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American Cream Draft Horse: Facts, Lifespan, Pictures, Behavior & Care Guide

American Cream Draft Horse

Introduction

The American Cream Draft horse is known for its unique coloring and sweet nature. These large, gorgeous horses are cream-colored with white manes and tails and amber or hazel eyes. They are docile and willing to work, making them ideal for working on small farms and showing. Read on to learn all about these rare gentle giants.

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Quick Facts About the American Cream Draft Horse

Species Name: Equus ferus caballus
Family: Draft horses
Care Level: Easy to moderate
Climate: Do well in most climates
Temperament: Calm, gentle, docile, intelligent
Color Form: Cream—light to dark; white mane and tail
Lifespan: 20-35 years
Size: 15-16.3 hands tall, 1,600-2,000 pounds
Diet: Hay, grass, grains
Habitat: Pasture
Enclosure: Large enclosure due to size
Compatibility: Farm work, show, riding, carriage pull

American Cream Draft Horse Overview

The American Cream Draft is the only draft horse breed that originated in the United States. All of the American Creams descended from one draft mare from Iowa. The mare, known as “Old Granny,” gave birth to several cream-colored offspring in the early 1900s. All of these foals had her unusual pink skin and cream-colored coat.

Since then, the breed has fluctuated in numbers and is currently considered endangered to critically endangered. This may be due to the sharp decline in farming and the use of machinery rather than horses for farm work. However, there does seem to be a renewed interest in breeding the American Cream Draft because of their unusual and attractive appearance and general docile temperament.

The American Cream Draft makes a great show horse and is also popular as a carriage puller. They are good for novice horse owners because they are calm and gentle. They are also great workers so small farm owners may want to consider an American Cream Draft.

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How Much Do American Cream Draft Horses Cost?

Due to their rarity, it can be difficult to determine how much an American Cream Draft will cost. Stud fees can range anywhere from $250 to $1,000. There is no guarantee that the foals will exhibit the cream-coloring as this only occurs about 75 percent of the time if both parents are American Cream Drafts.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

The American Cream Draft is a good horse for first-time owners because of its calm, gentle temperament. They are not known to be high-spirited or stubborn. Instead, they are willing to learn. They like working and have sturdy, muscular bodies that make them good for small farms. They are also easy to handle, making them excellent horses for riding and showing.

Appearance & Varieties

Their distinctive cream coloring is the defining feature of the American Cream Draft. The coat color can range from pale cream to a darker version. One unique thing about their appearance is that the skin underneath their coats is pink instead of the dark color of most other horses. The American Cream Draft horse has a beautiful white mane and tail. Their eyes are either amber or hazel.

While they are considered large horses, the American Cream Draft is not necessarily tall. They average anywhere from 15 to 16.3 hands in height. They are, however, strong and sturdy with an average weight of 1,600 to 2,000 pounds. They have wide chests and strong hooves and backs which contribute to their working ability.

Overall, the American Cream Draft is a strong and sturdy workhorse. Their unique coloring makes them stand out on farms and at shows.

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How to Take Care of Your American Cream Draft Horse

One of the reasons the American Cream Draft horse is growing in popularity is because they are relatively easy to care for. They do have some requirements that must be met for their comfort and safety, but outside of these they are a fairly low maintenance horse.

Habitat Conditions & Setup

The American Cream Draft horse will do well in most conditions as long as they have the proper enclosure and grazing environment.

Enclosure

The American Cream Draft horse is large. Because of this, they need a bigger indoor enclosure than most horses. If they are to be kept in a stall, that stall needs to be large enough for them to move comfortably and they need plenty of outdoor time each day.

Bedding

The American Cream Draft horse does not have any specific requirements for bedding. Like all horses, the bedding used should provide them with a cushioned and insulated place to lie down when they are in their stall.

Temperature

These horses do well in most environments. The American Cream Draft is a hardy horse that originated in the Midwest so it is unlikely to be too bothered by cold weather and snow. They should always have access to an indoor area, however, so they can get out of the cold or heat as needed.

Outdoor Considerations

Your American Cream Draft horse is large, so they need room to roam. They like big, enclosed paddocks or pastures for grazing and wandering.

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Do American Cream Draft Horses Get Along with Other Pets?

Each horse has a unique personality and temperament. However, because they are naturally docile and friendly, your American Cream Draft horse will likely do just fine with other similarly tempered horses. Historically, the American Cream has worked in tandem with other horses to pull wagons and do farm work. Their gentle nature makes them a good companion for you and your other horses.

You should always watch other pets, especially dogs, around horses as they may spook your horse or get unintentionally stepped on. The same is true of other smaller barnyard animals like cats and chickens.

What to Feed Your American Cream Draft Horse

American Cream Draft horses are big and hearty. Like most other draft horses, they need to eat almost twice as much as smaller horses. This means anywhere between 25 and 50 pounds of hay per day. In the winter, you will need to provide them with more hay, especially if it is extremely cold. If your horse is working or exercising daily, you will also need to add other supplemental pellets or feed to their diet. They should always have access to fresh clean water. In the winter, you will need to make sure the water does not freeze over.

Keeping Your American Cream Draft Horse Healthy

The American Cream Draft horse tends to be relatively healthy. However, they do need regular grooming to keep their coat and hair free from pests and tangles. Their hooves need to be cleaned daily and you should watch for any signs of infection or injury.

One possible area of concern with American Cream Drafts is the fatal genetic disease junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB). Animals with this condition lose large patches of skin and have other problems. They are euthanized as foals. The good news is that genetic testing can ensure both parents do not carry the gene for JEB before mating.

Breeding

The American Cream Draft is very rare, with less than 500 living today. However, their wonderful temperament and beautiful appearance have led to a resurgence of interest in them. There are breed standards outlined by the American Cream Draft horse Association and a national registry to track their ancestry and preservation. If you are interested in owning an American Cream, you should research breeders and make sure you are selecting one that is on the registry.

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Are American Cream Draft Horses Suitable For You?

If you are a novice horse owner or just one that wants a beautiful gentle giant, then the American Cream Draft horse may be the right choice for you. They are great for working, riding, and showing. You won’t have to worry about stubbornness or willfulness as these beauties love to learn and please their owners. Although they are rare, the American Cream Draft horse population is on the rise. Interest from horse lovers like you will help keep the breed going for years to come.


Featured Image Credit: Collete Larson, Shutterstock

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