Last Updated on February 3, 2023
If you’re new to horse riding, you might be used to the different types of horses out there. Are warmbloods good for beginners, or are they better for competitions and athletic sports? What exactly are warmbloods, and what are they good for? Let’s find out!
What is a Warm Blood Horse?
Anyone familiar with sport horses and English riding has heard of a warmblood horse, but if you’re new to riding this may sound like a strange name for a type of horse. Surely all horses have warm blood, right? And how does this name relate to the type of horse it describes?
Well, the name warmblood actually has very little to do with the body temperature of the horse and is used to describe a horse with a certain type of breeding and temperament. Warmblood horses dominate the equitation, hunting, and show jumping circuits, and they are also used for dressage and three-day eventing.
Biological Meaning Of Warmblood Horse
If you’ve studied biology at school, you may have come across the terms warm-blooded and cold-blooded before. Biologically speaking, horses are mammals, which means they are warm-blooded. They are not like reptiles, who are cold-blooded. A warm-blooded mammal such as a horse can regulate its internal body temperature, whereas a cold-blooded creature cannot.
This means that, even when external temperatures change, a warm-blooded animal will maintain the same internal temperature. A cold-blooded animal’s internal temperature is dependent on the external temperature, which is why you often see reptiles basking in the sun on warm rocks.
However, whilst this is useful to know, it has nothing to do with how the term “warmblood” is used in the equestrian world! Instead, a warmblood is considered to be a type of horse, along with cold blood and hot blood. And, in case you are wondering, all these types have the same blood temperature!
What is The Difference Between Warmblood and Coldblood Horses?
Leave it to the horse industry to use confusing terms to describe simple concepts! The terms warmblood, cold blooded, and hot blood actually have nothing to do with the temperature of a horse’s blood. All horses have the same blood temperature, no matter what the breed or type.
Instead, these terms describe the general temperament and physique of the three main groups of horse breeds. These groups of horse breeds have shared characteristics that place them under either the category warmblood, cold blooded, or hot blood.
The main breeds in the cold-blooded group of horses are large draft horses. They are known for their calm, ‘cool’, and gentle personalities, and their tough physique. Coldblooded horse breeds include Belgian Draft horses, Clydesdales, Percherons, and Shire horses.
Coldblooded draft horses are easy to handle, and they are strong and surefooted. They are frequently used for farm work and for pulling heavy wagons. Their slow metabolism means they can thrive in harsh conditions on poor-quality food.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have hotblooded horses. These are high-energy, fine-boned riding horses, such as Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Hotblooded horses are known for being somewhat difficult to handle, highly strung, and unpredictable. They are traditionally used for racing and other speed-related events and need to be pampered and fed good quality food to remain fit and healthy.
Warmblood horses are where these two categories meet in the middle. Warmbloods are calmer and more reliable thanhot bloodss but are more light-footed and athletic thancold bloodss. They are the ideal combination of sporty and surefooted, combining the strength of draft horses with the speed of Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Warmblood breeds include, but are not limited to the Trakehner, the Selle Francais, the Holsteiner, theHanoveriann, and the Oldenburg.
Most warmblood horse breeds can trace their origins to hotblooded breeds, such as Thoroughbreds or Arabians, that were bred with draft horses. The offspring of these horses were then carefully bred to bring out the desired features in each breed. Many countries around the world have at least one breed of warmblood horse, with origins linking back to the ancient draft breeds of that region.
Are Warmbloods Good For Beginners?
If you are learning to ride, the horse your riding instructor chooses will likely have a calm, sensible temperament and very placid nature. The last thing a novice rider needs is a fast, excitable horse that is hard to control! So, are warmbloods good for beginners, or would a coldblooded horse be better?
There is no hard and fast rule here, and the question of are warmbloods good for beginners will depend on the temperament and training history of each horse. A good horse for a beginner needs to be reliable, patient, and very forgiving of any mistakes. A lot of warmblood horses have lovely temperaments which make them ideally suited for beginners, but some are too fiery and unpredictable to be safe enough for a learner rider.
The other issue with warm-blood horses is that they tend to be quite large, making them unsuitable for children to ride. Most children learn to ride ona pony or small cob breeds, such as Haflingers, Welsh Mountain ponies, or Fell ponies.
Are Quarter Horses Good For Beginners?
As long as they have a calm and sensible temperament, quarter horses can be the ideal mount for a beginner rider. These compact horses are a good size for older children and adults to ride and are a good choice if you want to learn the Western style of riding.
Common Warmblood Horse Breeds
If you’re looking for your first horse, then you might consider buying a warmblood. Warmblood horse breeds tend to be popular for riders who want to compete in equestrian sports, as they have a calm temperament and athletic physique. Let’s take a look at some of the most common warmblood horse breeds around the world:
The Trakehner is a popular warmblood breedthath originated in Germany. They are known for being athletic, intelligent, kind, and loyal. They are a great horses for competitors and people with plenty of horse experience. However, the Trakenher may not be a good option for someone looking for a first horse, or a horse to keep as a pet, due to their athletic abilities and spirited temperament.
Trakehners are especially skilled in jumping and have had great success in the showjumping ring, as well as the equitation ring. Trakehners come in the most solid colors, as well as roans and pintos.
