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Home > Horses > American Cream Draft Horse: Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

American Cream Draft Horse: Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

American Cream Draft Horse

The American Cream Draft Horse is a rare and unique breed known for its beautiful cream-colored coat and gentle temperament. This powerful yet docile horse has a rich history in the United States and continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a versatile draft horse.

Breed Overview

Care Level Moderate
Temperature All climates
Temperament Gentle, easy-going, docile
Colors Cream
Lifespan 25-30 years
Weight 1,800 pounds (stallions), 1,600 pounds (mares)
Height 15–16 hands (stallions), 14–15 hands (mares)

The American Cream Draft Horse is the only draft horse breed that originated in the United States. Known for its strength and versatility, these horses excel in various tasks, including farming, logging, and pulling carriages. Their calm demeanor also makes them ideal for therapeutic riding programs and beginner riders.

American Cream Draft Horse Characteristics



What Are These Horses Used For?

American Cream Draft Horses are versatile animals primarily used for heavy draft work, including farming, logging, and plowing. Their strength and stamina make them ideal for tasks that require pulling heavy loads or working in challenging environments.

In addition to their work capabilities, these horses are popular for recreational riding due to their gentle nature and impressive appearance. They can be seen participating in parades, exhibitions, and carriage driving events, showcasing their elegance and grace.

Their calm temperament makes American Cream Draft Horses well-suited for therapeutic riding programs, where they provide emotional support and physical therapy to individuals with disabilities. Their patience and adaptability also make them excellent choices for beginner riders who are learning the basics of horsemanship. Larger wagons for hayrides or historical reenactments.

American Cream Draft Horse
American Cream Draft Horse (Image Credit: Just chaos, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

Where Did These Horses Originate From?

The American Cream Draft Horse has its roots in Iowa, United States, where it originated in the early 1900s. The breed’s foundation mare, Old Granny, was a remarkable horse known for her distinctive cream-colored coat, pink skin, and amber eyes. These traits were passed down through her descendants and became the defining characteristics of the breed.

Old Granny’s offspring were selectively bred to develop a powerful and versatile draft horse that retained the unique coloration and gentle disposition. Over time, the breed gained recognition for its exceptional qualities, and the American Cream Draft Horse Association was established in 1944 to preserve and promote this remarkable horse.

Today, the American Cream Draft Horse remains a symbol of American agricultural heritage and continues to be valued for its versatility, strength, and gentle nature.

Temperament & Intelligence of the American Cream Draft Horse

American Cream Draft Horses are known for their gentle, easy-going temperament and exceptional intelligence. Their docile nature and eagerness to please make them a delight to work with, whether it’s in the field, on the trail, or during training sessions. They bond well with their handlers and demonstrate a strong willingness to learn, which contributes to their adaptability to various tasks and environments.

These horses exhibit patience and a level-headed demeanor, making them ideal for riders of all experience levels, including beginners and children. Their intelligence allows them to quickly grasp new concepts during training, and they respond well to consistent, positive reinforcement methods.

In addition to their trainability, American Cream Draft Horses also possess a strong work ethic and a natural instinct for draft work. This combination of temperament and intelligence makes them a highly sought-after breed for various disciplines, from farming and logging to riding and driving.

Appearance & Varieties

The most distinguishing feature of the American Cream Draft Horse is its unique cream-colored coat, which can range from light to dark shades. This coloration is the result of a specific gene that affects the pigmentation in their coat, skin, and eyes. They have pink skin and captivating amber eyes, giving them a striking and memorable appearance.

These horses are large and muscular, with a strong build that reflects their draft horse heritage. They have broad chests, powerful hindquarters, and solid, sturdy legs, allowing them to pull heavy loads and perform demanding tasks with ease. Their heads are refined and expressive, with a straight or slightly dished profile.

Although the cream-colored coat is the defining characteristic of the breed, some variation in shade and markings may occur. However, all American Cream Draft Horses share the same general conformation and physical traits that make them stand out among other draft breeds.

american cream draft horse in the field
Image Credit: Nancy Kennedy, Shutterstock

horse shoe divider new do not use

Things to Know When Owning an American Cream Draft Horse:

Habitat & Stable Requirements 🌾

American Cream Draft Horses require spacious stables with adequate ventilation to ensure their well-being. A proper stable environment helps maintain their health and reduces the risk of respiratory issues. Providing comfortable bedding in the stable is essential for the horse’s comfort and joint health. Suitable bedding materials include shavings, straw, or rubber mats.

A clean, dry turnout area is crucial, as it allows the horses to graze, exercise, and socialize with other horses. Regularly maintaining the turnout area promotes a healthy environment for the horses. The amount of acreage needed per horse depends on various factors, including the size of the horse, available forage, and local climate. Generally, it is recommended to have at least 1–2 acres of land per horse for proper grazing and exercise. However, this can vary depending on the quality of the pasture, and in some cases, more land may be required to sustain a healthy environment.

Fencing is a crucial aspect of providing a safe and secure space for horses. The type and height of fencing depend on the horse’s size, temperament, and the potential risks in the surrounding area. Some common fencing options include wooden fencing, vinyl or PVC fencing, and electric fencing. A height of at least 4-5 feet is typically recommended to prevent horses from escaping or injuring themselves. In addition, the enclosure should be free of any hazards or sharp objects that could pose a risk to the horse.

