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French Ardennais Horse

Country of Origin: France

French Ardennais Horse


Also called Ardennais, the Ardennes is bred in several European countries, all of their bloodlines are very similar and registries will accept animals bred in different countries. The French strain of Ardennes is significant however, because the Ardennes breed is native to the French & Belgian Ardennes so France recognizes it as a national breed.

French Ardennais Horse


The Ardennes is significant as the oldest breed of horse in France & thought to be a direct descendant of the smaller Solutré horse. Almost from their inception the French Ardennes has been a breed shaped by war, from the Roman days of Julius Cesar through to Napoleon.

During the Middle Ages heavier animals became needed for agriculture which again changed the Ardennes type and as their use spread to new areas their bloodlines changed as well. Different areas required different characteristics in their animals and the breed diversified until it became known as a small yet robust horse.

In the 19th century an infusion of Belgian Draft blood provided a needed size boost as a need for strong animals to work difficult soil arose in eastern France. Sadly today the demand for draft animals in France is primarily for meat production, while some small farmers still use them to work the land.


Average height 15 – 16 hands


Head is expressive with straight or slightly dished profile
Ears are small & well set
Chest is deep & powerful
Legs are muscular with low, wide joints
Hooves are wide & sound

Traditional Colors

chestnut | grey | bay | roan | palomino


Docile & willing


Meat production

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Country of Origin: France | Colors: , , , ,
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