Characteristics of the Percheron

The Percheron has a very pleasing disposition. He is proud, alert, intelligent and willing worker.  Percherons are usually black or grey, but there are also sorrels, bays, roans, etc.  Many Percherons have white markings on the head and feet, but excessive white is undesirable.  Percherons range in height from 15 to 19 hands high, most are between 16-2 and 17-3 hands high. They can weigh up to 2600 pounds with the average around 1900.   Percherons are noted for heavy muscling in the lower thighs and for an aspect of unusual ruggedness and power.   Also characteristic of the Percheron is the clean action and quality conformation of the feet and legs.  An ideal horse should have a fairly long level croup with a big round hip.  He should be close coupled and wide and deep through the chest, with plenty of back rib. The muscles of the arms, forearms, croup and gaskins plenty are especially emphasized in a good drafter, and ease and balance of gait is essential.  He is also expected to be of marked tractability and an easy keeper.

The Percheron head and neck are typical of the most attractive draft horse character. Good Percherons have a large and full prominent eye, a broad and full forehead, and straight face. His strong jaw and refined ears attractively set and carried with animation, suggests his arabian ancestry. Stallions should have a ruggedness about the head and mares should have a feminine look. The Percheron is very versatile. They are readily adapted to varying climates and conditions. They have the strength to pull heavy loads and the graceful style to pull a fine carriage. Percherons can be ridden and some have been known to make fine jumpers.  The Percheron is very handy in saving the young trees in smaller wood lot operations as they do not need a wide road everywhere they work.   They can get on and work ground where even the most modern tractors fail. Their independent four wheel drive conquers mud and snow to the shame of all man made machines. There is a definite place on almost every farm for a team of Percheron horses, whether it be for work or play.


Percheron Horse Association of America, P.O. Box 141, Fredericktown, Ohio 43019. Phone: (614) 694-3602.

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