Cold-blooded doesn't mean sluggish. For those with a competitive spirit, the European Brabant makes a great teammate for horse driving trials. Don’t let their physique fool you, they are very athletic. Whether driving single, as a team or four-in-hand, they aim to please too. This three-phased equestrian sport of cross-country marathon, dressage and obstacle driving is no challenge at all for this versatile, willing and smart breed.
Carriage horse rides in urban settings remain popular tourist attractions in many cities. Whether on the bustling streets of historic Charleston or the steep roads of Mackinac Island, the super-strong, gentle-natured, bomb-proof European Brabant is the perfect fit for wagoning tourists around the sites.
If you think dressage is a sport reserved for Warmbloods, think again. Riding dressage on a European Brabant is refreshing as they are never hot, bothered or nervous, and they have a wonderful work ethic. Showing a European Brabant will surely attract a lot of attention as you move up through the levels too.
European Brabants have a superb temperament, which makes them ideal school and therapy program horses. They are gentle in-hand and under saddle. Although their size may be intimidating, they move deliberately and securely, giving any beginner a confidence boost. The European Brabant will care for any level rider, whether novice or intermediate, able bodied or impaired.
Breeding European Brabants is as rewarding as it is challenging. Stallions tend to mature slowly and often produce high volume, low concentrate semen. Because these mares often double-ovulate or ovulate from both follicles, they are prone to twinning. Dystocia is also a factor with these big beauties. However, modern breeding techniques and supportive care have improved fertility success within the breed. Despite the challenges, the large majority of births are uneventfully successful.
Behind the European Brabant’s size, power and muscle lies a “gentle giant” that’s perfect for trail riding. A healthy, fit European Brabant has just as much energy as their smaller, standard-sized horse counterparts. They are as capable of trotting out as any other breed and do not require spurs to keep up, contrary to what you may think. If you don't mind garnering attention while on a trail ride, the European Brabant is an excellent trail mount.
While they’ll likely never become a top-class jumper, the European Brabant makes a great pleasure riding horse. Their large stride, ambling gate and round build are extremely comfortable. Healthy, fit horses have great stamina for long treks too. While at work in fields, they are known to cover over 40 miles pulling farm equipment. A long ride on the beach, in the mountains or around the farm is light work for these easy-keepers.