17 Warmblood Horse Breeds with Pictures

Warmblood horses are recognized by their middle-weight bodies and smaller heads. Warmbloods are bred by crossing the hot and cold-blooded horses. Larger than the hot blood and more refined than the cold blood, Warmblood horses have written their accomplishments in stone in a range of work.

Being a popular horse in the Olympics sporting events, Warmbloods have made their riders proud in many show arenas. Riders tend to choose Warmbloods for sporting events because of their athletic ability and temperament passed down from the hot and cold-blooded horses.

Warmblood Horse Breeds

1. Hanoverian 


Hanoverian is a German Warmblood horse breed originating from the former kingdom of Hanover, in the state of Lower Saxony. In the riding horse’s world, they are considered the cream of the crop because of their bone structure and stamina.

Hanoverians are used in many equestrian sports for their correct conformation, athleticism, and docile disposition. Hanoverians have won big at many equine competitions like dressage, show jumping, show hunting, and eventing.

Hanoverian, being an excellent jumper, is often seen competing in the Olympics Games and once became an Olympic gold winner jumper in 1992.

Breed Color: Chestnut, Bay, Black, Grey

Size: About 15-18 hands

Weight: 750-1100lbs

Life Expectancy: 20-35 years

2. Holsteiner

Holsteiner is called after their place of origin, the Schleswig-Holstein region of northern Germany. Holsteiner Horses are believed to be the oldest warmblood with their history tracing back to the 13th century.

The Holsteiner breed has made their owners proud in many international equestrian competitions. Holsteiners steal the show for their applause-worthy performance in dressage, show-jumping, eventing, combined riding, and show hunting.

Holsteiners are known for their mild temperament, intelligence, work ethics, and rideability. Holsteiner horses are expensive because of the breed’s scarcity.

Breed Color: Black, Dark Bay, Brown

Size: Around 16 to 17 hands

Weight: 1025 lbs, on average 

Life Expectancy:  About 25-30 years

3. Oldenburg


Oldenburg or Oldenburger warmblood breed was developed to create a multi-purpose workhorse. This German warmblood is famous for its large stature, attractive looks, and high-set tail.

Several bloodlines have contributed to developing the breed such as Norfolk Roadster, Thoroughbred, Hanoverian, Neapolitan, and Andalusian. 

In the old days, Oldenburg was used as a harness horse now the breed has made a name for themselves in the sport horses world. Oldenburger horses are favorite among dressage, hunter, and show jumping enthusiasts.

Oldenburger horses are favored for riding, horse shows, and competitions because of their willingness to work and lively disposition.

Breed Color: Bay, Black, Grey, Chestnut, Brown

Size: About 16-17.2 hands

Weight: Around 1500 to 1700 hands

Life Expectancy: 25 to 30 years

4. Dutch Warmblood


The famous Warmblood Sport horses developed from the two native Dutch Breeds Gelderlander and the Groningen. The scope, stamina, and conformation were improved with the inclusion of Thoroughbred bloodline.

Dutch Warmblood horses have made a mark for themselves in the equestrian sports world. This competitive breed excels in many equestrian disciplines of dressage, driving, and jumping. The breed was ranked #1 in jumping by the WBFSH.

Apart from their dominance in the equine sports world, the Dutch Warmblood breed is lauded for their athleticism, docility, and reliability.

Breed Color: Bay, Chestnut, Black, Grey

Size: About 15-17 hands

Weight: 1450 on average 

Life Expectancy: Around 20 years

5. Selle Français

Selle Francais

Selle Français (pronounced Sell-fron-SAY) is a well-known warmblood sport horse breed originating from France. Carrying long and complex history on their shoulders, Selle Français is a mixture of several complex breeds.

The breed announced its arrival with the crossing of native French mares with Thoroughbred or Norfolk Stallions. The horse displayed great genetic diversity because of its crossing with multiple breeds.

Selle Français horses are easy keepers, energetic, patient, and competitive. What makes them a popular sport horse is their athletic body, well-balanced powerful gait.

This french sport horse is a top choice for show jumping, eventing, combined driving, equestrian vaulting, and competitive trail riding. Selle Français breed has made their riders won many medals at Summer Olympics and the World Equestrian Games.

