Irish Cob

By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 15, 2009

The Irish Cob, like the English Cob, should not be considered a true horse breed as it varies in type. It has been bred in Ireland since the 18th century and is mainly used as a mount and for draft work.


Physical Characteristics


The Irish Cob’s physique is perfectly-suited for draft work and farming: a small compact frame with short, robust legs and muscular withers. The profile of the Irish Cob, meanwhile, is well-defined: small ears, round eyes, and a shapely, elongated head.

On average, an Irish Cob horse measures 15 to 15.2 hands (60-61 inches, 152-155 centimeters) tall, which enables it to carry heavy loads.

Personality and Temperament


The Irish Cob has a joyful and relaxed temperament. Unlike most other horse breeds, the Irish Cob is easy to control.




As in all livestock, the Irish Cob needs proper care. It should be fed at regular intervals and provided with adequate amounts of water. Proper grooming procedures should also be observed.


History and Background


The Irish Cob is a hybrid breed, resulting from an 18th-century crossbreeding process that involved the English Thoroughbred, Connemara, and Irish Draft horses. The horse was developed to as a highly energetic animal with great stamina, suitable for riding or harness. However, most Irish Cobs today are used extensively for pony trekking and horseback riding in the tourism industry.

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?

Get Instant Vet Help Via Chat or Video. Connect with a Vet. Chewy Health