The Brabant, A Horse For the Working Man
I am an equine photographer and one of my favorite breeds is the Brabant draught horse. This horse is tall and massive and made for work, yet has the most docile attitude of any breed of horse I have ever been around. Good thing with the size of their feet and body they could easily be the boss.
I live half of my life in Belgium with my husband who is from here (long story I will get into in later posts) but since I have been here I have taken thousands of photographs of these horses. I am always looking for the next event or gathering of the men that are trying to keep the tradition of working with horses alive. I seen them plow fields, log in the woods, pull caravans, fish in the ocean, cut hay, and just be the babysitter in the family. Pound for pound you get your moneys worth with these gentle giants.
Recently my husband read me an article in the local paper ( I would have read it myself but it is in dutch) the article stated how the government is subsidizing the farmers who are breeding these horses because their popularity is falling off and they want to preserve this original Belgium breed. They are paying 125 euros for each foal born. The numbers are dropping today I suspect because of modern life. Computers are a lot cheaper to feed.
This is the governments way of hoping to keep the breed from becoming extinct or low numbers as they did when they shipped many off to the US after the war.
The Brabant comes in a variety of colors from sorrel, bay, blue and red roan, their feet are feathered with long hair, that can cause them problems here in all the moisture and sand. They use to dock their tails but now they have passed a law against it. Some of the old farmers do not agree, but that is another post.
I ride my bike around our small village and know where every Brabant horse is in the area lives and have taken many photos of them at some time or another.
Photographing horses is a passion I have since I have moved from my passion to owning and showing them. But I must admit the Brabant along with the Ardennes breed has become my favorites to photograph. I love these horses, and hope to have one in my back pasture one day. That’s if I ever quit traveling.