Also called the Mulassier, the Poitevin Horse comes from the marshy lands in the west of France and is the least known of the French heavy breeds.
This breed has been used for centuries to breed work mules and the Poitevin mares are said to breed the biggest & strongest mules in the world. As a horse however this breed was not appreciated because their conformation is more in-line with gaited breeds (as they are gaited) which was considered a fault to some draft enthusiasts. They are thought to be descendant of the Flemish horse brought to the Poitou in the 17th century to drain marshes.
In fact, the main reason this breed was continued is their strong mule production bloodlines and because of this they have retained their primitive characteristics. Sadly when the mule trade fell need for this gaited draft breed fell as did their numbers. Luckily, in the late 20th century enthusiasts have worked to preserve these animals and their numbers will hopefully continue to grow as they are rather unique animals.
Average height 16 – 17 hands
Head is large with a straight or slightly Roman nose
Neck is full & slightly arched
Hindquarters are broad and round
Legs are sturdy
Hooves are huge
Poitevin Horse Products
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