Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Russian Heavy Draft (RHD)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Russian Heavy Draft was developed in Russia during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. It was created by crossing Russian and Ukrainian breeds with Ardennais and Brabant (Belgian Heavy Draft) horses.

During the early 20th century, the Russian Heavy Draft gained popularity, and consequently, its population grew. However, World War I and the Russian Civil War that followed it had a negative impact on this breed, and its numbers decreased dramatically. Fortunately, the Russian Heavy Draft was saved by Russian breeders who continued to breed it, and today it is a popular breed in Russia.

Generally speaking, when it comes to their conformation, Russian Heavy Drafts have massive necks that can be heavily crested, long backs that can be arched, short legs that have light-to-medium feathering, and hooves that are relatively small. That said, there are three subtypes of Russian Heavy Drafts which slightly differ in their size and conformation: the Novoaleksandrov Russian Heavy Draft, which is the smallest of the three; the Massive Russian Heavy Draft, which is the largest of the three; and the Ural Russian Heavy Draft, whose size is in-between.

Russian Heavy Drafts are not as large or heavy as other draft breeds, but nevertheless they are muscular and powerful. Furthermore, they are excellent trotters, and have a flowing action and a decent speed. Therefore, today, Russian Heavy Drafts primarily serve as farm and harness horses. In addition, Russian Heavy Draft mares are milked regularly, as they produce large quantities of high quality milk.

Most Russian Heavy Drafts come in the color of chestnut, with bay and brown horses exist to a lesser extent. Roan also exists in this breed. Russian Heavy Drafts stand between 14.1hh and 15hh.

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