Zeeland Horses
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Zeeland (also known as Dutch Heavy Draft or Zeeuwse Trekpaard) horses are an old Dutch Breed that was influential in the development of the Belgian and Dutch draft horses. Dutch and Belgian carriage horses are very similar and their registries will often take animals from the other country. It is thought that the breeding of the Zeeland horse began early in the 17th century. Initially they were developed not only as a carriage horse, but as a robust workhorse for wartime, agriculture, and mining. In fact, a large portion of the Dutch economy depended on the strength of these animals. They were highly prized animals well into the 20th century when mechanical transport became more effective. However, after the Second World War, Zeeland horses became more of a pleasure, carriage animal.

Zelland horses are on average 15-16 hands high. For such a large horse, the Zeeland has an energetic step and strong gaits. They are the only pulling horse breed in the Netherlands; but unfortunately there are currently ow in numbers.

Traditionally their tails were docked at the tailbone, giving them a super-robust look. This was done for both superstitious reasons (people believed that a long tail took strength from the horse’s back) and for practical reasons as carriage horses, where a long tail can get in the way. Thankfully, since 2001 docking tails is against the law in the Netherlands.

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