10 Popular Warm-Blooded Horse Breeds (List With Pictures)

You can surely admire some horses for their striking beauty, but your preference is bound to shift when it comes to their agility and temperament. Warmblood horses are an excellent pick for riding as they aren’t quick-tempered like hot-bloods. Furthermore, they are also easy to train and serve an entirely different purpose than cold-blooded equines.

This article will serve as your ultimate warmblood horse breed guide. Here, you will not only learn about different types of warmblood horses and their characteristics but also what tasks they can perform. So start scrolling for some authentic, and easy to comprehend information!

Warmblooded Horse Breeds List

Warmblooded equines are basically a combination of hot and cold bloodlines of horses. As a matter of fact, the term “warmblood” does not refer to the animal’s body temperature but its overall temperament and performance in terms of speed, strength, and usage.

The following list depicts some of the most popular warmblooded horses around the world. These are more popular around Europe and America.

1. Hanoverian

Courtesy: Nick

The Hanoverian breed, originating from Germany, dates back to the 18th century. It came into being with the establishment of a state-owned stable, Landgestuet. The aim of this stable was to put up the good stallions for sale at a low price so as to produce warmbloods that would serve as suitable options during war and farming.

Flaunting a coat that is usually grey, chestnut, or bay, the Hanoverians have a robust build as well as a mild temperament. The equine can grow up to 15 to 18 hands tall and is known to be one of the calmest breeds. Moreover, the Hanoverians are extremely versatile and well suited for showjumping as well as dressage.

2. Trakehner

This horse breed has been named after the town of Trakehnen in East Prussian, Poland, where it was originally produced in a stud farm during the 18th century. The Trakehners were most often used as a refiner of the bloodlines when crossbreeding Thoroughbred with draft breeds. Nonetheless, the most common coloring found among this bred includes solids like black, dark brown, and bay.

Overall, Trakehnens are intelligent, calm, and have a light build.  This enables them to perform much better in eventing as compared to other warmbloods. Besides, they can easily succeed in almost every equestrian discipline due to their competitive drive, despite being stubborn at times.

3. Holsteiner

Reaching a size of approximately 16 to 17 hands, the Holsteiners possess a well-defined canter that is quite expressive. Despite this, they somehow lack in demonstrating an impressive trot. Furthermore, this German origin breed is believed to be the oldest breed of warmbloods dating back to the 13th century. It has considerable recognition in reining and other popular equestrian disciplines. Also, the horses have a solid-colored, most often bay, coat.

Holsteiners resemble an athletic steed in appearance, with an arched and high-set neck, and strong hindquarters on a medium-framed body. The warmblood’s graceful stride and outstanding balance make it ideal to compete in the top levels of show hunting, dressage, combined driving, as well as show jumping.

4. Belgian Warmblood

Credits: Eponimm

For over a span of a hundred years before the 1950s, horse breeders had been conveniently developing saddle horses in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. However, with the rising concern of the Belgian government to protect the Belgian draft horse bloodlines, the Belgian warmblood came into being.

The first few Belgian warmbloods were an infusion of French jumping horses and German Hanoverian bloodlines. Nevertheless, this horse breed tends to vary in size and substance. It ideally measures 16 to 17 hands at the withers. Moreover, Belgian Warmblood mares are not suitable for breeding unless they grow larger than 15.1 hands.

All in all, Belgian Warmbloods are highly popular for their excellent leaping capabilities and tend to excel in show jumping as well as three-day eventing.

5. Selle Français

Credits: Jean

A native of France, the Selle Francais gains its structure from its famous foundation breeds, namely the Anglo-Norman, the Charolais, the Thoroughbred, and the Norfolk Trotter. Just like most other warmblood breeds, the Selle Francais too served as a carriage and war horse during the 19th century.

The use of the animal gradually transformed as the need for practical horses for sporting activities rose. Moreover, the Selle Francais was later groomed as an exceptional jumping horse due to its receptive and lively nature. Its powerful stance is also highly commendable and enables its excellent performance.

