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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Clydesdales..Yes, we have Feathers!

Have you heard of the Clydesdales? They are often referred to as the "Budweiser horses" because they're the ones who pull the wagons that you see on the beer ads on TV. What is remarkable about them? For one thing, they are big, with a capitol B! They are between 17 and 18 hands high. A "hand" is the way that you measure horses so that would mean they could be around 72 inches high. Each hand equals 4 inches. How do you measure horses? Their height is measured from the withers, which is the highest bone on their back. How tall is the highest Clydesdale on record? The answer is 80 inches. Wow, that's one gigantic horse! He's 20 hands high.
What else do you notice when you see a Clydesdale? He/she has "feathers", or long hair covering the top of the hooves (feet). They don't look anything like the feathers you think of that cover birds. A Clydesdale's feathers make him look like he's wearing flared pants, or bell bottoms! Maybe he wants to look extra special for the parade!
When my family lived on a horse farm, we actually had the Clydesdales come to stay with us when it was time for the annual Barnum Festival. It was exciting to see the big horses up close and personal. People would call and wonder what were the visiting hours for the Clydesdales. We usually had nine of them come to visit and each has his own personal "groom" or caretaker. Each groom would stand on a step stool so he could braid the horse's mane (the hair covering his neck) every day for the festival. The braids were evenly spaced along the horses' necks.  The braids stood up proudly on the horses' necks. (See photo from the internet)
Now you know more about the famous Clydesdale horses. I hope you enjoyed learning about them.

8 comments:

  1. They are beautiful horses. I love to see the gentle giants of the heavy horse family. Sadly unless you go to shows etc you rarely see them.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. They really are unique. I've just added a photo to this blog as well. I guess most people see them during the Super Bowl games. They are remarkable horses for sure.

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  2. I've always thought Clydesdales were such pretty horses!

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. I think so, too. I have a little video on my computer of a baby Clydesdale struggling to pull one of the big wagons so two of his grown up friends get together and decide to help him by pushing it from the back! It's so cute.

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  3. Clydesdales are such beautiful creatures. I personally love their 'bell bottoms'.

    Brandy's Bustlings

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    1. Me, too, Brandy. The feathers are so cute so the Clydesdales are all dressed up for the parades! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Always fun to hear from you.

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  4. I love Clydesdale horses. I've ridden a horse that looked like a solid black Clydesdale. I guess it was a Freisian maybe but he was massive like a Clydesdale. He towered over all the other horses.

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  5. Wow, that must have been a memorable experience, Melissa! They are so huge that I can't imagine actually riding one. No matter what kind of horse it was, you must have had fun and it's an experience that most people haven't shared.

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