Show Jumping and Hunter sports often use warmbloods for their agility and elegance when competing in the show ring. Warmbloods are neither too heavy nor too light. They tend to be tall and handsome and can easily be trained to trot with an elegant gait. This makes them the judges’ favourites and is one of the reasons why warmblood breeds, such as the Hanoverian and the Trakehner, have been so successful at horse jumping events.
The name, ‘warmblood’, is used to refer to type of horse horse breed reared specifically for the purpose of dressage, show jumping, show riding, and similar events. Said to be of German origin, warmblood horses have been cross-bred with both Arabians and thoroughbreds. Well-known German breeds of warmblood include the Hanoverian, the Holsteiner, the Trakehner, the Wuttemberger, and so on.
In appearance, warmbloods are athletic and sturdy. Their conformation of bone structure and musculature permits them a steady and expansive gait with linear follow-through. The typical height of a warmblood can range from 16-17 hands and a Hanoverian weighs about 1300-1450 pounds on the average. These steeds tend to be darker in color – usually black, brown, grey, or chestnut.
One of the most attractive features for owners of warmbloods is that they are calm by temperament. They stay naturally healthy and are usually quite willing to obey and work. Warmbloods are also intelligent and form long-lasting bonds with riders. Once properly trained, these breeds will listen to and adapt to the needs of their riders, even during competitions. A warmblood will easily live between 25 and 33 years.
As with every horse, training a horse should never involve punishment of pain. New riders learn that treating a horse with respect comes with mutual rewards. Needless to say, not all horses may have the same equanimous temperament and you, the owner will have to adapt yourself to the horse’s mind. Once you have established trust and loyalty, however, the prize will follow. Don’t be surprised if you find your horse reading your mind during training.
If you are still unable to control or manage your horse’s temperament, it is best to hand over the horse to a professional for retraining.
Feeding Warmblood Horses:
Note that a warmblood can easily eat between one-and-a-half to three percent of it’s bodyweight. But this habit varies between horse to horse, and the quality of the horse diet you provide. The percentage figures mentioned above have been calculated based on the remains left behind after water has dried off the feed. When open pastures are limited, you may have to supplement the horse’s diet with feed from a horse store.
Horses need to be groomed regularly in order to keep them healthy and allow you to ride on them with eagerness. Regular baths and cleaning also keeps up the horse’s appearance and the sheen of it’s mane. A well-hydrated horse is more likely to respect and recognize you as the rider and keep up it’s good temperament.
How do you Recognize Whether the Horse you’re Buying is a Warmblood?
- Look for the horse’s expressive visage
- Deep chest area
- Lengthy but straight back along with a contour-less top
- Muscular neck
- Well-developed hindquarters
- High tail and extended legs
Investing in a good warmblood is not all about looks, however. Much more important is how well you are able to form a bond with the horse you buy. For more information, click here.