Gates should be wide enough to accommodate horses and equipment, and they should be easy to open and close securely. It’s also essential to regularly inspect and maintain the fencing and enclosures to ensure their durability and safety.

Food & Diet Requirements 🥕

The primary component of an American Cream Draft Horse’s diet should be hay, providing the necessary fiber for proper digestion and overall health. Good-quality hay, such as timothy or alfalfa, is essential to ensure the horse receives adequate nutrients. Feeding your horse hay at least twice a day can help maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent issues like colic or ulcers.

Grains can be added to their diet to provide additional energy and nutrients, especially for horses with higher workloads or specific nutritional needs. Common grains include oats, corn, and barley. It’s essential to introduce grains gradually and monitor the horse’s weight and condition to avoid overfeeding. Supplements may also be required, depending on the horse’s specific needs, workload, and any deficiencies in their diet. Consult with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to determine the appropriate grain and supplement regimen for your horse.

Access to fresh, clean water is vital for maintaining hydration and overall health. Horses consume large amounts of water daily, so it’s crucial to provide them with a constant supply. Regularly check and clean water troughs or buckets to ensure the water remains clean and free of debris or contaminants.

Exercise 🐎

Allowing the horse daily turnout time is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. It enables them to roam freely, stretch their legs, and socialize with other horses. Turnout time helps prevent boredom, reduces stress, and encourages natural grazing behaviors.

Structured exercise, such as riding, driving, or ground work, is essential to keep these horses fit, engaged, and mentally stimulated. Incorporating various activities into their exercise routine can help prevent repetitive strain injuries and maintain their interest and motivation.

Incorporating rest days into your horse’s exercise routine helps prevent fatigue and injury while allowing their muscles to recover. Rest days are essential for maintaining the horse’s overall health and well-being, ensuring they remain eager and ready to work during active days.

Training 🐴

Consistent training sessions are crucial for teaching new skills and reinforcing desired behaviors in American Cream Draft Horses. Establishing a regular training schedule and maintaining clear communication with your horse helps build a strong foundation for learning and success.

Using positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and treats, helps build trust and encourages the horse to learn more effectively. Rewarding good behavior and progress during training sessions fosters a positive learning environment and strengthens the bond between the horse and handler.

Working closely with a professional trainer or experienced handler can help ensure a successful training experience for both you and your horse. Professionals can provide valuable guidance, tailored training plans, and support throughout the training process.

American Cream Draft Horse
American Cream Draft Horse (Image Credit: Just chaos, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

Grooming 🧽

Routine brushing helps remove dirt, debris, and loose hair while promoting healthy skin and coat. Using various brushes, such as curry combs, dandy brushes, and body brushes, can help address different grooming needs and keep your horse looking and feeling its best.

Proper trimming and cleaning of the hooves help prevent hoof-related issues and maintain the horse’s overall health. Regularly pick out your horse’s hooves to remove dirt, rocks, and debris, and schedule routine farrier visits for trimming and shoeing as needed.

Regular dental checks and routine veterinary care are necessary to keep these horses in optimal condition. Schedule annual dental exams to address any potential issues, such as sharp edges or uneven wear, and maintain a regular vaccination and deworming schedule based on your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Lifespan & Health Conditions 🏥

American Cream Draft Horses have a lifespan of up to 25 to 30 years. Like other horse breeds, there are some health conditions they can acquire. But regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, and a well-maintained environment can help prevent or manage these health conditions. By staying proactive and vigilant about your horse’s health, you can ensure they remain happy and healthy throughout their life.

Minor Conditions
  • Skin conditions (sunburn, photosensitivity)
  • Dental issues
Serious Conditions
  • Equine Metabolic Syndrome
  • Laminitis
American Cream Draft Horse
American Cream Draft Horse (Image Credit: American Cream Draft Horse CC BY 2.0)

Male vs Female

Stallions may be more assertive and require experienced handling, as their natural instincts can make them more dominant and territorial. Mares can be more sensitive and nurturing, which may make them more suitable for beginner riders or therapeutic riding programs.

It’s essential to consider your experience level and specific needs when choosing a horse.

3 Little-Known Facts About the American Cream Draft Horse

1. The American Cream Draft Horse is the only draft horse breed developed in the United States.

This breed of horse started back in the early 1900s in Iowa, all stemming from a mare called Old Granny.

2. This breed is considered rare, with fewer than 500 registered horses in existence today.

It is a shame that such a beautiful and docile breed of horse is very hard to find. However, there are efforts to increase the breed’s population.

3. The American Cream Draft Horse was recognized as an official breed in 1944 by the American Cream Draft Horse Association.

It is wonderful to know that this horse has been officially recognized! People should be very lucky to lay their eyes on the American Cream Draft Horse.

new horse shoe dividerFinal Thoughts

The American Cream Draft Horse is a versatile and gentle breed that excels in various tasks while maintaining a calm and docile demeanor. Their unique appearance and rich history make them a fascinating choice for horse enthusiasts seeking a reliable and eye-catching draft horse. Did we mention they’re gorgeous? That’s just a bonus!

Featured Image Credit: Collete Larson, Shutterstock

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