Brabancon (Belgian heavy horse breed)
The Brabancon breed, representing an intermediate type between the Flemish and Arden horses, turned out to be the most up-to-date for the work horses in the countries with developed industry, and has now become extremely widespread throughout Belgium called the Belgian workhorse or the Belgian heavy truck.
Thus, Belgium currently has one type of heavy horse, very uniform in its characteristic warehouse and differing only in height and weight (Fig. 52). The height of the adult Belgian horse varies between 156 and 168 cm at the withers. The Belgians do not seek to obtain very tall horses. The famous Belgian stallion “Rev-d’0r”, recognized at the international show in Paris in 1900 as the world champion, had an increase in withers 164 cm.
The Belgian heavy truck has a powerful built-up build, full forms, dry feet, which distinguishes it from the English heavy trucks. His torso is deep, his muscles are powerful, his skeleton is massive and at the same time dense and strong, his chest is of solid size, the ribs are rounded, the croup is wide, rounded, forked, the back and loin are short. The back sag observed in former Belgians has now been eliminated. Hocks and wrists are wide, as if carved, the limbs are dry with small brushes and a good strong hoof. Hereditary bone defects, such as: kurba, spar, pipgak, almost never occur. The girth of the wrist is on average 41 cm, the metacarpus 25 cm, and the hock 52 cm.
The neck is thick and short, set high, at the top having a greater development and a more rounded profile than other heavy trucks. The head, in comparison with the mighty body, is light, slightly hunchbacked, with a well-developed flat forehead. The suit is dominated by light bay and red, less often black, and animals of gray color are very rare.
The Belgian heavy truck is notable for its precocity. The dressage of foals in Belgium starts from 20 months, and from 2 years old horses do their usual work, while heavy trucks of other breeds go to heavy work only from 3 years old. Life expectancy, performance and factory activities of the Belgian horse are quite significant. According to prof. Stallions of stallions breeding service up to 22 years or more, often covering up to 120 and even up to 150 queens during 5-8 month periods. Belgian horses have a cheeky pitch and can run an energetic casual trot. Animals are undemanding to food and care and are not prone to cold. They have a calm disposition. The uterus is fertile; according to prof. Lader in Belgium 75-80% of covered mares bring foals.
The absence of effeminacy in Belgian horses is due to the relevant conditions of their detention in Belgium. Uterus often go into mating on the 9th day after the chaff. As a rule, after the foal, the mare remains out of work for about 10 days and after that the foal is allowed into the stall first 4-5 times, and then less and less until the final weaning foals between 3 and 6 months old. Suckers, from 35-40 days, gradually accustomed to bran and chopped oats. Weaning until deep autumn graze on artificial pastures, characterized by rich vegetation, and fertilizer usually does not receive concentrated feed. Uterus all time free from work is also spent on pasture, which has a beneficial effect on their health, efficiency and prevents effeminacy.
Foals that are not suitable for breeding purposes, castrated at the age of about one year. The tailing in horses adopted in Belgium is made in foals at the age of several weeks.
The Belgian horse, belonging to one of the oldest groups, was formed on the territory of modern Belgium from the primary prehistoric forest horses (Kuleshov).
The useful qualities of the Belgian horses have been known for a long time, since the time of Julius Caesar. During its long historical development, the Belgian horse underwent significant changes depending on the changing requirements for it at different times. In the Middle Ages, during the time of chivalry, the Belgian horse was most valued with heavy forms and strong build, since such a horse was very suitable for carrying a knight heavily armed and chained into heavy armor.
With the invention of gunpowder (XV century), the methods and means of war changed dramatically and the need for a heavy horse disappeared. It was replaced by a horse that was lighter and more mobile for military purposes.