hands (64 inches). There are some breeds that can reach heights upwards of 18 hands (72 inches).
Here are four horse breeds that are regarded as the tallest horse breeds in the world. Just like every animal, you’ll find different sizes regardless of the horse breed. The measurements given below are typical of these breeds.
The British shire breed is a draught horse that has previously held world records for its size. Usually seen as a grey black and reddish-brown color. The shire horse breed is known for its ability for pulling substantial amounts of weight. This powerful breed was used for heavy farm work and towing barges. The Shire breed is known for having an easy-going temperament.
A fully grown stallion (male) shire horse has an average height of 17.2 hands (70 inches) and grown mares have an average height of 16 hands (64 inches). The shire horse can weigh anywhere from 850 to 1100 kg (1870 to 2430 lb).
The Percheron is a draft horse breed that originated along the Huisne river of western France. Usually seen as black or grey in color, the Percheron is well built, with lots of muscle. This Percheron is known for their intelligence, along with their eagerness to work. The Percheron was used for anything that required a heavy weight load. They were used during times of war, for agriculture, and pulling stagecoaches.
A grown stallion can reach heights of 18.1 hands (73 inches), weighing upwards of 2,600 lbs (1,200 kg). The Percherons temperament is considered as being alert, proud, highly intelligent, easy to keep, along with having a strong willingness to work.
The Clydesdale horse breed is a draught horse named after their area of origin, in Scotland’s Clydesdale. The Clydesdale is a particularly powerful horse breed and was used heavily used during the war, agriculture, carriage, and road haulage. After 1970 the breed was vulnerable to becoming extinct, however, more recently the breed has seen its numbers increase slightly.
A grown Clydesdale stallion can reach a height of 17 hands (68 inches), while mares average around 16 hands (64 inches). Stallions can reach a weight of 850 kg (1873 lbs), while mares will weigh around 750 kg (1653 lbs).
The Belgian horse breed is a draft horse that originates from Brabant in Belgian. They are thought to be one of the strongest horse breeds in the world. The breed is still used for working to this day, while they’re also a popular breed for show. Belgians are known for their ability for pulling immense amounts of weight.
The world’s tallest horse is currently a Belgian horse “Big Jake”, standing at just over 20 hands (82.75 inches).
Belgian stallions have an average height of 16.5 hands (66 inches) while weighing an average of 900 kg (1984 lbs). Belgian mares have an average height of 16 hands (64.5 inches), weighing around 700 kg (1543 lbs).