Percheron horse: characteristics, feeding, where it lives and more

El percheron horse It symbolizes all the majesty and the lineage that any fervent worshiper of the horse breeds pursues. His history in the Crusades and his support in the daily work of the peasant gives him a halo of glory and power that you will surely want to learn more about, here we tell you.

Origin and history of the Percheron horse

This majestic breed is born in the province of Perche, near Normandy, France. However, this large specimen carries in its veins the blood of the Arabian horse.

With the Crusades, the Percheron stood out widely, quickly gaining prestige for its strength and temperament. In addition, of course, to her unparalleled beauty and sober style.

It was the Count of Perche, Rotrou III, who brought this majestic breed to his territory, after having seen it in full action in the Reconquest with his cousin the king Alfonso I, known as the Battler.

Already in the XNUMXth century, the horses from the Le Perche breeding could boast a widespread reputation. But by the XNUMXth century, the fame of the Percheron had multiplied even more, having been adapted to pull heavy French mail carts, so it was now seen everywhere in the Gallic country.

However, it is in 1823 when a specimen called jean leblanc he was mated to a mare at Le Perche. Since then all the descendants of this specimen are considered to be of the Percheron breed.

Sixteen years later, in 1839, Edward Harris of Moorestown exported a select group of these majestic horses to the United States, specifically to New Jersey. While they came to Ohio a little later, in 1851. These were the breeders N y louis napoleon.

The latter was later sold in Illinois, where the Association would later be created to bring together the specimens of this breed in that country.

Percheron horse

His speedy fame

The huge equine quickly became a favorite of American farmers. But it was also for the one who lived with the work of his cart, who could suddenly move his loads faster through the streets of cities throughout that great country. In such a way that thousands of these horses were sold from the second half of the XNUMXth century until the Second World War.

This is how the Percheron horse fulfilled its American dream.

After the war, the arrival of the tractor on the modern farm caused the breed to almost disappear. Then the Percheron nobleman was completely forgotten. But fortunately a group of farmers, including many Amish, worked to preserve the breed on American soil.

At the beginning of the 60's with the economic revival, the Americans seemed to re-discover the virtues of equines. So the Percherons were seen again on the farms working the land.

This is how thousands of giant and tame Percherons have been used since those times for recreational activities, such as sledding and parades. It is also common to see them in competition in various states and at local fairs throughout the US.

Due to their majestic bearing, they have become a true attraction in many streets of different localities, where they are shown either pulling cars or simply as commercial pieces in the tourist sites of several of the most important cities.

Although historically they have also been used in other countries. To tell an example, the Percherons were in charge of moving the rails that entered the San Carlos Brewery, in San Carlos, Argentina.

But something similar was done by the Bavaria Brewery in Colombia, who introduced them at the end of the XNUMXth century to use them in the transportation and marketing of their product.

Percheron horse

National stud farms in France

With the intention of preserving and promoting equine breeds, around the year 1639, the National Farms. Then, in 1655, Minister Colbert made official the conditions of the new organization, which allowed copies purchased by the State to be delivered for their care and reproduction to individuals.

Since 1730, many specimens offered their services as saddle breeders in these sanctuaries. But it was not until 1809, when the first officially registered stallions as draft animals were introduced. In this case, special mention was made of its origin: Bulonés or Cauches.

Characteristics of the Percheron

In general, the Percheron horse stands out for having a beautiful head, somewhat widened between the eyes. They also show an extensive and thick tail, as well as a powerful trunk. Its limbs are somewhat small but extremely powerful, topped with very hard hooves.

One of their great advantages is that they adapt easily to most weather conditions.

Their withers rise up to 1,62 m, in the case of mares, while males can reach 1,70 m. They are usually gray or dark brown.

But if something credits this breed, it is its magnificent temperament, adorned by docility and a hard-working spirit. But there is also their great strength, although they also show agile movements. In such a way that they are generally assigned draft jobs, both in transport carriages and in agriculture. They are also used in breeding.

Now we will detail those characteristics of the Percheron horse.


The Percheron horse has a somewhat small but wide neck, slightly sloping but quite strong. His mane is abundant. While his height is clearly outstanding.

The back of the Percheron horse is also stocky and sloping, while it boasts a proud wide and deep chest. It has a firm back and wide, shapely haunches. The tail has a high insertion.

As far as their legs are concerned, they are short but extremely muscular. Their hooves are also large and powerful.


The head of the Percheron horse is very elongated, although with pleasant and expressive lines. Its cheeks, as might be expected, are robust, although somewhat small in relation to the dimensions of the imposing animal.

It has a forehead that is quite wide, its ears are small and are always in constant movement and are positioned towards the Percheron's forehead. He has huge eyes and great expressions, a look with a lot of kindness.


There are two different varieties of the Percheron horse.

One is small, which is generally used for fast and heavy shooting. It generally offers a height at the level of the withers measured between 1,50 and 1,65 meters.

The other variety is the best known, the large one, used for heavy shooting.

This has a height that can be measured between 1,65 and 1,80 meters, up to the withers.

In small ones, their weight is usually located in a range between 500 and 800 kg. While those of the largest variety are between 700 and 1.200 kg. Some real tractors!


In the Percheron horse, all shades of black or gray are allowed.

However, the gray gray and jet black are more appreciated. On the other hand, the Moor or the roan can be given very rarely.


As we have already said, this is another of the benefits of the Percheron horse. His resistance, energy, high intelligence, docility and his hard-working spirit make him ideal for working on farms and for interacting with the children of the family.

However, no matter how percheron it is, it is still a horse, and as such it is usually stubborn.

A horse to set records

Due to its imposing corpulence, the Percheron horse can pull heavy carts, carrying more than 25 people and moving several tons of weight.

But the Percheron horse is not only strength. So due to its enormous resistance it is also capable of traveling an average of 60 kilometers / day.

For much of the XNUMXth century, the variety great of this colossal quadruped, was even used to pull buses in various cities around the world.

But contrary to its colossal dimensions, the Percheron horse does not suffer from a lack of grace in its movements. His dexterity and flexibility are evident. This has been confirmed in numerous public events, where he performs all kinds of acrobatics, steps and dances.

With all of the above it is clear that its colossal size not only serves to stimulate the imagination of people. Very real cases confirm that these majestic specimens are as powerful as people's desires.

This is how one of the most spoiled specimens of this breed boasts nothing less than the Guinness World Records as the world's largest horse. This is Poe, the great Poe, although he is clearly not the Bostonian poet, although the title of king of the poets could well be added to him. Domestic animals.

a swallowing machine

This magnificent exponent of the breed can boast of being almost two meters tall and more than MIL kilos of weight. Dimensions that must be maintained by gobbling up 4,5 kg of grain and two bales of hay/day.

While hydration is not minor either, because after eating, they also usually drink about 200 liters of water / day.

And to finish, if you have fallen in love with this caste, it favors you that the horse price percherons not be one of the highest. You can buy one between 4 thousand and 8 thousand euros. Of course, make sure you have enough food and water for him, because remember that he eats almost as much as a Gray whale.

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