Cleveland Bays “History and Future” Horses For Kids

Posted by John Davidson on


“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
– Carl Sagan

Cleveland Bay:

Cleveland Bay horses are very special. Do you
know why? Because they are the oldest breed of horses native to

Where do they come from?

These horses came from the Cleveland area of North Yorkshire in
England. This is why they are called Cleveland Bays. But this is not
the only reason for their name. What color are they? Can you guess?
Do you remember what a Bay is?

Bay horses

Bay horses have a special coat color. Look at the pictures closely. What
color do you think it is? Brown, dark red, dark brown or a mix of these
colors? Ready? Drumroll please….The color is reddish brown!
Now look at the legs. They are darker than the rest of the body. So
these beautiful horses are reddish brown with a black mane, legs and

Even the tips of the ears are black! This coloring is called “black
points.” This color is what makes the horse, and if it doesn’t have these
color characteristics, it cannot be a Cleveland Bay!
Note: Sometimes, a Bay will have white markings. For
example, some of them have a small, white star on their forehead but
the color is still Bay. Sometimes Cleveland Bays come in a Chestnut
color, but this is rare to find.
So what do you think about the Bay’s color? Do you like it?

A Chapman horse

These beautiful horses have an old heritage. Before they were known as
Cleveland Bays, they were called “Chapman horses.” Do you know
why? They got this name from travelling salesmen or merchants who
used Cleveland Bays to carry their goods.

What makes this horse special?

Cleveland Bays have a very interesting history and we will talk about
that more in chapter 1. But did you know Cleveland Bays are the only
non-draught or non-draft horses developed in the UK? What does that
mean? Do you remember what a draft horse is?

A draft horse.

This is a horse that “draws” or “hauls” something. It is also called a
work horse or heavy horse, because it works hard and pulls heavy
loads. However, these types of horses are usually strong, gentle, easy to
work with and very patient.

An Amazing Horse

Cleveland Bays are really amazing and smart! It’s strength, versatility,
stamina and personality is also one of a kind! With their beautiful coat,
and rich ancestry, Cleveland Bays are lots of fun to learn about. I hope
Cleveland Bays
you take a moment to read a little more on this beautiful animal, and
don’t forget to share what you learn with others!


Would you like to learn how to draw a horse? has a
simple, but neat tutorial. Here are the steps to get started:
1- First, ask your parent’s or a guardian’s permission to go online.
2- In your browser (Chrome, Internet explorer, Firefox, Torch) type:
3- In the search box at the top of the page type: Draw a simple horse.
Once the search is complete, you should see a title that reads: “How to
draw a simple horse: 11 steps with pictures.”
4 – Click on the link and follow the steps.
5- Have fun!

Chapter 1

Hi, it’s nice to meet you!


To understand where this beautiful horse came from, we
have to go back in history to the time of Kings and Queens!

English Royalty

For over one hundred years, English Royalty has sponsored these
amazing horses. They liked them so much that they used these beautiful
horses to pull carriages and ride in processions. And this is still
happening today. The Queen of England is a proud sponsor or Patron of
this breed, and her Royal Mews continue to use this magnificent horse
in ceremonial events.

Medieval times

It was not only Royalty that used these horses. The ancestors of
Cleveland Bays came from churches and monasteries. And they were
used to transport goods between these ancient places.


Cleveland Bays were used as pack horses for many years. Remember
how they helped the Salesmen to carry goods from one place to
another? So they were not used in heavy draft work like other horses.
But this doesn’t mean they aren’t strong. A horse needs a lot of energy
and strength to carry goods around all day!
Cleveland Bays come from a strong mix of horses, but during the 17 th
and 18 th century, these amazing horses were crossed with Andalusian
and Arabian horses.
Then around the 19 th century, the British Calvary saw something they
really liked, and soon Cleveland Bays became “one of the most
common draft and coach horses in Britain and the United States!”

What makes these horses so special?

Cleveland Bays are called “all-rounders.” Does this sound strange to
you? It simply means these horses are good for many different things
like: Hunting, riding, pulling coaches, driving, working as a pack horse
and doing agricultural work.
Sometime during the 19 th century, Cleveland Bays were crossbred with
Thoroughbred horses. Do you know what this word means?
The dictionary at Kids.Net.Au defines this word like this: “(genetics)
the act of mixing different species or varieties of animals or plants and
thus to produce hybrids.”
So they mixed the horses together to make a new horse! The new horse
was the Yorkshire Coach Horse. This horse is pretty cool. There is no
other horse like it in speed, style and power!
Sadly, when the mechanical age came around (This was the time of
railroads, trains, agricultural machines and more), Cleveland Bays
almost disappeared! And during World War I and World War II, it got
much worse. By the 1960’s, there were only five or six stallions that
people knew about! Isn’t that awful? But there is good news!
The people who admired this horse got together and decided to help
them recover. And soon, Cleveland Bays started to grow in numbers
again! (Sourse:
Today, this horse is used as “show jumpers” and hunters. It is also
popular for driving and excellent for competition shows!
The wind feels good!

FUN FACTS FOR KIDS: Measuring horses: What is HANDS?

This is a neat way to measure horses. The measurement refers to hands,
literal hands! The symbol is usually HH (Hands high). So you would
say 15hh, 16hh or 17hh. This means 15 hands, 16 hands and 17 hands.
You might be wondering why people measure horses in hands?
Well, many years ago people did not have rulers or measuring sticks
like we do today. So they used whatever they had…and they had hands.
So horses are measured like this. You can do it too! How?
Think about it like this: One hand is 4 inches.
So if a horse is 15 hands multiply this by 4. (15 x 4) and you will get 60
inches. And if a horse is 16 hands multiply this number by 4. (16 x 4)
and you will get 64 inches.
Cleveland Bays stand at 16 to 16.2 hands. Some stand at 17 hands. Can
you do the math and find the inches?
Now that you know how to do it, you can measure other horses for
yourself. Have fun!
Awwwww this feels good!
Strengths: Cleveland Bays are strong horses with a heart of gold!
But this is not all. They are also known as:
-Long lived
Which one of these traits do you have? Whichever one you pick means
you have something in common with Cleveland Bays!
Download the entire book here...

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment