The Russian Heavy Draft wasn't officially registered as a breed until 1952, so it is a relatively young breed of horse. The Russian Heavy Draft has had a large but not known or recorded influence on many other draft horses. In fact, the Russian Draft blood can be found in many of the horses that pull carts in the Russian countryside outside of major cities.
The Russian Heavy Daft mares are well known for their milk production, the fermented milk of mare has long been used as a medicinal tonic throughout southern Russia and central Asia. It was favored by well known authors in the nineteenth century such as Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, and Leo Tolstoy. The milk was thought to stimulate a person's appetite, improve the digestion track, and heighten immunity against sickness and disease. It was also suggested by many to help with conditions such as impotence, tuberculosis, gastritis, and anemia. This horse is actually used as the ideal horse for an experimental farm for the fermented milk production; it's located at the All Institute for Horse breeding. A mare can produce up to 25,000 kg of milk for marketing purposes in the 6-7 months that it's in lactation.
Much like many other horses, the Russian Draft reaches its physical maturity at an early age, when it reaches 18 months it has reached 95% of its adult height and 75% of its adult weight.
The systematic breeding of this horse didn't begin until the 1860s. It was crossbred with such horses as Ukrainian native horses, the mountain Ardennes, Orlov Trotter, and finally the Brabancon. The Orlov is believed to have given the Russian Draft its active and energetic stride. It wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century at the 1900 Paris Exhibition that the Russian Heavy Draft was introduced to the world's zoo technical public. But unfortunately for the breed, during the First World War a large portion of the breed was wiped out.
The Russian Heavy Draft is also known for their longevity, they can be used for reproduction up to 25 years. A mare by the name of "Logika" born in 1962 produced 18 foals in 18 years and still is in good health and capable of even more production.
The Russian Heavy Draft was sometimes referred to as the Russian Ardennes.
The Russian Heavy Draft is bred into three different types; the first is the Novoalexandrov type, it particularly a little smaller than some of the other breeds. The second is The Ural type, it was bred under bit a harsher conditions than some and therefore it is bigger with a more high set neck, stronger back and skeleton. The third is the Heavy type, it was bred in more moderate conditions but it also has a strong back and skeleton, but unfortunate for the mares of this breed, their reproductive ability is only at 90%.
One of the primary horses used in the creation of the Russian Heavy Draft was the Ardennes, the import of this horse began in 1900 and it made up about 35% of all the cold blooded imported breeds.