draft horse or work horse, any breed of horse that is suited to or used for drawing heavy loads. Draft horses originated in central Europe, where their domestication preceded the Roman invasion. Popular breeds include the Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron, and Shire, all of which are extremely large and noted for their strength, endurance, and good disposition.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.