What is a Warmblood horse

What is a Warmblood Horse? [hotblood and coldblood horses explained]

Warmblood horses are a beautiful and athletic style of horse that is used primarily in English disciplines and competitive equestrian sports. They are known for their lofty strides and excellence in dressage, stadium jumping, and eventing. 

In addition, they are cherished by their owners for their calm temperaments. Keep reading to learn more about these fantastic horses.

history of the warmblood horse breed

What is a Warmblood Horse? 

While there are many different opinions in the horse world about what warmblood may mean specific terms are used to describe the body style and temperament of warmblood horses. 

There are three main body types and temperament styles of the horse.

Hotblood Horse Breeds

This usually refers to Arabians, Akhal-Teke, some Saddlebreds, National Show Horses, some Paints, and Thoroughbreds, to name a few.

what is a hotblood horse breed

Hotblood horses are usually built for speed and agility which makes them great racehorses and competitors.

Coldblood Horse Breeds

Coldblood usually refers to Quarter Horses, The American Paint Horse, The Appaloosa, and other “stock” bred style horses.

Draft horses usually fall within this category as well. Coldblood horses are usually built for strength and have a calm temperament.

Coldblood Horse Breeds

You often see cold-blooded horses performing agricultural work and pulling equipment around on farms and ranches.

Warmblood Horse Breeds

Warmblooded horse breeds: This usually refers to horse breeds like…

  • Hanoverian
  • Dutch Warmblood
  • Trakehner
  • Oldenburg
  • Holsteiner
  • Camargue
  • Morab
  • Morgan
  • Selle Français
  • Irish Sport
  • Belgian Warmblood
  • Westphalian
  • American Albino
  • American Saddlebred
  • Andalusian
  • Appaloosa
  • Seminole
  • Azteca
  • Hackney
  • Lipizzaner

There are many warmblood horse breeds. This is not a complete list.

Warmblood horse breeds fall in-between hotblooded and coldblooded breeds with their characteristics so they are more of an all-around horse breed. They are a mix of the other two.

Hackney horse breed

When someone thinks of a warmblood, they usually think of the European-style, light-boned, athletic horses primarily used for English discipline equestrian sports. 

They come in all colors and marking patterns. Most warmbloods have very cute and distinctive white markings on their legs or face.

Where Did Warmblood Horses Originate From?

Most modern warmbloods we see today are initially from continental Europe or northern Germany. 

Descended from heavier draft breeds, and then modified for refinement of their elegant movement by selective breeding aiming at mixing in lighter-weight, hotter-blooded horses. 

Dutch Warmblood

No one knows the exact mix, and it is no longer believed that warmbloods are originally bred from draft horses as once commonly thought. 

Many scientists also had assumed that, due to DNA testing, warmbloods were more than likely a direct descendant of a wild horse called the “forest horse.” 

No one knows exactly what combination of horse breeds led to the creation of this modern sport horse. 

Many people were able to have these lovely horses (or at least part-bred horses from the purebred horses) as farm workhorses and pleasure horses during the 16th-18th century. 

This was due to many famous stallions being readily available to cover even common people’s mares. 

German-bred Warmblood Breeds include:

  • Holsteiner
  • Hanoverian
  • Oldenburg
  • Trakehner
  • Rhinelander
  • Wurttemberger
  • Westphalian
  • Rottaler
  • Zweibrucker

Central Continental European Warmblood Breeds Include:

  • The Selle Francais
  • The Dutch Warmblood
  • The Belgian Warmblood
  • Australian Warmblood
  • The Danish Warmblood
  • The Swiss Warmblood
  • The Czech Warmblood
  • Swedish Warmblood
  • Finnish Warmblood

Other breeds of warmblood that commonly get overlooked for some of the more well-known breeds include the Irish Sport horse and Cleveland Bay. 

Warmbloods make exceptional dressage horses and overall lighter riding horses. From jumping to trail riding or other equestrian sports, they can do it all. 

Are There Registries for Warmblood Horse Breeds?

