Australian Draft Horse

The Australian Draft Horse is a breed of horse that was originally used as a draft horse in Australia.

Today, the Australian Draft Horse is used for riding, carriage driving, and other equestrian activities.

If you are interested in owning an Australian Draft Horse, here is everything you need to know about them.

Australian Draft Horse Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Australian Draft horse:

Height (size) 16 – 17.2 hands high
Colors All solid colors, except for white
Country of Origin Australia
Common Uses Agricultural work, showing, pulling and plowing competitions, pleasure riding, forestry work and in logging

Australian Draft Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Clydesdale, Shire, Percheron, and Suffolk Punch breeds brought to Australia by the early settlers formed the foundation of the Australian Draft Horse in the 1800s.

Each of the breeds was promoted in a different region of the country.

After the gold rush era, heavy horses were in great demand as a faster alternative to bullocks (oxen) due to the boom in agriculture.

Different kinds of horses were popular in different Australian states, but eventually a type that was unique to Australia started to emerge.

They were used for a wide variety of tasks, ranging from forestry to plowing to hauling rail wagons to delivering goods.

Using an Australian Draft Horse as a family’s principal mode of transportation was not unusual.

Prior to the introduction of draft horses, bullocks were responsible for the majority of draft work.

However, these animals move very slowly and are difficult to train.

In comparison to bullocks, draft horses were quicker on their feet, more intelligent, and had much better temperaments, so they quickly took over the roles that bullocks had previously filled.

The Australian draft combines the best qualities of the four purebreds to create one of the most reliable work horses ever.

Eventually, in 1979, the breed was officially established after the founding of the “Australian Draft Horse Stud Book Society,” whose mission was to protect and document the breed.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Even temperament, calm, friendly, easy to train

Physical Characteristics

Their head is around the typical size, although it does have a somewhat broad brow.

Their necks are of medium length and girth, and their ears are alert.

The stallions each have a prominent crest, and the powerful shoulders that flow into their withers, chests, and backs.

The legs have light to medium feathering.

These horses have broad hips, hindquarters, and chests to accommodate their big, strong muscles.

As seen from the side, the chest, hindquarter and hip are broad and muscular, while the forelegs are nicely positioned beneath the body.

At both the walk and the trot, the Australian Draft should have excellent motion and a length of stride, with the hind foot stepping into or beyond the forefoot mark.

They have a sturdy build and enduring stamina.


All solid colors, except for white.

The reason for this is that their pink skin, which is hidden by their white coat, is more susceptible to sunburn.

This should serve as an immediate warning sign, given that the horse will be expected to work in the harsh Australian sun.

However, the Australian draft horse can have white below the knees and in some parts of the face.

Height (size)

16 – 17.2 hands high






1320 – 1980 lb (600 – 900 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses

Agricultural work, showing, pulling and plowing competitions, pleasure riding, forestry work and in logging


Generally healthy

Popular Traits

Extreme hardiness



Country of Origin



Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, Suffolk Punch, Belgian