Measuring an average of 16.3 hands, the Selle Francais breed has been seen to succeed immensely in equestrian activities. These include steep chase auto racing, competitive trail riding, combined driving and dressage, in addition to eventing and show jumping. Moreover, their coat is often a beautiful chestnut or bay in color, and very seldom gray. Besides, white markings on the lower legs are also quite common in this energetic breed.

6. Swedish Warmblood

Credits: Fotoimage

Hailing from Sweden, the Swedish Warmblood can grow up to 17 hands. It is a superb candidate for dressage, show jumping, and reigning. Equestrians often recall them to be the youngest breed in warmbloods that flaunt solid, mostly chestnut, bay, and seal-colored coats. You may also spot them in gray and roan colors as well as a rare black.

The development of the Swedish Warmbloods dates back to the 17th century when Spanish and Friesian horses were imported into Sweden and crossbred with rough local mares. This process eventually led to producing powerful warmbloods. Furthermore, larger horses were developed between the period 1920 to 1930, by introducing bloodlines from stronger breeds like the Thoroughbred, the Hanoverian, the Trakehner, and the Arabian horses.

Nonetheless, the equine has a recognizable flowing gait that makes it ideal for riding. They are also impressive performers at show jumping, eventing, and dressage. In addition, the Swedish Warmbloods are great driving horses and are commonly exported across the United States and Europe.

7. Irish Sport Horse

The combination of the Thoroughbreds and the Irish Draught resulted in Irish Sport Horses. These steeds have an average height of 16 to 17 hands and are a unique breed that was initially produced for agricultural tasks. This included efficiently chasing away foxes from the fields and leaping over fencing when need be. They are therefore popular not only for having great athletic capabilities but for their versatility too.

Furthermore, the best thing about these warmblood horses is the fact that they demonstrate fantastic movements along with an outstanding jumping capability. This in turn makes it a superb candidate for even the most difficult cross-country equestrian disciplines. On the other hand, the equines tranquil temperament makes it a great choice as a riding horse for children.

8. Westphalian

Credits: Karlyne

Originating from the Westphalia region of Western Germany, the Westphalian horses were bred within the same standard as other German warmbloods during World War II.  The breed primarily gains its structure and appearance from the Rhinelander, the Oldenburg, the Thoroughbred, and the East Prussian horses. Their good temperament and rideability make them much sought after by all type of horse handlers.

Furthermore,  you will rarely find the Westphalians in colors other than chestnut, grey, black, and bay. Regardless, these horses can excel in various equestrian activities due to their expansive and elastic gait. Initially used as cavalry horses, today they are rather popularly known as Olympic level dressage horses and show jumpers, and are used for pleasure riding as well.

9. Oldenburg

Credits: Mijobe

Another horse breed hailing from Germany, the Oldenburg originated from the bloodlines of breeds such as the Neopolitan, the Anglo-Arab, the Thoroughbred, the Fredricksborger, the Andalusian, and the Turkish horses in the 17th century. In the beginning, they were used mainly as carriage horses and were solid enough to easily handle tough farm work as well.

Later on, horse breeders focused on infusing flexible gaits into the Oldenburg bloodline to produce lighter horses for recreational equestrian activities. Nonetheless, this particular warmblood breed is extremely calm and friendly. It has an expressive head and meaningful stride that makes it a great contender for dressage and show jumping. Moreover, the Oldenburgs come in various solid colors and can grow up to 17 hands tall.

10. Dutch Warmblood

With a typical elevation of 15.3 hands and up, the Dutch Warmbloods are as efficient as other equines with the same temperament. They are a native of Holland and are extremely easy-going as well as docile creatures that excel remarkably in whichever discipline you train them for.

Moreover, this warmblood horse breed is often referred to as the Royal Dutch Sports Horse, and the equine is a favorite among amateurs and experts alike. This is mainly due to its cooperative nature. Furthermore, the KWPN is a descendant of farm horses. Their bloodline includes an infusion of tougher breeds like the Groningen, the Gelderlander, and the Dutch riding horse. Doing so was an essential step to make them capable of disciplines like dressage and jumping.

What Are Warmblood Horses?

