How Much Does a Draft Horse Cost? A Detailed Breakdown

A regular draft horse costs as much as an ordinary horse and this cost can be anywhere between $3900 and $9900. The purchase price of a draft horse is subject to the status of its breeds, such as the Clydesdale, Friesian, or Belgian Horse. An average riding horse, on the other hand, can price up to $10,000, which is similar to the upper-cost limit of a draft horse.

Price Range for Draft Horses

Different types of draft horses have different price tags. Approximate costs of the more popular draft horses are as follows;

Draft HorseEstimated Price Range
Clydesdale$2400 and $4900
Shire horse$1900 and $19,900
Friesian horse$2900 and $29,900
Belgian horse$4,900 and $9,900
Percheron$900 and $9,900
ThoroughbredsExpensive ones exceed $100,000

Draft horses include racehorses such as the thoroughbreds which can cost at least $100,000 and more. Therefore, it is imperative that you know exactly the type of draft horse you’re looking to buy. You might also want to watch out for the high-maintenance horses that may seem inexpensive but will surely annoy you later in penny matters.

Shire horses are the most in-demand horses of all the draft horse breeds. This is due to their robust appearance and immense capability of doing the labor, farm and plough work. Side-by-side, the shire horses are pretty neat to look at and qualify as good riding horses for beginners and hunting professionals, both. As mentioned above, Shire horses cost between almost $2000 and $20,000. 

On the other hand, Clydesdale is a good all-around draft horse that is loaded with every ammunition to help you on the homestead; carry loads, pull carts, and literally do anything. These horses are gentle fellows and children ought to like them as much as they like children. Clydesdale earns a fairly good reputation of being a top-tier draft horse as it is a good horse for a low price. Clydesdales can cost up to $5000.

While Friesian horses can be a good choice as regards beauty, they are the nicest looking draft horses and on average, their cost ranges up to $15,000.

Aspects Influencing Cost of Draft Horses

You may be wondering what after all there is, to a draft horse that is worth the greenback. Well, to be fairly honest, draft horses are your first choice horses for no matter what purpose you intend to buy them. Having said this, there are certain conditions that affect the cost price of draft horses, and are summarized below;

Big Size, Big Duty

Draft horses are huge. Yes! They usually stand above 13 hands usually and quite frankly weigh a lot too. A draft horse as humongous as some Belgian horses would certainly cost more than usual sized ones. Big Jake, a Belgian draft, held the Guinness world record for being the tallest horse standing over 20 hands (RIP). By the way, if you’re fascinated by big horse breeds, you’d love our article on the largest horse breeds in the world.

Breed Type

Your most favorite type of draft horse also has a unique price tag on it depending on what breed it is. Thoroughbreds and Friesian horses are the most expensive draft horse breeds and rightly so. One is a prime racehorse asset while the other, known as black beauty is an eye pleaser for sure. 

Mare drafts generally cost slightly less than stallions and geldings. For instance, a Clydesdale mare would cost between $3500 and $4500 while a male stallion would shell out over $5000.

The cheaper draft horse breeds include the Clydesdales and Percherons, with prices ranging between $5,000 and $10,000.


Usually, draft horses come in their usual colors with one color characteristic of their breed. For example, Belgian horses exhibit the usual dark brown to golden brown hue. However, certain drafts are colored unique and exhibit rare colors. This ups the actual cost of the draft horse by margins. White Percherons are one of the most unique colored draft horses and this likely makes them susceptible to being slightly expensive.


Whenever you purchase a draft horse or any regular horse, you ought to assess its health condition and check to see whether it suffers from any debilitating malady or not. Beware of the less priced draft horse that may attract you at first; most usually it may have health issues.

Trophy Horse

Since draft horses are quite handsomely inducted into competitive horse games, exhibitions, and even horse racing, they ought to cost much more than average drafts. Belgian drafts mostly compete in horse pulling while Thoroughbreds are excellently and specifically bred for horse racings. This explains their expensive price tag and side-by-side, their high maintenance costs. The higher the number of trophies to a horse’s name, the more it should cost.

Cost of Keeping a Draft Horse

Moving on to the most significant highlight of this post, we discuss in detail the expenses of keeping a draft horse and its additional/miscellaneous charges. This should make you familiar with all the hidden charges as well. Bear in mind that there are innumerable auxiliary charges to maintain a horse, however, mentioned below are only the more significant expenses that are a must for a draft horse owner.

