|Origin:||France & Belgium - Ardennes Region|
|Height:||15 - 16 hands|
|Colour:||Bay, roan, chestnut.|
|Head and eye:||Strong with broad face. Flared nostrils. Kind eye. Almost pony like outline.|
|Neck:||Short and thick. Hugely crested.|
|Body:||Enormous chest, both in width and depth. Near circular barrel. Vast, well muscled hindquarters. Good sloping shoulder. Profuse manes and tails add to the pony like appearance.|
|Legs:||Dark, short legs with clean joints. Hocks of gigantic proportion.|
|Action:||Extremely strong. Good clean action. Covers the ground at surprising speed. Fast, very nimble with tremendous stamina.|
|Thought to have been
the horse praised by Caesar in "De Bello Gallico" although
since that time it is impossible to know how much mixed breeding
has taken place. However the Ardennes type draught horse is the
basic root of all the Heavy Draught breeds that exist today.
It is said that Napoleon owed his return to Niemen to his Ardennes cavalry. Having withstood the cold and privations that had destroyed over 10,00 horses, they were harnessed to the supply corps wagons to pull them through axle deep mud and snow, on his return from his Russian campaign.
In recent times the Ardennes horse has become bigger as following the decimation of their numbers in both world wars bigger Belgian Heavy Draught stallions were used to breed up the numbers.
Ardenne stud books were established in Belgium 1886, France 1908 and Luxembourg 1921.