Nivernais Horse

The Nivernais Horse is a breed of horse that originated in France.

They are a versatile breed, used for both light and heavy draft work.

They are known for their calm temperament and good disposition.

If you are looking to learn more about the Nivernais Horse, here is everything you need to know about this breed.

Nivernais Horse Breed Info

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

Height (size) 16.2 – 17.2 hands high
Colors Always black
Country of Origin France
Common Uses Used for the removal of logs from dense forests

Nivernais Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Nièvre region of central France is home to an endangered breed of black heavy draft horses called the Nivernais.

In the 19th century, people needed big, muscular, and heavy horses for plowing fields, hauling large loads, and other work that required pulling.

In addition, a light, active horse was needed for both fast transportation and everyday riding.

Therefore, the process of selective breeding was used to create draft horses that were both big in size and build, but also possessed lively, quick gaits.

The breed was developed in the Nièvre in 1872 by crossbreeding black Percheron stallions with native Cheval du Morvan mares.

A stud book was established in 1880, and the breed gradually displaced the Cheval du Morvan.

The mechanization of agriculture beginning in the 1950s led to a fall in the population, and in 1966, the stud book was combined with that of the Percheron.

Various initiatives have been attempted to preserve the breed since the 1980s.

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

Alternative Names



Calm, docile, sweet-tempered

Physical Characteristics

The head profile is either slightly convex or straight.

They have a robust constitution and tall stature.

The shoulder is upright, and the back is short and wide.

The hindquarters are strong.

Legs are muscular and clean.


Always black

Height (size)

16.2 – 17.2 hands high






1,750 – 2,200 lbs (800 – 1,000 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses

Used for the removal of logs from dense forests



Popular Traits




Country of Origin



Percheron stallions, Cheval du Morvan mares