The Germans used Belgian draft horses to pull concrete, materials, and supplies. These amazingly strong animals can pull 8,000 pounds.
Belgian horses are able to pull tremendous weights. At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, a team of two horses in the Heavyweight class pulled 17,000 pounds a distance of 7 ft 2 in (7,700 kg a distance of 2.18 m). The team of Belgians weighed 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg).
According to author Donna Campbell Smith, The Book of Draft Horses: The Gentle Giants That Built the World, in 1924 a pair of Shire draft horses pulled 50 tons (100,000 pounds), which is 20,000 pounds more than the weight of a semi truck. Other sources we found recorded that they pulled only 45 tons.
Draft breeds range from approximately 16 to 19 hands (64 to 76 inches; 163 to 193 cm) high and from 1,400 to 2,000 lb (640 to 910 kg). Draft horses crossbred on light riding horses adds height and weight to the ensuing offspring, and may increase the power and “scope” of the animal’s movement.
A half-century is even a long time for light horse breeds. He noted that he has seen Belgians live into their mid-20s, but notes that the majority of draft horses live to be 18 or 19.
Belgian draft horse
The two trained horses in tandem can actually pull 32,000 pounds, which is a load four times as heavy as either of the horses could pull by themselves. The powerful lessons that these magnificent draft horses can teach us involves not only teamwork but coordinated and trained collaboration.
There are more than 300 breeds of horses and ponies in the world and all of them can be boiled down into these 5 major categories:
How Heavy is Too Heavy? One of the most frequently cited recommendations on matching horses and riders comes from the U.S. Cavalry Manual of Horse Management. It recommends that the rider and gear weigh no more than 20 percent of the horse’s weight.
Based on these results, the study’s authors recommend that horses not be loaded with greater than 20% of their body weight. A 545-kilogram (1200 pound) horse, then would be best off carrying no more than 109 kg (240 lbs) of tack and rider.
between 2,000 and 8,000 pounds
A: Laurie, the basic rule of thumb for a horse’s weight-carrying capacity is 20 percent of the horse’s weight, or, say, 200 pounds for a 1,000-pound horse. (Two hundred pounds would be an approximate upward limit, not an average of what he can carry.)
Caring for draft horses is far less rigorous than tending riding horses. The hardy working animals, which typically remain productive for 15 to 20 years of their 25- to 30-year life span, will certainly cotton to a classic horse barn with stalls, but they don’t demand it.