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The Drum Horse Breed Standard

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The overall impression of the Drum Horse should be one of an elegant heavy horse of great strength and agility. The Drum Horse is a tall, heavy riding horse, and should therefore display the athleticism to allow for competitiveness in all ridden and driven disciplines. The Drum should be a large, well-muscled horse of medium to heavy weight, with good quality bone, an athletic body, a kind expression and abundant hair (including heavy “feather” on the legs). A Drum Horse should be above all else a strong and willing partner, loyal and eager to please and display a very intelligent character. They should be manageable and mannerly, respectful, alert confident and even courageous.


The purpose of the Drum Horse standard is to help develop the quintessential heavy riding and driving horse utilising the bloodlines of the Gypsy Cob, Shire, and Clydesdale horses. The ideal Drum Horse displays the calm disposition, heavy bone, profuse feathering and parade animal presence of the Drum Horses in use by HRH the Queen of England's Cavalry. Animals adhering to this standard will also maintain the agility, movement and athleticism to ensure they can excel at a variety of ridden and driven disciplines.


Minimum 16hh and upwards. Horses under 16hh are registered in the Appendix Drum Section.

General Appearance

The Drum Horse should: 

  • Give the impression of intelligence, kindness, strength and agility.

  • Be a large well-muscled horse of either medium weight or heavy weight

  • Possess good quality bone, a sturdy body, kind expression and abundant hair.

  • Display the athleticism to allow for a pleasant day of hunting, hacking or other ridden discipline. The Drum Horse is considered a heavy riding horse and should also excel at driving.


The head should

  • Be in proportion to the body neither too large nor too small

  • Have a broad forehead,

  • Have a generous jaw, square muzzle and even bite.

  • Have ears that are cleanly shaped and well set on.

  • The eyes should be large and set well apart with an intelligent, kind expression. Eyes can be any colour, and blue eyes shall not be penalised.

  •  Have a convex or straight profile, both of which are acceptable

  •  Have a masculine appearance to the head if they are a stallion or gelding

  •  Have a more feminine appearance for a mare


The neck should be

  • Be substantial and well-muscled with a defined arch

  • Be clean through the throat, not too short, and tie in well at the shoulder and withers

  • Exhibit a masculine crest in proper relationship to the size and thickness of the neck in the case of a stallion

Shoulders and withers

The shoulders should be

  • Deep

  • Powerful

  • Of a correct slope to allow for ample, free movement


The withers should be

  • Be average in height, not too high

  • Possess a generous layer of muscle

Chest and body

The chest should be

  • Broad

  • Significantly muscled

The barrel should

  • Be deep with well sprung ribs

  • Have a solid covering of muscle

  • Have a flank as deep as the girth

  • Have a strong loin that ties into the croup with a smooth, well-muscled appearance


The back should be

  • Short

  • Supple

  • Well-muscled

  • Tied in strongly at the loin

Legs and movement

The legs should

  • Be set squarely under the body

  • Be straight

  • Have clean joints

  • Have plenty of dense, flat bone

  • Have well-muscled forearms and thighs

  • Have clean and well defined hocks on the hind legs that are broad, deep, flat and wide when viewed from the side

  • Have pasterns long enough to allow for a proper slope of about 45 degrees from the hoof head to the fetlock joint

  • Have sound hooves

  • Have a generous and open heel

  • The Drum Horse may or may not exhibit the influence of the draught horse hock-set.


The hindquarters should

  • Be smooth and rounded across a long croup

  • Have a medium to high tail set

  • Have a long hip with wide pelvis

  • Have well-muscled thighs and buttocks


The hair should

  • Be long, thick and Abundant

  • Start at the knees and hocks, preferably with feather running down the front of the leg as well as the back

  • Be soft and silky in the feather

  • Be either straight or curling feather, and should cover the hoof

*Docking of tails is not permissible without a veterinary certificate.


The Drum Horses may be any colour.

  • Pinto, Overo or Solid. Blue eyes are acceptable.


When in motion, the ideal Drum Horse should move with

  • Action, power, grace and agility

  • Head carriage and collection that appears natural, not overly exaggerated or forced

  • Free, straight and square movement with ample impulsion

  • Knee action that is somewhat snappy but displays a long, free moving shoulder which should allow the ability to reach forward in a classic extension

  • The appearance of being up under itself with a smooth, powerful stride and should be light on the forehand


The Drum Horse should be, above all else,

  • A kind and willing partner

  • Display an intelligent character and docile temperament

  • Display a calm and sensible attitude.

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