Breeding for Saddle & Sport
Breed Characteristics and Other Links
Originally developed in Scotland in the mid 19th century, the Clydesdale has made its presence in the USA and Canada since the 1870's, and has evolved into one of the most recognizable breeds throughout the world. Though once listed as a rare "vulnerable" breed due to its severe international decline in the 1940's, the Clydesdale has seen a resurgence in the last two decades as numbers are up to around 5,000 animals world wide.
The Clydesdale is not as heavy as most of its draft counterparts. In general conformation, the Clydesdale is more rangy, athletic, and lacks the width and overly-muscled physique of other breeds. The Scotch breeders paid close attention to legs, pasterns, and feet, resulting in a durable work animal. Oakwood Thistle's Guinness exceeds the standard, measuring 18h and weighing in at 2200lbs, yet remains athletic and proportional.
No other draft equals the Clydesdale in style and action. The prompt walk with a good, long, snappy stride, and a sharp trot with hocks well flexed and carried close together are typical traits. These horses certainly do not plod. Sound, clean, flate bone; well-set, sloping pasterns; large, round feet, and a moderate amount of fine feather are important characteristics. Chrome-type white markings - which include splashes of sabino - like stockings and full blazes are the distinguishing color attributes.
Guinness himself exhibits the traditional four white stockings and perfect white blaze. He is suprisingly light on his feet for a draft, with more suspension that most other cold-bloods. While he does show the snappy action of a typical hitch horse, he naturally falls into the lengthened and flowy movement that makes him so suitable for dressage.
As far as temperment, Guinness cannot be beat. Clydesdales are docile, calm, and mild-mannered; they are also curious, willing to learn, and intelligent creatures that are easy to train.