The Comtois horse is an old breed of heavy draft horse from the Franche-Comte region in France.

In the 19th century, the breed was further improved with Norman, Boulonnais and Percheron blood, and later Ardennais crosses influencing the breed to produce a stronger horse with improved legs with a free action.

During the 16th century, the breed was used to improve the Burgandy Horse.

Also in the sixteenth century, these horses were originally used as a cavalry horse and artillery horse, and were present in the armies of Louis XIV and later Napoleon Bonaparte.

The breed today are used for hauling wood in the pine forests of the Jura, in the mountainous regions of the Massif Central, and for working in the vineyards in the Arbois area.

Picture of horses

They are also used to pull sleighs at ski resorts and bred for the French horsemeat industry and are exported to North Africa for agricultural use.

The height ranges from 1.50–1.65 metres (14.3–16.1 hands) high and weigh 650–800 kg (1,400–1,800 lb); and body colour is usually bay or chestnut with flaxen mane and tail.

They have a very good-natured and possess the ability to learn very quickly.

The Comtois, are easy to train and hardworking animals.

The head is large and square with a straight profile, with small neat ears; resting on a strong muscular, straight neck with well-defined withers.

The back is long and straight, wide sloping croup and shoulders. Hindquarters are muscular.

Stocky and powerful body that is deep in the girth. Short, strong legs with slight feathering and good strong solid feet.

The mane and tail are both thick.

It also has a tendency towards sickle hocks.

Today, they are bred in the Massif Central, the Pyrenees, and the Apls.

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