Lithuanian Heavy Draught Horses
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About Lithuanian Heavy Draught HorsesAbout Lithuanian Heavy Draught Horses



Lithuanian Heavy Draughts are a draught horse breed createdrnin Lithuania during the 19th and 20th centuries. They were developed byrncrossing local Zhmud mares with Ardennes, Percheron, Brabant, and other heavyrnbreeds. rnrn 

rnrn rnrnIn Lithuania draught capacity testing began in 1857, andrnsince 2002 the Lithuanian Horse Breeders Association has taken over thernresponsibility of heavy horse testing. Recently, more have begun to be exportedrnfor meat. They are also used to improve other breeds. When crossed with nativernAltai horses, they improved the meat and milk yield and also increased thernweight, growth rate, and ability to withstand year-round grazing conditions.rnrn 

rnrnInitially, Lithuanian Heavy Draughts were included into herdrnbooks as Ardennes crossbreds. A breed-specific herd book was issued from 1951rnto 1996. The herd books for Lithuanian Heavy Draughts are now issued by thernLithuanian Horse Breeders Association, with purebred Lithuanian Draughtsrnidentified by their colour, conformation, and markings. In 1964 there werern62,000 Lithuanian Heavy Draughts in Lithuania. Recently, there has been arndramatic decrease in the breed population, with stallion numbers declining andrnbreeding and working conditions deteriorating. Currently, the breed is close tornextinction, with less than 1000 horses thought to exist as of 2003.rnrn 

rnrnLithuanian Heavy Draught horses generally stand 15 to 16rnhands high, and may be bay, chestnut, black, grey or roan. Their head isrnwell-proportioned with a straight profile and heavy jaw. Their neck is short,rnmuscular, and arched, their withers are broad and moderately pronounced and theirrnis chest wide, deep and muscular. Their back is long, and generally straight,rnalthough it can be slightly dipped, and the croup rounded, long and muscled.rnTheir legs are short, solid, and muscular with broad, strong joints andrnwell-formed hooves. Defects occasionally shown include a coarse head and anrnexcessively dipped back.

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