Percheron Horse

Last Updated: March 26, 2021

The sturdy, impressive Percheron is a draft horse developed in France. These gentle giants have warmed the hearts of owners and trainers everywhere. Many would say these horses have a lust for learning, and they can be quite competitive during trials.

If you have had your eye on the breed, you might be wondering what to expect if you own one. After all, horse breeds can serve so many purposes—and you’ll want to make sure you’re both a good fit for each other before you commit. Let’s learn more about this extraordinary equine.

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Quick Facts about Percheron Horses

Species Name: Equus ferus caballus
Family: Equidae
Care Level: Advanced
Temperament: Calm
Color Form: Gray, black
Lifespan: 25-30 years
Size: 1,900-2,100 pounds
Diet: Grain, hay, plant matter
Minimum Fence Size: 1.5-2 acres per horse
Shelter Setup: Large stall
Compatibility: Medium

Percheron Horse Overview

white Percheron Horse
Image Credit: Pixabay

Little is known about exactly when these horses first came to be. However, they’ve grown so much since their start, serving noble purposes and taking on hefty workloads.

They were once calvary horses in France—later coming to the US in the mid-1800s. Once industrialization played its role, the need for draft horses of this caliber dwindled.

However, their strong, amicable personalities and thirst for knowledge makes them desirable still. You might see them pulling a moonlit carriage or taking passengers on a snowy sleigh ride.

You can also let them compete in the horse-pull circuit since they are focused and competitive. But they perform equally well as riding horses.

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How Much Does A Percheron Horse Cost?

The price for a Percheron horse can vary depending on many factors. A greatly depends on the horse’s age, quality, and training.

Because of these variables, you can expect to pay within the broad spectrum of $1,000-$10,000.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

Percheron horses are generally peaceful creatures that are lovable and easy to train. Being draft horses, they are built structurally for pulling large loads. But it’s not as widespread that they are absolutely fantastic for all riding levels.

Getting used to the massive Percheron might be the most challenging part of owning them. Once you’re comfortably over that hump, you will develop a deep relationship with one another.

Percheron horses are very trainable and adaptable. They have an eagerness to connect and please their trainers. These horses even work fantastically with very young riders, permitting the child is comfortable.

Appearance & Varieties

Percheron Horse
Image Credit: Pixabay

Percheron horses are largely built with muscular, broad heads and erect ears. These horses stand between 15 and 19 hands high.

Percherons come in several coat colors. Their tail and manes are typically long, wavy, and flowy.

Their fur can be:

  • Black
  • Gray
  • Chestnut
  • Sorrel
  • Roan

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How to Take Care of Percheron Horses

Percheron horses aren’t any more complicated than other breeds, but they do require specific care. Let’s learn a little bit about all aspects of what to expect if you own one.

Habitat, Setup, & Care 

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When it comes to keeping your Percheron safely inside of the fence, you do want to make sure you’re giving them enough space to free-range. As a general rule of thumb, you should have one horse per acre.

Shelter

Percheron horses require more shelter than some other livestock. Because they are a little more susceptible to different climates, they will need full protection in a dry and safe environment. Your horse should be in a stall littered with strong, freshwater, and hay.

Fencing

Because horses are such graceful jumpers, you’ll need to make sure that your fence can withstand. Many horse owners put up an electric fence so the horse knows to associate the fence with boundaries.

Riding

Percheron horses are wonderful when toting people around. One of the major downfalls of the breed is size. It seems to intimidate people more so than others. Don’t let their enormous mass for you—they are incredibly gentle and easy to ride.

Training

Percherons are highly receptive to training. They are alert, agile, and willing to work with you.

Grooming

You should probably give your Percheron a couple of passes with a bristled brush once every two days. Increase the frequency during the winter months when their hair is denser.

Vet Care

Your horse will need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, get routine exams, and receive regular hoof maintenance. It is always important to make sure that the hooves are debris-free and dry in between vet visits.

Do Percheron Horses Get Along with Other Pets?

Because of the Percheron’s docile personality, they tend to get along with other creatures as well. They are usually very agreeable in the pasture coexisting amongst other horses without issue. They might even be fond of the family pets if they grow acclimated to them enough.

Do be mindful of their size. They might accidentally hurt an animal without meaning to. Supervise any interactions between smaller pets and your horse.

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What to Feed Your Percheron Horse

Percherons have hefty appetites, out eating many breeds of like-size. As you can imagine, it can get a little pricey caring for one of these big brutes.

In only one day, they can eat over 30 pounds of hay alone. They typically consume 5 pounds of quality feed, too. You might also have to add additional supplements to keep them healthy, primarily if they can’t graze regularly.

spotted Percheron Horse
Image Credit: Pixabay

Keeping Your Percheron Horse Healthy

Because Percheron horses are so bulky and resilient, they generally don’t run into too many health issues. However, some problems can arise in this breed more often than others.

Like other draft horses, Percheron can develop equine polysaccharide storage myopathy. Because of their size, they can run into this disease that prevents the proper storing of glucose in muscles.

Percherons need proper care to thrive. Try to cover all the basics and beyond in horse care.

  • Keep their hooves dry and debris-free. You can even purchase hoof sealants to protect them from moisture that leads to abscesses and other problems.
  • Create a safe, warm environment for them each night. Unlike some other barnyard animals, horses need dry, clean areas to sleep—free of wind and weather.
  • Provide enough acreage for the number of horses you own. Remember the rule of an acre per horse.
  • Offer a daily diet that covers the bases of nutrition. Draft horses are not light eaters. They need a diet to keep up with the energy they burn.
  • Always make sure they have fresh water available to them. Horses need proper hydration that is fresh and free of bacteria and debris.
  • Walk or ride your horse daily. Horses require at least 2 hours of daily exercise.
  • Work on training and basic commands. Stimulating your Percheron’s mind will help them with manners, skills, and cognitive ability.

Breeding

If you plan to breed your Percheron, you will need to prepare a plan. Choose your desired mayor and stallion to create the outcome you want in the fowl.

Percheron horses have gestation periods of up to 340 days—that’s just a few days short of a year!

During birth, it’s best to have a veterinary professional on hand in case anything goes wrong. Sometimes, the babies can be huge, and the mother will need assistance delivering.

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Are Percheron Horses Suitable For You?

If you are not intimidated by the large size of the Percheron, they could be a charming addition to your barn. Percherons have personality, spunk, and even temperaments. Plus, they are large enough to pull carts or wagons if you ever needed the extra help.

Percheron horses might not be for everyone, but they can be rewarding equines to own.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay