Defining the term “Warmblood” has and probably always will be a highly debatable topic for those of us in the horse world. For some this type of horse is simply a cross between a hot blooded breed and cold blooded breed, while for others they require more specifics for the animal to qualify for the title. Let’s look at some of the most popular arguments to help us decide exactly what a Warmblood should mean to you.
Originally Warmblood horses were created out of the need for a sturdier and more efficient riding horse especially for war mounts. This lead to the crossing of heavier draft breeds, otherwise known as cold bloods, with the lighter boned hot blood breeds such as Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Through careful selection and breeding a new type of horse was developed that possessed a sturdier frame combined with increased stamina and athleticism.
This fact has lead many to believe that any cross between a cold blooded breed and a hot blooded breed will result in a Warmblood. I personally don’t believe this to be the case. There is a type called the Draft-Cross that fits this description more accurately. If you’ve been around many of these crosses you will know how widely they vary. Some remain far too heavy to be a sport horse while others appear to have no draft in them at all.
This leads you to the second most common argument. This point of view is based on the idea that a Warmblood is a horse that is cultivated through intentional breeding to produce the most desirable results. This process takes many generations to end in the result of the perfect type of sport horse that is the Warmblood. Warmblood breeds almost always subscribe to breeding regulations and a Stud Books. Modern Warmbloods are bred to excel in the sporting disciplines such as Dressage, Jumping, and Cross Country.
No matter which definition of Warmblood you believe to be the most accurate, they are still amazing animals with which to work. They possess the calmer temperament and sturdier bodies of drafts combined with the stamina and competitiveness of the Thoroughbred. You will see them compete at the Olympics, Rated Shows, Local Shows, and just hanging out in someone’s backyard. They are a great partner for competition as well as a great pet. If you are considering buying one my advice would be to go for it!