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What is a Warmblood Horse?

Anyone familiar with Sporthorses and English riding has heard of a “warmblood horse.” Warmbloods dominate the equitation, hunter, and jumper rings, and they are also used for dressage and three-day eventing.

But, what does “warmblood” mean? Does it actually have to do with a horse’s blood temperature? These questions and more will be answered in this article.  I will be discussing the two meanings of “warmblood/ warm-blooded” as well as the different breeds of warmblood horses seen today.

Biological Meaning of Warmblood Horse

Biologically speaking, horses are mammals, which means they are warm-blooded.  They are not like reptiles, who are cold-blooded.  Being warm-blooded, biologically means that horses can regulate their own internal body temperature.

In other words, even when external temperatures change, a warm-blooded animal will maintain the same internal temperature.  But, a cold-blooded animal’s internal temperature is dependent on the external temperature.

While this is useful information, this has nothing to do with the term “warmblood” in the Sporthorse industry. Instead, a warmblood is considered a horse “type,” in addition to coldbloods and hotbloods.

Warmblood Horse Type

Leave it to the horse industry to use confusing terms to describe simple concepts! The terms warmblood, coldblood, and hotblood, in reference to horse types, actually have nothing to do with the temperature of a horse’s blood.

Instead, they describe general temperaments of groups of horse breeds.  Certain groups of horse breeds have shared characteristics that place them under either the category warmblood, coldblood, or hotblood.

Coldblooded horses are draft horses.  They are known for the calm, “cool,” and gentle personalities.  These horses are easy to handle, and they are strong and surefooted. They are frequently used for farm work and as children’s horses. Coldblooded horses include Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons, and more.

Hotblooded horses are high-energy, light riding horses, such as Thoroughbreds and Arabians.  These horses are known for being somewhat difficult to handle and high-strung. They are traditionally used for racing and other speed-related events.

Warmblood horses are where these two categories meet in the middle.  Warmbloods are more calm than hotbloods but more light-footed than coldbloods.  They are the ideal combination between sporty and surefooted. Warmblood breeds include, but are not limited to the Trakehner, the Selle Francais, the Holsteiner, the Hanovarian, and the Oldenburg.

Original article: What is a Warmblood Horse? – Best Horse Rider