Veterinary services

Listing in the order of priority, veterinary check-ups are the most important owning charges to look after. Annual vet bills may sum up to $500 which include vaccinations, regular check-ups, injury care, and other charges. Draft horses usually are less prone to congenital disease as compared to the usual ones. However, their huge sizes make them prone to injuries and certain metabolic issues are worrisome as well.

Farrier expenses

Your noble steed requires as much cosmetic care as there is. Farriery costs include trimming on a weekly basis, shoeing, and clipping. Depending on the purpose of the draft horse, farrier expenses can vary greatly. However, an average annual farrier costs can amount to $400.

Accommodation and Shelter

Next in line is the boarding of your draft horse. As inevitable it is, your horse requires an equally comfortable living standard. Accommodation varies from pasture and stall-boarding to stables of your own choice. Barns are usually a cheaper alternative to shelters for horses. Private stables require an expense of thousands of dollars for its construction, maintenance, and sanitization. Average boarding charges of a draft horse can be $675 which include bedding, pasture maintenance, and shelter maintenance.

Horse Dewormer, Tack, and Supplementation

Tack utility is a common horse requirement that really needs addressing. This includes horse dewormer, grooming kits, clipping apparatus, and cleaning brushes. Additionally, draft horses require proper supplementation along with the feed. Tack and supplementation costs range between $300 and $600 per annum.


Last but not least of all, your draft horse needs food to survive, like any living being. Draft horses, despite having humongous sizes, eat only as much grain and feed as a regular horse. Thanks to the satiety level of draft horses, they require normal amounts of feed, otherwise, they would be afflicted with multiple metabolic syndromes. Average feed costs for a draft horse can amount up to $1000 and more. The feed includes hay grass, grain, and minerals.

Maintenance Cost Breakdown for a Draft Horse

The combined cost of all the maintenance charges and auxiliary expenses is summarized as follows;

ParticularsAverage cost
Vet bills$500
Farrier expenses$400
Accommodation and boarding$675
Tack and supplementation$300-600
Feed$1000 and more
Total annual expense~$3000

The above-mentioned charges highly vary and these are only the minimum average costs.

FAQs Regarding the Cost of Draft Horse

How much does a Dutch draft horse cost? 

A typical Dutch draft horse costs anywhere between $4,000 and $15,000. However, the more expensive ones may even amount to millions of dollars. Dutch draft is a cold-blooded equine, with a massive body and calm temperament. Originating from the Netherlands, the Dutch draft horse stands at a height of staggering 16 hands, exquisitely serving the purpose of heavy farm work and pulling carriage. 

How much does it cost to feed a draft horse per month?

Depending on the quality of feed grain and whether it contains added minerals or not, the feed may cost a minimum of $1000 per annum. Draft horses, despite having magnanimous sizes, devour only as much grain and feed as a regular horse. Thanks to their satiety level, they require normal amounts of feed, which would have otherwise resulted in various metabolic disorders.

How much does a Belgian draft horse cost?

A Belgian draft costs anywhere between $4,900 and $9,900. These are one of the most popular draft horse breeds and are remarkably robust and massive. Capable of performing impressive hard work and being a perfect homestead companion, the Belgian draft enjoys a high reputation in the countryside.

How long do draft horses live?

Draft horses have a shorter life expectancy as compared to the other usual smaller horses. Draft horses usually live for 18 or 19 years, with 20 years of maximum life expectancy. The Belgian drafts usually live long enough to enjoy their 20’s. One reason why draft horse breeds have shorter lives is due to recurrent congenital anomalies such as collagenopathies and other pathologies such as cataract formation in early life. Proper veterinary care is a prerequisite to a longer and healthier life however, the feed has an important role to play in determining the age and health of a draft horse. With adequate supplements and high-yield quality hay grain, draft horses may be saved from various ailments.

Draft Horse… But at what Cost?

Thus far we have reviewed a generous breakdown of the price tags on different draft horse breeds. From the cheapest Clydesdales to the most elite and expensive Thoroughbreds, the draft horses not only come in massive sizes, but also are equipped with lean athletic bodies to sprint the racecourse, and all that with remarkably benign temperament. If you have at least $2900 in your pocket and looking to buy an inexpensive budget horse, then draft horses are the noblest candidates.