If you think horses are naturally beautiful, you will agree with me that horses with feathered feet are downright exquisitely beautiful. While feathered feet are not common in most horse breeds, there are several that feature those regal feathered feet.
Of course, these horses do not have actual feathers on their hooves, but they do have long, flowy hair that grows over their hooves creating a feather-like appearance.
This unique and breathtaking feature catapults these horses into a category that makes them special, at least in my book.
Here are eleven horse breeds with feathered feet.
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Shire horses are a draft horse breed that originated in the United Kingdom and features noticeable moderately feathered feet. This is a very tall horse breed, with most horses standing 16 hands or taller.
Horses in this breed are either black, brown, bay, roan, or grey. They sometimes have white markings, and they are extremely large, weighing up to 2,430 pounds in adulthood.
Shire horses are usually calm horses with friendly demeanors that many owners utilize to pull wagons or carriages. The long, silky hair on their lower legs covers their hooves and creates a sleek, feathered look.
Friesian horses are war horses that have small, yet muscular body types along with a light feathering of hair falling over their hooves. This draft horse breed originated in the Netherlands and horses within this breed are rather tall, standing between 15 and 17 hands, or 60 to 68 inches tall.
Friesians are magnificent with their solid black coats and muscular build. On rare occasions, Friesian horses can be chestnut-colored, but it is not common and not always recognized by the breed registers.
Their feathered hooves, along with their solid black mane and tails, create a striking appearance that few other horse breeds can compete with.
The Friesian breed has almost disappeared a few times throughout its history but today, it is gaining traction around the world. This is partly thanks to how utterly beautiful they are.
The Clydesdale horse draft breed is the most popular breed on this list thanks to its popularity in beverage commercials. The breed’s undeniable beauty is what really sets it apart, including the fact that horses within this breed have moderately feathered lower legs.
Clydesdales are large horses, standing up to 18 hands tall and weighing up to 2200 pounds fully grown. They have extremely muscular bodies, and most breed owners use them to pull carriages.
These horses have either bay, Sabino, black, chestnut, or grey-colored coats. Many breeders breed specifically for all white socks, which means the lower parts of each of their legs, where the feathering occurs, has solid white hair.
The Ardennes draft horse breed is another draft breed that features stunning feathered legs and muscular builds. It is an ancient breed that many believe has its lineage tracking back to the Solutré horse, which dates to prehistoric times.
These horses have either bay, roan, gray, blonde, black, or chestnut-colored coats of hair. The Ardennes breed is a foundation breed, meaning equine breeders used it through the years to develop other breeds.
Ardennes horses are massive horses, weighing up to 2,200 pounds and standing between 15 and 16 hands in height. They have extensive feathering on their lower legs adding an exquisite touch to their domineering presence.
Also known as the Gypsy Cobb, the Gypsy Vanner small draft horse breed features gorgeous piebald-colored horses with adorable feathering over their hooves. This breed originated in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Gypsy Vanner horses are often piebald, meaning they have unpigmented areas of white along with pigmented colored hair on their coats. They can also have solid coats and they have thick manes and tails.
These horses stand between 13 to 16 hands tall and have thick, muscular build. Gypsy Vanner horses have a significant amount of feathering on their lower legs, often completely covering their hooves.
The North Swedish horse breed produces small draft horses that have light feathering on their lower legs. Their breeding is extremely monitored today, as breeders want to make sure they only bred the best of horses within this breed.
Horses in this breed stand about 15 hands tall, or around 60-63 inches. North Swedish horses have various colorful coats, none that are specific to the breed.
North Swedish horses have great dispositions and are easy to handle. They have stocky, muscular build with light feathering falling over their hooves.
The Australian Draught horse also has feathered feet, which makes sense because the breed itself was developed over the years by combining the Shire, Suffolk Punch, Percheron, and Clydesdale horse breeds. These horses can have any coat color.
This horse breed originated sometime around the 1850s and continues to be a competitive and working horse breed. Australian draught horses tend to have calm demeanors and are easy to handle.
These horses are rather large, weighing up to 1,980 pounds and standing up to 17.2 hands tall. Australian draught horses are stunning to see in person, with their large builds and their feathered lower legs.
Vladimir Heavy Draft
The Vladimir Heavy Draft horse breed originated in Russia and while not every horse in this breed has feathering on its legs, some do. The breed is a descendant of the Clydesdale, Percheron, and Suffolk Punch horses.
Vladimir Heavy Draft horses can weigh up to about 1,763 pounds and stand somewhere between 15 and 16 hands tall. These horses are energetic and strong, making them great draft work horses.
Most horses in this breed do not have feathered lower legs, but some do, thanks to their Clydesdale heritage.
The Dutch draft horse breed originated in the Netherlands and features stunning feathered feet. These are extremely large horses that stand up to 16 hands tall and weigh up to 1653 pounds.
This breed tends to have calm demeanors and is easy to handle. They can have black, chestnut, bay, or gray-colored coats.
Dutch Draft horses are breathtaking thanks to their extremely muscular build and the extensive feathering on their lower legs that covers their hooves. They are extremely rare today, but that has nothing to do with the breed itself.
Welsh Pony of Cob
Although it is technically a pony breed, many horses within this breed have noticeable feathering on their feet. The horses in this breed only stand about 13.2 hands tall, hence their classification as pony sized.
Welsh Pony of Cobs are very friendly and are strong horses that many equestrians ride in competition events like jumping and driving. This breed may not be especially popular in the United States, but it is a solid horse, or pony, and many of them do have some adorable feathering on their feet.
The Dales Pony breed originated in mountainous regions of the United Kingdom and have moderately feathered feet. Horses in this breed are strong, hardy, and have calm demeanors.
Dales Ponies can have brown, bay, grey, roan, or black-colored coats of hair. They are shorter than other horses on this list, of course, standing at around 14 hands tall as adults.
Dales Ponies are absolutely stunning with their strong conformation and gorgeous feathered lower legs. This breed is currently listed on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust list as it is a rare breed.
There is no denying that horses with feathered feet are stunning. There are more horse breeds on this list than many would expect, some having more feathering on their feet than others. There is just something attractive about horses with flowing manes, tails, and lovely feathered legs.
Learning about the horse breeds with feathered feet was a truly fascinating journey. Here are the sources I used in writing this article.