Warmblood has nothing to do with the temperature of an equine’s blood, but rather the warmblood horse characteristics of temperament, agility, and the ability to perform specific tasks. You can generally classify horses into three types: Hot-blooded which are super-energetic and the best choice for racing events, Cold-blooded which are robust and perfect for agricultural and harness work, and Warmbloods that are a crossbreed of the first two kinds and possess certain traits of both.

Nonetheless, a warmblood is a middle-weight horse that is bigger than hot-blood Draft breeds but more compatible and easier to train than cold-blood Thoroughbreds. Their calm character and athletic efficiency are what make them versatile for numerous equestrian sports and events. In ancient times, agricultural work and the need for war horses led to the creation of Warmbloods.

Hence, the historical significance of Warmbloods dates back to the 18th century where their main purpose was to serve as cavalry horses during wartime. Another popular historical use of warmblood breeds includes farming. All in all, it won’t be wrong to term these horses as all-rounders due to their suitability to perform a vast range of jobs unlike hot blood and cold blood breeds.

The onset of the mechanism led to transform the traditional roles of such equines. Horse owners began to train them for sports and leisure purposes. Today, the majority of European horses for sale are the Warmbloods with an ideal athletic conformation, robustness, and temperament. The Dutch warmblood, the Hanoverian, and the Oldenburg are the most popular warmblood breeds along with a few others. They are excellent performers in show jumping, dressage, combined driving as well as three-day eventing.

FAQs Regarding Warmblooded Horses

Warmblood horses are neither as quick-tempered as hot blood breeds nor are they suitable for heavy work like cold blood horses. This FAQ will help you understand the warmblood breed better.

What breeds of horses are warmblooded?

The following list depicts some of the most popular warm-blooded horse breeds:
Belgian Warmblood
Selle Français
Swedish Warmblood
Irish Sport Horse
Dutch Warmblood
American Albino
Australian Stock Horse
Irish Draft
Quarter Horse
Tennessee Walking Horse

How do you tell if a horse is a Warmblood?

Warmblood horses are typically docile in nature despite having a heavy bodyweight and strong build. You may consider very middle-weight equine as a warmblood breed unless it is a draft horse or a steed used for racing purposes. Moreover, warmblood horses have wider and stronger legs to carry their own as well as their rider’s weight.

Is a Quarter horse a Warmblood or Cold blood?

Although Quarter Horses are a breed that results from a mixture of different kinds of horses, they are not warmbloods. They are descendants of hot blood equines and lack sufficient bloodlines of a cold blood horse. Hence, you cannot consider a quarter horse to be a Warmblood. Regardless, these horses are athletic and easily trainable to become excellent jumpers as well.

What horse breeds make a Warmblood?

Warmbloods are basically a crossbreed of cold-blooded large draft horses and smaller hot-blooded horse breeds. Besides, the crossbreeding results in a warmblood horse inheriting the calm temperament of cold-blooded along with commendable athletic abilities of hot-bloods.

What does it mean if a horse is a Warmblood?

Horses can be classified as hot, cold, and warm-blooded as per their temperament. When a horse is Warmblood, it means that it has been crossbred. The result in a typically calm equine that is much easier to train.

Are Warmbloods good for beginners?

Warmblood horses are gentle and therefore an ideal choice for horseback riding if you are a beginner. The temperament of these horses gives riders ample confidence to make mistakes while learning the sport. Since warmbloods are not offensive animals, they hardly cause any harm to the rider. Nonetheless, it is advisable for beginners to either opt for a warmblood breed or any mature horse to ride on.

Warmblooded horses are a crossbreed and hence, they tend to inherit some positive traits from both parents. This not only includes a strong, well-toned body to excel in various equestrian sports; but also a pleasant temperament that makes them easily trainable.

Furthermore, some warmbloods are also suitable for tasks like cattle herding, pulling carriages, and drawing wagons.

To sum up, Warmbloods are typically calmer than other horses. However, they can perform more athletically than several heavier draft breeds, such as Thoroughbreds. They are therefore preferable for show jumping, dressage, eventing, and combined driving. Warmblood horse temperament makes them the best choice for novice riders, even kids!