Lithuanian Heavy Draft breed information
Lithuanian Heavy Draft horse general information
COLORThis East European breed may be bay, chestnut, black, gray or roan
SIZEThe Lithuanian Heavy Draft generally stands between 15 to 16 hh
WEIGHTStallions weigh between 850 and 920 kg
LIFE EXPECTANCYVery long life span
USESThe Lithuanian has an excellent quiet temperament and is extremely strong and durable making them suitable for heavy draft and agricultural work.
INFLUENCEZhmud, Swedish Ardennes, Finnish horse
TEMPRERAMENTThe Lithuanian has a quiet temperament and is strong and durable . They are very long lived and have a high fertility rate, which has ensured the breed's continuance. They also cope well in harsh and extreme climates, and are seemingly resistant to the cold.
Lithuanian Heavy Draft description
Overall the breed is large and solid. The head is well-proportioned with a straight profile and heavy jaw. The neck is short, muscular, and arched, the withers broad and moderately pronounced and the chest wide, deep and muscular. The back is long, and generally straight, although it can be slightly dipped, and the croup rounded, long and muscled. The legs are short, solid, and muscular with broad, strong joints and well-formed hooves. Defects occasionally shown include a coarse head and an excessively dipped back.
Their solid build suits them to extremes of climate, and they withstand the cold very well. They have good paces at both the walk and trot. The Lithuanian Heavy Draft has been crossed with the native Altai horse to improve meat and milk production. These crossbreeds have a higher live weight, higher growth rate and cope more easily with year-round grazing practices.
Lithuanian Heavy Draft history
The Lithuanian Heavy Draft originated in Russia at the end of the 19th century and has only been registered since 1963. However, it is a breed that has become hugely popular and by 1964 there were 62,000 Lithuanian Heavy Draft horses in Lithuania, which speaks both of their demand and their fertility. The Lithuanian Heavy Draft came about through a combination of the local Zhmud horses being crossed with Swedish Ardennes and the Finnish horse. The breed is preserved through a process whereby potential stallions have to pass a series of performance tests before being allowed to be used as breeding stock.
Lithuanian Heavy Draft fun facts
The walking draft record with a 150 kg load is 13 minutes 20 seconds.
The record for trotting the same distance with a 50kg load stands at 4 minutes 45 seconds