Percheron - Diet, Behavior and He alth

Percheron: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Did you know there was a breed of horse that pulled city buses? These...

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Do you know there is a breed of horse that pulled city buses? These horses are the Percherons, of surprising strength and enormous size, since some specimens measure up to 1.80 meters in height. These horses have been the companions of farmers, soldiers and messengers since their appearance in the 19th century, and their participation in parades, wars and crusades around the world is memorable. Will you stay to discover the history of the Percheron horse, strong and tenacious, but at the same time docile? Discover in this file of PlanèteAnimal the characteristics, the character and the care of the Percheron.


  • Europe
  • France

Origin of Percheron

The Percheron owes its name to the Norman province of Perche, where it originated. They are the descendants of Arabian horses, which were crossed with other equine breeds. The first specimen of the breed was a cross between a horse named Jean le Blanc and a local mare from Perche, thus giving rise to the first known Percheron horse, born in 1823.

These horses gained their fame through their participation in the Crusades, being praised for their particular strength and endurance, as well as their beautiful appearance. These horses were often used as pack and draft horses, for transporting heavy loads and vehicles such as horse-drawn carriages. They were famous for being, in the 19th century, the horses that pulled the postal wagons throughout France.

The breed became increasingly popular, reaching the United States in 1839, where it was used by American farmers carrying heavy loads. They gained further popularity at the start of World War II, as they were very useful in the military field. With the end of the war and the appearance of tractors, the breed declined, which necessitated the creation of associations for its preservation.

In 1960, horses began to be used again on small farms, and the population of Percheron horses increased dramatically. Today, in addition to being farm horses, Percherons are typically draft horses for carriages, buggies and other tourist attractions.

Physical characteristics of the Percheron

The Percheron is a horse with a solid and robust body, particularly muscular. Depending on their weight, a distinction is made between small and large Percherons.Small Percherons generally weigh between 500 and 800 kilograms, while large Percherons weigh between 700 and 1200 kilograms. Their size also varies, with the small ones measuring between 1.50 and 1.65 centimeters and the large ones reaching 1.65-1.80 centimeters. Their life expectancy is between 25 and 27 years, although some specimens heroically manage to reach the age of thirty.

The head is of almost perfect proportions, harmonious, with robust cheeks, a straight profile and large nostrils. The forehead is wide and the ears are mobile and short. The Percheron's eyes are large and expressive and their gaze is lively and deep. Their long, thick tails and manes are exceptional, as are their diamond-hard hooves.

The coat of these horses is of different colors and it is possible to see it dyeing in a multitude of shades ranging from black to gray, with jet black and brownish gray being extremely popular.

Percheron character

The Percheron's temperament is very calm, he is extremely docile, although on some occasions he can be slightly stubborn. They are very intelligent and sensitive animals, a common characteristic of almost all horses. This is why they must be treated with gentleness and affection, always avoiding physical and verbal aggression, as this generates a high level of stress in them.

They are predisposed to work, because they are used to it. They are capable of coping with very difficult tasks like transporting heavy vehicles or incredibly heavy loads. Their strength and agility means that they have been trained to participate in various shows and parades, as they are able to learn many types of jumps and pirouettes.

Caring for a Percheron

When we have a horse, we have to take care of a number of things, such as quality food.Feeding should be based on grass and fresh hay as much as possible. They should also be given plenty of fresh vegetables, especially leafy vegetables. Fruit can be given as a treat, but not too frequently as it contains too much sugar. It is essential that our horse has access to fresh water at all times, as dehydration is extremely dangerous.

You should also maintain a strict daily grooming routine, with daily brushings to keep the coat in good condition. A curry comb can be used for his coat, combined with a body finishing brush on sensitive areas like the head.

For their mane and tail, you also need to use a special comb called a mane comb. All this must be complemented by baths and exhaustive hoof care, which must be checked daily to verify the absence of injuries or wounds of any kind.

Percheron horse he alth

For our Percheron to be he althy, it is essential, as we mentioned in the care section, that they receive adequate nutrition and have a consistent grooming routine. This is a very important point because, due to the characteristics of its coat, if it is not kept in good condition, various infections can occur. These are particularly common in the area of the ankles, which are in contact with the ground where there is a large proliferation of bacteria that can adhere to the coat and generate pododermatitis.

With the exception of what we have just mentioned, Percherons enjoy an excellent state of he alth and stand out for their incredible adaptability, withstanding cold, hot and humid climates perfectly. . All it takes is frequent veterinary checks to monitor the condition of their eyes, mouth, hooves, ears, etc., to carry out vaccinations and deworming and to assess the general state of he alth.

Pictures of Percheron

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