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The Dutch Warmblood is an appealing, modern horse with good character and health, bred to perform for years in all disciplines. Their willingness, reliability, intelligence and conformation have made them beloved by riders everywhere.
The beginnings of the Dutch Warmblood were found in two areas of the Netherlands, Gelderland and Gronigen. In Gelderland, the soil is sandy and a lighter type of horse developed. In Groningen, the soil is heavy clay and a much heavier type of horse developed, derived from the Friesian and Oldenburg.
To refine their horse, the Groningen breeders used Gelderlanders, while the Gelderlanders wanting to add more mass to their horses, used Groningern blood. Using these fine old established bloodlines to produce a true riding horse, farmers applied strict breeding practices, with a lot of severe culling.
To produce the modern Dutch Warmblood, Thoroughbreds were introduced along with stallions from France, Holstein, Hanover and Trakehners.
THE MODERN WARMBLOOD
Over the years the modern KWPN (Koninklijke Vereniging Warmbloed Paarden-stamboek Nederland) has overseen both riding and carriage horses, with a small group of breeders remaining dedicated to the original farm type of light draft horse.
The Dutch Warmbloods are high achievers, but have not been permitted to lose good conformation, beauty or the charm that have made these horses famous. Rigid selection and testing procedures are followed. Only the best of the best stallions come under consideration for the classification keur, with preference being awarded to famous individuals.
The Dutch have produced a horse that is durable and a loyal partner no matter what he is asked to perform.
The brand used by the Dutch Stud Book (KWPN) is that of a proud Dutch lion and the character of the horses match completely.
The chest of this horse is deep and full with a well sloped shoulder. The legs are strong with a long forearm. The hindquarters of the Dutch Warmblood are powerful and powerfully muscled, a characteristic inherited from the original farm horses and a feature necessary for strong movement. Over fences, the breed is outstanding!
The head is well shaped, usually with a straight profile and the neck is arched and also well muscled, merging into withers which are fairly prominent. Height ranges from 16 to 17 hands. While good riding conformation is a prime criterion, tractability and intelligence are the sought after qualities.
The stud book dates only from 1958, but in this short time the Dutch Warmblood has proven capable of producing extremely versatile, high-class individuals, with a constitution as strong as steel and almost faultless joints for longevity of use.
The horse has been very well marketed as the market is what truly established the horse, but the skill of the breeders and the subsequent skill of the horses speak for themselves. This horse is one of the very best sport horses anywhere in the world, and the improvement of the breed is an ongoing goal.