The Cavto thelo Clydesdale it is one of the most famous of the English ones, comes from Scotland and is considered a slow heavy throwing breed. It was once among the smallest draft horses but with the passage of time and the evolution of the breeds, it has come to be considered one of the largest horses that perform this function.
The name of this horse comes from the county where it was bred, which was once called exactly Clydesdale, but which is currently recognized as Lanark or Lanarkshire. Among the characteristics of this breed is the bay coat and the final part of the white limbs, a pairing that cannot fail to catch the eye. It is an animal with a docile and meek character, easy to tame and that was once used both in the agricultural and in the transport sector and which still plays the role of draft animal today.
Clydesdale horse: origins
We have already explained the origins of the name, they are linked to the geography of Scotland. The breed seems to have been born from a cross between local mares and Flemish stallions and there is also a small portion of Shire horses.
What were Flemish horses doing in the Clyde Valley? They were brought there in the mid-18th century when massive road interventions were made to speed up the transportation of coal to the area and it became necessary to carry special machinery too heavy for the local horses. THE Flemish horses they are particularly strong and, when mated with local mares, they gave birth to the first examples of the Clydesdale horse, a horse that is still considered strong and regal today, ideal for carrying out very heavy work
There are also other hypotheses on the origins of this breed but this remains the most credible and in any case they all admit the strong influence of the Flemish horses which give it a lot of strength.
Clydesdale horse: characteristics
The first specimens of Clydesdale they have little to do with those who today we can see employed in the various sectors, its shape has changed over the years. Initially it was a small horse, at the beginning of the twentieth century, then in the following decades a selection was gradually made for get stronger but taller horses and with a majestic physique. We reached a height at the withers of about 164 cm - 173 cm, for males, and of 163 cm - 165 cm for females, as for weight we are around 700 - 1000 kg.
The head has a straight or slightly convex profile with a broad and flat forehead, the neck joins it to the sloping shoulders and is very muscular and long. The chest is broad and deep and the abdomen is light and slender, the withers as we have seen are quite high but the back-lumbar line is short and slightly saddled and the loins are wide. There croup is muscular, long, wide, and oblique but the junction of the tail is high, the limbs are slender but well rounded with muscles and from the knee down they have a lot hair up to cover the hoof which is large, rounded.
Most Clydesdale horse specimens have a bay coat or dark bay, or black, but according to the breed standard, other colors may also appear, such as roan and gray. Often these horses also have white markings that stand out on their shapes, for example on the muzzle, or on the legs and sometimes on the lower part of the belly. These white spots have a genetic origin, are related to the presence of the Draft-Type-Sabino and some breeders selected specimens with white spots only on the muzzle and the body all uniform, combining horses with only one white leg, and horses with four white legs and possessing traits of Draft-Type-Sabino genetics.
Clydesdale horse: aptitudes and use
At one time the Clydesdale was used by medieval knights as a steed because thanks to its size and strength it was able to carry the knight and his imposing armor into battle.  Later it was used as a transport horse and in agriculture, to transport the coal in Lanarkshire and to transport even heavier material to Glasgow. Nowadays, the Clydesdales are still used for some of these areas, including agriculture, cutting and towing of felled trees in the Scottish forests. They are also ridden, kept as pets, and parades.
The most famous specimens of this breed are the Clydesdale of Budweiser. These horses were initially owned by the Budweiser Brewery towards the end of Prohibition in the United States, and have since become an international symbol of both the breed and the brand. The Budweiser breeding program, with its strict color and conformation standards, has greatly influenced the physical appearance of the breed in the United States to the point that many people believe that Clydesdale are always bay colored with white markings. The Clydesdale breed is used by the British Household Cavalry as drum horses, leading parades on ceremonial and state occasions. Selected horses have showy coats such as piebald and roan. To be used for this purpose, a horse must be at least 173cm tall. The horses are ridden by the musical guide together with two silver drums weighing 56 kilograms each.
In the late 19th century, Clydesdale blood was added to the Irish draft breed in an effort to improve and strengthen it; however, these efforts were not seen as successful, as Irish draft horse breeders thought Clydesdale blood yielded their horses coarser and prone to leg pathologies. The Clydesdale was instrumental in creating the Gypsy Vanner horse, developed in Great Britain. It was also used together with other draft breeds to create the Australian Draft Horse. In the early twentieth century, they were often crossed with Dales ponies, creating medium-sized draft horses useful for pulling commercial chariots and military artillery.
Clydesdale horse: diseases and pathologies
There are some problems typical of the breed and that the most experienced can immediately identify. Among the first things you go to look at there are hooves and limbs, to understand the presence of vaccination, another risk is that of chronic progressive lymphedema which can show clinical symptoms such as progressive swelling, hyperkeratosis and fibrosis of the distal portions of the limbs.
The Clydesdale horse breed can also have gods skin problems, especially on the lower leg, exactly in the hairy one that can itch. The skin is also sensitive to the sun, sometimes too much.
Clydesdale horse: feeding
Each horse must eat one amount of food that much depends on the activity it carries out. In our case we are dealing with a slow heavy draft horse which must therefore always be muscular and its diet must ensure that it maintains its weight and that it has the strength to do the job for which it was purchased.