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Warmblood - Horse Breed & Info

Characteristics of the Warmblood

Warmblood Horse Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below

The Warmblood horse - is such a horse a member of a specific breed of warmbloods, or is it only a type of horse that carries certain distinguishable characteristics in performance and in general genetics?

Once upon a time, the term was used to separate and distinguish animals from the so called hot blooded, or purebred horse like the Arabian for example, or to separate and distinguish animals from the so called cold blooded Draft horses. Hot blood simply meant pure, and cold not; with the middle, warm, having a hot blooded parent and a cold blooded parent. Some might call the Thoroughbred a warmblood because the breed originated from crossing local British stock with imported foundation stallions of pure or hot blood. And that may have been a good term for a budding new breed at that time, yet no one today thinks of the Thoroughbred as anything other than an established breed.

You may buy a talented or untalented Thoroughbred, but registration within a breed means you are buying certain physical and genetic characteristics within a group of horses that have been selectively bred for just those characteristics and which determine to a very large extend that horse's conformation, performance and temperament.

There are many types of warmblood horses, but one expects a Thoroughbred to look and act like a Thoroughbred within a wide range, but a range that still defines that one breed of horse. Most warmbloods in today's world are breeds in the making, like the Thoroughbred was a breed in the making at one time in its history. All warmbloods came into being because of local, geographic needs the need for a horse that could work certain terrain; a riding horse; a warhorse; a coach or carriage, transport horse. The requirements of each type of horse varied and local stock was improved by blood of other more established types or breeds to meet the needs of a local people.

A warmblood horse is often named for the local region of a country where serious breeding for a type first began. In more modern days of course, the horse is not often needed for war or transportation or farming, so these horse types that were bred in certain localities to fulfill certain needs, were suddenly not so useable and a horse most often must meet certain human needs and can seldom be successful in be preserved simply for historical or pet value.

Horses are used mainly for sport and recreation. The competitive sport horse disciplines have been growing in popularity for a long time now. Many warmblood types, from many countries have been refined by adding Thoroughbred or other blood and have proven to be stupendous sport horses. The market has determined the value of breeding horses for success in competition. Many have proven to be highly successful in international competitions and therefore in the new market place.

Several types of warmbloods are well on their way to becoming a breed, even by strict definition. Stud books have been kept, rigorous testing of blood, conformation or performance or prepotency have been established and are being conducted. Many registries are closed, and many limit the quality of new blood; others are still establishing what their warmblood breed should be and the books are more open.

Basically warmbloods remain good all around horses, but conformation and blood are becoming more and more refined they must be a horse of good conformation, size, bone and soundness, able to endure, with great abilities for athletics, reasonable speed and most of all great movements and great willingness, all able to be handled easily by humans.

The international success of once local horses is really a story of dedicated study of bloodlines, characteristics that breed on, and compatible crosses. It is only fair that these horses also carry forward a local pride in accomplishment as well as generation of revenue.

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A Few of the Most Successful with Pride of Name and Place, highlighted on this site:

Budenny - Russia
Hanoverian - the former kingdom of Hannover, in northern Germany.
Holsteiner - northernmost province of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein
Oldenburg - modern region of Lower Saxony surrounding the city of Oldenburg, Germany
Trakehner - East Prussian town Trakehnen, now Russia
Irish Draught Horse - Irish Sport Horse Ireland of course.
Selle Francais - France
Dutch Warmbood - The Netherlands
Danish Warmblood - Denmark
Swedish Warmbood - Sweden
Westphalian Warmblood - Wesphalia, Germany

A look at some of the top Warmbloods competing in competition today, will tell you a lot about their warm, local and often ingenious origins as well as their ongoing emergence into breeds.

Other HSC site pages that offer information about Warmblood horses:

Shopping - Business Products Services

Search this site for Horse Shows - Events
Search this site for breeding Stallions at Stud
Search this site for Warmblood Horses for Sale
Search this site for Stables/Farms/Ranches dealing with this breed.
Search this site for Horse Associations - Clubs for Warmbloods.

Other HSC site areas of interest realted to the Warmblood in competition:

Sport Horse
Eventing - Three Day Event
Show Jumping

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Photo ©Jolene Bertrand - Avalon Photography