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The idea behind the development of the Swedish Ardennes horse was to create a heavier horse than the native Swedish horses. Their main purpose was to perform work on farms that the other horses couldn't handle. Since the time when tractors and other forms of mechanization took the place of most horses on a farm, these horses have managed to maintain a degree of popular. Particularly, they are still used as carthorses and for hauling timber in areas that machines cannot access.
These horses were originally developed when the large Ardennes horses were brought to Sweden by the Count C.G. Wrangle in 1872. By 1880, most of central and south Sweden imported the Ardennes for cross breeding purposes. In fact, most of the breeding activity was concentrated in the late 19th century.
Sweden bred their native wild horse population with other imported horses for years, even after studs began to focus on a particular breed of horse; they began to choose the breeding stock based on their looks more than standards of conformation. In 1874, that this had all changed. Horses like the Swedish Warmblood, Swedish Ardennes, and North Swedish horses were required to undergo examination before they could be entered into the studbook.
Since the Swedish Ardennes is the offspring of the original Ardennes, they share a gene or two that traces clear back to the horses of Julius Caesar. They may also share a gene or two with an ancient breed of horses whose remains were found in Solutre. The Swedish horse has inherited a number of different traits from the original strain of the Ardennes; such traits were endurance, stamina, and the great ability to survive the roughest of weather conditions. They can deal rather easy compared to other horses in hilly or areas of rough terrain; this is all because of their sure footedness.
In 1901, the first studbook for these horses was opened, breeding the Ardennes with the heavier Swedish horses of the countryside resulted in the Swedish Ardennes; they were marked as great horses for more than one reason. Their longevity and high degree of mobility was also praised. In fact, today the majority of the traditional Ardennes horses can be traced to their offset; they are much bigger than the original Ardennes horses. Over the years, the horses that they have been bred were chosen to produce a heavier kind of Ardennes. To give the Swedish Ardennes greater strength, such horses as the Thoroughbred and Arabian horses were crossbred with them; they could cope with the heavier draft work than the others. Other horses that were bred with them were the Boulonnais and as well as the Percheron.
The Swedish Ardennes is also thought to be closely related to the Auxois and as well as to the Trait du Nord draft horse breeds. It's possible that if it weren't for the French Ardennes that were left in Russia during the French Retreat, that the Swedish may not have come around when it did.
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