Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
Our Massive Real World Equine Reference!

[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Ardennais (Ardy)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Ardennais (also known as 'Ardennese' and 'French Ardennais'), is a heavy draft horse breed named after the European Ardennais region from which it originated. It is a direct descendant of the "Solutre" horses that roamed the Ardennais region since the Pleolithic Era, and is therefore the oldest known draft breed.

The Ardennais was always a highly appreciated breed, and was used to create and refine many other horse breeds. Ardennais horses were viewed as being tough and strong, and Julius Ceasar described them as being "rustic, hard, and tireless." Their powerful build made them popular among knights who needed a strong horse who can carry them while they wear a full armor. Ardennais horses were also used by Napoleon during his Russian Campaign, because they had enough stamina to pull heavy loads of equipment and supplies from France to the frontline in Russia, and to withstand the extreme Russian winter.

Originally, the Ardennais horses used to stand between 14hh and 15hh. However, in the 19th century, Ardennais horses were crossed with the larger Belgian Drafts, and thus became taller and stronger. During that century, they were widely used for farm work during peace times, and for pulling artillery in the battlefield during wartime. Today, Ardennais horses are used in combined driving, as well as for heavy farm and forestry work. In addition, because of their sensible and amenable temperament, Ardennais horses are also popular in therapeutic riding schools.

Ardennais horses are said to be "built like a tractor," because they have an extremely heavy and muscular build, and can weigh more than a ton. They come in the colors of bay, brown, chestnut, and dark grey. In addition, they often have a roan coat, and their markings are kept to a minimum. Palomino and buckskin colors are rare but occur as well, since the Ardennais is one of the two draft breeds which produce these colors. Therefore, in Horse Isle, Ardennais horses can also come in the colors of cremello and perlino. On the other hand, they don't come in black and pinto coats, because the registry prohibits these colors from registration. The silver dilution is also found in this breed, though it is rare. Ardennais horses usually stand between 15hh and 16hh, but individuals as tall as 16.1hh can be found as well.

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