Poitevin Horse

Poitevin Horse

Here we can see, “Poitevin Horse”

The Poitevin Horse is a late-developing draught horse from the Poitou area of France, famed for its placid demeanor——the result of cross-breeding many European draught horse breeds.

They were developed in the marshy region of Poitou during the 17th century, mainly in the areas of Lucon, Melle, Niort, and La Rochelle. They were generated by a combination of natural and human selection in the marshy terrain they inhabited. Even though they were classified as draught horses, they were never used or popular for this purpose. Because of the morphological similarities seen in prehistoric equine breeds in the Poitou region and Mesolithic vestiges around the Echire and Surgeres, many scientists have claimed the Poitevin as their progenitors. However, such assertions have yet to be proven in scientific studies. Horses were most likely brought to the Poitou region by the Celts during their migration. Other documents indicate that in the 10th century, a Roman bishop requested a mare from the Count of Poitou in this region.

The evolution of this species began in 1599 when French King Henry IV requested that the Dutch and Flemish engineers, commanded by Humphrey Bradley, begin draining the Poitou wetlands. These individuals brought with them breeds, including the Brabant, Friesian, and a type of Flemish workhorse that was prominent throughout the 13th century. The mares native to Poitou were crossed with these kinds, which reached 16.3 hands and 1200 kg in size and weight. This crossbreeding technique produced a giant breed with a sluggish and slow temperament, which appears to be the precursor of today’s Poitevin.

Towards the end of the 18th century, the French government decided to mix the Poitevin breed with lightweight Norman and Thoroughbred horses to create cavalry breeds. However, many private breeders opposed, believing that the horses generated by crossbreeding may create mules if they were bred further.

This breed’s mares were mated with Poitevin donkeys, resulting in a huge, sturdy Poitou mule. However, the mule breeding sector, which had dominated the 18th century, was hit by opposition from the government’s stud farm administration, which wanted to breed cavalry horses for the French soldiers.

The authorities outlawed the breeding of mules from mares with a height of 11.3 14 hands and threatened to castrate all donkeys. Poitevin colts and fillies began to be sold at fairs in several parts of France during the 19th century, including Marans, Surgeres, and Nuaille. The number of Poitevin’s increased towards the beginning of the twentieth century but then began to drop.

Colts that had not been used for mule breeding were seen as “soft” and less desirable than the Percheron, the most common draught horse breed at the time (the 19th century). Some traders brought young grey horses and fed them heavily to make them muscular and heavy, eventually selling them as Precherons. By 1861, the old-styled Poitevin had all but disappeared. In fact, due to increased cross-breeding and a lack of sufficient care, the number of huge mares has decreased. The Anglo-Poitevin was a half-blood formed by crossing Thoroughbreds and the army’s crosses.

Also See:  Vladimir Heavy Draft

On the 26th of June, 1884, the Société Centrale d’Agriculture des Deux-Sèvres published the Poitevin studbook, which included a horse and donkey section. The first edition, published on December 31, 1885, established physical standards for these horses and prohibited the promotion of crossbreds as purebreds. The studbook was finally closed in 1922 after 424 foundation horses were recorded following multiple changes. Poitevin breeders formed an association in 1922, which was later restructured in 1937.

Due to industrialization, the mule breeding industry declined in the twentieth century. By 1922, it wasn’t easy to sell these stallions, and their population had plummeted. Only 600 mares and 50 stallions remained in 1950. Between the 1970s and 1990s, the population of these horses ranged from 250 to 300, with an average of 20 horses entering the studbook each year. However, the population of these horses was probably at its lowest point in the 1990s. According to some accounts, by 1996, there were 64 newly registered foals and 28 approved breeding stallions. Despite a minor uptick in popularity at the turn of the century, they were recognized as the most endangered breed of French horses by 2006, with less than 100 births each year.

In 2011, 71 foals were registered in the studbooks, and 227 mares were found, with 171 bred to Poitevin stallions. This breed is available to the public at l’Asinerie nationale de la Tillauderie, an experimental farm. Some breeding stallions have been shipped to the United States, where breeders have expressed an interest in keeping the breed alive as a draught horse. Stud farms can even be found in the United States and Sweden.

User Questions

What is the average lifespan of a Poitevin Horse?

10 – 12 years

What is the size of a Poitevin Horse?


61.2 – 68.4 inches


2100 – 2600 pounds

Poitevin Horses come in a variety of hues.

  • Black
  • Gray
  • Dun
  • Palomino
  • Brown
  • Chestnut
  • Roan
  • Silver dapple

What is the most potent horse that has ever existed?

The Belgian draught horse is the world’s most powerful horse. The Belgian Draft measures up to 18 hands tall and weighs an astonishing 2000 pounds, making it taller than many of the world’s most vital horses.

Also See:  Icelandic Horse

What is the world’s most beautiful horse?

Friesians, the world’s most attractive horse breed, are native to the Dutch province of Friesland. Friesians were developed to transport mediaeval European knights into combat and are known for their stunning black coat and long flowing mane.

What is the strength of a horse’s kick?

Horses can kick hard enough to kill. With an average speed of 200 miles per hour, their kicking force is 2000 pounds per square inch. Technically, that is more than any skilled boxer could ever punch.

Is it true that Mustangs are quick horses?

According to Horse Canada, most mustang horses can gallop at speeds of 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 km/h), while one has been documented hitting 55 mph (88 km/h) over a short distance.

What is the world’s rarest horse?

We’ve put 13 of the world’s rarest horses on our list. With fewer than 250 left on the earth, the Newfoundland pony, Dales pony, and Sorraia horse are the rarest and most critically endangered. The other unusual horse breeds can be found worldwide, from Canada to Portugal.

Is a horse bite painful?

Most horse bites are usually harmless nips that hurt a little but don’t cause any significant issues, but occasional bites can result in serious damage and illnesses.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here