The Selle Francais is another popular warmblood breed that originated in France. They are also called the French Saddle horse and came into being when Norfolk Trotter and Thoroughbred stallions were bred with native French horses.
The Selle Francais is known for being quiet, brave, and friendly. They are often tall like Thoroughbreds, but muscular like other warmbloods. They come in all solid colors and roans but are not seen in many pinto variations, although leg markings are acceptable.
Like the Trakehner, the Holsteiner is a warmblood breed that originated in Germany. Though the Holsteiner breed has changed significantly throughout the centuries, it is a popular warmblood for sport today.
The Holsteiner is known for being easy-going, laid back, and sometimes even lazy. Despite this, they are also known for being top performers in the show ring. Holstieners are seen in all jumping sports as well as being used in dressage, three-day eventing, and fox hunting.
Holsteiners only come in solid colors and are preferably seen with little or no white markings, though marked chestnuts, greys, and bays occur. The Holsteiner continues to be a popular mount over 700 years after it first originated.
The Hanoverian breed was developed in England in the 1700s but officially began in Germany in the 1800s. It is considered to be the oldest warm-blood horse breed in existence. Similar to the Holsteiner, the breed went through many changes and developments as changing times created changing demands.
Today, the breed is known for being athletic and easygoing. Hanoverian horses are popular in all English riding disciplines, including show jumping, equitation, eventing, dressage, and foxhunting.
Also similar to the Holsteiner, theHanoveriann can come in all solid colors, and white markings are frowned upon unless they are small in size.
The Oldenburg can trace its origins back to the Friesian horse breed in the 1700s. This breed also evolved as the demand for certain characteristics changed. Today they are light, athletic, and surefooted horses, valued by equestrian athletes and professionals around the world.
Oldenburgs are easy to train, athletic, and good-natured. They are tall and muscular; they come in all solid colors but white markings are acceptable.
Oldenburg can be seen in all English riding disciplines, in national and international rings. They excel at jumping, as well as dressage, eventing, and fox hunting.
Conclusion – Are Warmbloods Good For Beginners?
So, as we have learned, warmblood horses have many good qualities, and they are hugely popular as competition horses. However, some warmbloods can be utilized as good riding horses for beginner and novice riders, providing they have a calm temperament. The size of most warmbloods means they are more suitable for adult riders rather than children.
We would love you to share your thoughts with us about the best horse types for beginners! Did you learn to ride on a warmblood, or do you prefer to ride ponies and sensiblecob-typee horses? Are warmbloods good for beginners, or do you think they are best left for more experienced riders to train? Leave a comment below and we will get back to you!
What makes a horse a warmblood?
The word warmblood comes from the German phrase Wärmeblut (warm blood). Previously the term was used to describe any horse that was produced by mating two different breeds of horses. However, in modern times the term has become more specific to a horse's bloodline, and it normally refers to any horses derived by crossbreeding of cold and hot blooded breeds.
A warmblood is an athletic horse derived by crossbreeding cold blooded large draft breeds with smaller, quicker hot blooded horse breeds. They typically exhibit a calm temperament inherited from the cold-blooded breeds and athletic ability of their hot-blooded ancestors.
What is the difference between a warmblood and coldblood horse?
The difference between a cold blood and a hot blood horse is that hot bloods are generally bred to be fast and spirited, while cold bloods are bred to be less spirited but can do more heavy work than hot bloods. Warmbloods are a mixture of both cold blood and hot blooded horses, so they combine the best traits of each type. They can do a little of everything and are generally very versatile. A warmblood horse is a horse with a combination of hot blood (sparkle and energy) and cold blood (strength and endurance).
Are Mustangs warm blooded?
Mustangs are not purebred warmbloods, but are true-breeding mustangs, which means they are descended from horses that were naturally born in the wild. They are cold blooded, as they are descended from a wild horse that was not selectively bred by humans for speed and temperament.
The term “mustang” came from the Spanish word for wild horse, mustango. The word mustang is a contraction of the words mestizo, which means mixed, and ongo, which means wild. Mustang horses were originally bred for their endurance, stamina and sure-footedness. These qualities allowed them to travel great distances over rugged terrain without tiring. They also had an impressive ability to jump large obstacles, and are extremely agile and graceful. They also have the ability to adapt to any type of environment and endure extreme weather. Although they are still bred to be hardy, they are not as fast as warmbloods.
Are Warmbloods good for beginners?
Some Warmblood horses can be good for beginners as they possess the ideal characteristics for someone who is new to riding. The best horse for a beginner is one that is easy to train and ride, with a calm and sensible temperament. Some warmbloods are too fiery to be suitable for beginners, whilst others make the ideal mount for someone learning to ride.
Warmblood horses are generally very intelligent and will learn commands easily, but they do require a lot of training and patience. Most trainers report that warmblood geldings are easier to train, and are generally more tolerant of inexperienced riders than mares.
Michael Dehaan is a passionate horse owner, horse rider, and lover of all things equine. He has been around horses since he was a child, and has grown to become an expert in the field. He has owned and ridden a variety of horses of different breeds, and has trained many to compete in shows and competitions. He is an experienced horseman, having worked with and competed many horses, including his own. He is an active member of the equestrian community, participating in events and teaching riding lessons.