Yes, there are registries specifically for these versatile horses. Many registries are available for warmbloods. 

Some of these warmblood registries include:

There is typically a registry for each specific type of warmblood. Additionally, there are global registries and registries focused in the United States alone. 

Are Warmblood Horses More Susceptible to Injury?

Warmbloods can be prone to injury due to the nature of their jobs. 

They are high-performance sport horse athletes that require extreme amounts of grace, training, and agility to perform accurately and correctly. 

Warmbloods may be more susceptible to leg injuries or muscular and skeletal injuries. They are not more vulnerable to illness or disease than any other breed or style of horse. 

Warmbloods are fairly stout horses with usually very thick columns of bone in the leg and strong, even muscles. Performing at high levels can bring injury and make a horse become lame.

How to Buy a Warmblooded Horse

There are many different places to purchase warmbloods. 

Most people work with a trainer to find the right horse for them.

Some people even send their horse trainers over to Europe, Germany, or areas of the Middle East to test out prospective horses and pick one for them to import back to the United States. 

Purchasing a horse locally can save a lot of money in shipping expenses. Imported horses will usually need to be flown in and put into quarantine which can take weeks or longer. 

The horse will also need to pass a health inspection in order to be allowed into the USA. These specialized sport horses can be a significant investment of money and time. 

What Events Do Warmblood Horses Excel At?

Warmbloods excel in all disciplines, but they primarily are used in English disciplines such as:

  • Dressage
  • Jumping
  • Three-day eventing
  • Cross-country
  • Driving or harness horse work
  • Any sort of competitive equine sport

Warmbloods are notorious for being great at these abovementioned events. When you watch the various Equestrian Olympic disciplines, most, if not all, of those horses are warmbloods. 

You can watch them soar over 6+ foot fences or watch them piaffe their way to the victory circle of international competitions every time. 

In addition, they are brilliant horses, usually possessing easy and sweet dispositions. 

Combining all of these wonderful traits with the easy training ability, the options for success and creating a solid horse are endless. 

Related Warmblood Horse Questions

How much do Warmblood horses cost?

The cost of a warmblood will depend on the horse’s discipline and training level; conformation, movement ability, soundness, age, and breeding will all affect the price of the horse. 

You also need to remember that warmbloods are more expensive than most horses due to the likelihood of the horse being previously imported or needing to be imported upon sale. 

A warmblood with little training may be able to be found for a couple of thousand dollars or more. 

In contrast, an imported FEI-level dressage horse will run you up to a couple hundred thousand dollars or more. Working with a trainer is the best way to get the right horse for you. 

Do Warmblood horses eat more than other horses?

Warmbloods are usually very large and agile horses with very demanding jobs. A warmblood sport horse easily can exceed heights of 16+ hands and can be up to 18+ hands. 

They will eat more than many other horse breeds but can be prone to obesity if they do not get enough work. 

What skill level of rider do I need to be to own a Warmblood?

Any skill-level rider can ride and compete successfully on Warmblood. Still, you need to match the types of horses you are looking at with your skill level and disciplinary direction. 

Find a horse well suited to you and your discipline. They are great horses with a lot of capability and diversity. 

Tip! If you are thinking about buying a horse go to your local horse stables and take a riding lesson first. 

Yes, a Warmblood is a great riding horse but build your riding skill level before buying one.

What is the best Warmblood horse breed?

Of course, the term best is based on someone’s opinion but many people in the horse business feel that the Dutch Warmblood is the top of the line.

Dutch warmbloods are often seen winning dressage events and jumping competitions. 

You also will see (if you look!) that the Dutch Warmblood is one of the favorite choices of riders in the Olympic Games.

Warmblood Horse Breeds are Amazing Animals

Warmbloods are an excellent and diverse group of horse breeds. They have been loved and cherished by English riders for many centuries and will never be out of use. 

From the stadium jumping world all the way to dressage and good old-fashioned trail rides, warmbloods are phenomenal horses.

What is a Warmblood Horse

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