DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship.
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

So What Is A Warmblood, Anyway?

The word warmblood refers to a category of horse bred for "Sport Horse" characteristics. The breed originates from Northern Europe.

If your wondering - no a warmblood isn't like water where you just mix hot with cold to get warm. A warmblood is not the immediate outcome when you breed a hot blood ("purebred", "fullblood") to a coldblood. A Thoroughbred or Arabian is a hotblood. A coldblood is a draft horse. A warmblood also is not a gaited horse such as a Fox Trotter, Paso Fino, Tennessee Walker, Saddlebred or a Standardbred. It is not a stock horse, like Quarter Horse, Paint and Appaloosa.

Still not sure what a warmblood is?? Ok here it is simple. It is the kind of horses you see in the Olympics. The fancy movers and the jumpers.

A warmblood was developed in the 1400's in northern Europe from hotbloods and mixed breeds. The result was a horse that was graceful, powerful, large frame, smart, and correct in structure. These horses were used in wars because of their size and agility. These horses were royal horses. The military and the rulers had these horses.

Now in modern days the warmblood sometimes gets new blood into the line by using Thoroughbred or Anglo-Arabs. Thoroughbreds are used mostly. Warmbloods are also crossed with every other type of breed of horse. But then can not be registered in a warmblood association. Only Thoroughbred and Anglo-Arab blood in the warmblood cross can be registered with a warmblood association.

Warmbloods are used for dressage, jumping, eventing, combined training, harness driving and as English riding show horses.


Sunset Ridge Farms
Home of
F.E.I. Holsteiner/Oldenburg Stallion.
#1 leading sire of dressage horses in the United States (1999)
Sporthorse Owners and Breeders Association).
First American bred stallion to break into the top 20 and went right to #1.

Holsteiner/Oldenburg/ISR stallion by Conquistador.

Purebred Holsteiner stallion in the Oldenburg/ISR by Conquistador.

The Warmblood Breeds

There are three distinct types of breeds they are the Hanoverian, Holsteiner (not said like the black and white milk cow. Say it like "hole st eye ner"), and the Selle Francais. Other breeds are a combination of the three types.

There are seven breeds in Germany(Deutschland). The Holsteiner comes from the northern panhandle in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. The Hanoverian comes from the north in the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachen). The Oldenburg also comes from the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachen), but from the town of Oldenburg. The Westphalin (Westfalen) comes from the west central next to the Netherlands in the state of North Rhine-Wesatphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen). The Rhinelander comes from the west central next to Luxemburg in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). The Bavarian is from the state Bavaria (Bayern) in the south. The Trakehner originated in 1732 in the town of Trakehnen in East Prussia. once this breed was established it would not let other warmblood breeds be accepted. This is the only "closed" studbook of the warmblood breeds. Only Thoroughbreds and Arabians are allowed to enhance new Trakehner blood.

Other breeds are the Selle Francais from France, Danish from the Denmark, Dutch -KWPN from the Netherlands, Belgian Warmblood from Belgian, and the Swedish from Sweden.

The Friesian is from the Netherlands. They date back pre 16th century. The hair color is all black. Their blood includes some Arabian through the Andalusians of Spain. There is no Thoroughbred in the bloodlines. They have been bred pure for two centuries. They are considered warmblood because of their temperament

To get a horse approved into one or more registries the horse will first need proof of ancestry by blood type. Then comes the hard part. The horse will need to go to a place where the judge is doing the approvals and then go in front of the judge in hand or sometimes under saddle. The judges look at (to name a few) height, type, correctness of body (separated into different sections), correctness of gaits, and swing and elasticity. Stallions have a different process to go though. Either the 100 day test or by a points system in the show ring. If the horse is approved the horse will be branded. Depending on associations some mares get branded some don't. So it is not as easy as the stock horses to get registered.

Warmblood Associations

Non Warmblood


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  Donna Hildreth 1998 - 2009
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