Breed Color: Chestnut, Bay, Roan, Grey

Size: About 15.1-17.3 hands

Weight: 1300 on average 

Life Expectancy: Around 30 years

6. Trakehner


Trakehner is a European light Warmblood horse breed from East Prussia. The pivotal breed development happened in the 1800s when the English Thoroughbreds and Arabian blood was introduced in the gene pool.

Trakehner, famous for its floating trot, is considered the most refined of Warmbloods. With the optimal combination of elegance and balance, the Trakehner became a famous sports horse in no time.

Trakehner is fast, agile, keen, alert yet stable, and anxious to please. Trakehner excels in dressage because of their floating trot. Trakehner was part of the medal-winning show-jumping and eventing teams at the Olympics.

Breed Color: Chestnut, Bay, Black, Grey

Size: About 15.3-17 hands

Weight: 1500 on average 

Life Expectancy: Around 25 years

7. Belgian Warmblood 

Belgian Warmblood

Belgian, as the name suggests, is a Warmblood horse breed from Belgium. Hanoverians, Holsteiners, and jumping horses from France and the Netherlands laid the foundation of Belgian Warmbloods.

These well-bred equines are strong, tenacious, mild, loyal, and intelligent. The Belgian warmblood breed has helped in producing many medalists.

Belgian Warmbloods are in demand for dressage, riding, show-jumping, and three-day eventing. Big Ben, a Belgian Warmblood, won over €1.27 million in prize money over the course of its career.

Breed Color: Chestnut, Bay, Black, Brown, Gey, Tobiano, Pinto

Size: About 17 hands

Weight: 1300 on average 

Life Expectancy: Around 25-30 years

8. Swedish Warmblood

Image source i.pinimg.com

This Warmblood breed from Sweden has won hearts in national and international arenas for their incredible performance. The decisive breed development happened when the breed was crossed with Spanish and Friesian horses.

Swedish Warmbloods are quiet, stable-minded, calm, reserved, and friendly. Known for their agility and swiftness, these horses are used for racing as well as ranch work.

This versatile, handsome horse is used in several equestrian sports such as riding, racing, dressage, jumping, and eventing. The SWB has won many medals in the Olympics and other competitions.

Breed Color: Roan, Brown, Gey, Tobiano, Pinto

Size: About 16 to 17 hands

Weight: Approximately 1025 pounds

Life Expectancy: Around 25 years

9. Westphalian 


Westphalian or Westfalen is a German Warmblood horse breed from Westphalia. Westphalian, having the greatest population in Germany, is gaining attention worldwide for its athleticism, beauty, and desirable temperament.

This big-bodied horse breed developed after crossing with the Oldenburg, Hanoverian, and Anglo-Norman. Before the mechanization, Westphalians were used to plow fields, carry people, and pull wagons.

The modern Westphalian is bred keeping in focus its athletic abilities and rideability. The Westphalian is used for many equine sports like driving and show hunting. However, it excels in dressage and show-jumping.

Breed Color: Black, Bay, Chestnut, Gey

Size: About 15.2 to 17.2 hands

Weight: Around 1000 to 1300 pounds

Life Expectancy: 25 to 30 years

10. Bavarian Warmblood

image source Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4518802

This internationally renowned Warmblood sport horse breed of Southern Germany packs a ton of power that makes it an absolute best. 

Bavarians were used to ride, plow, and carry loads. The modern Bavarian Warmbloods are bred to be an efficient riding horse for Olympic disciplines. 

Selective breeding for refinement in temperament, size, and conformation makes them a popular choice for the World Cup Equestrian teams.

Bavarian Warmbloods excel in dressage, eventing, show-jumping, combined riding, and other equine sports activities.

Breed Color: Black, Bay, Sorrel

Size: About 15.2 to 16.2 hands

Weight: Up to 1300 pounds

Life Expectancy: Around 20 years

11. Irish Sport Horse


The Irish Sport Horse or Irish Hunter is an Irish Warmblood breed, bred to run, jump and gallop. This toughest yet kind breed is applauded for their jumping abilities, courage, athleticism, and soundness.

It became a well-reputed sporting horse breed after cross-breeding of Irish Draught and Thoroughbred. Sporting abilities were enhanced with the inclusion of Hanoverian, Selle Francais, and Trakehner.

With having the best sport breed genetics in blood, Irish hunter competes courageously in every equestrian discipline.

Embodying the best of all breeds, the Irish Sports horse competes in competitive riding, dressage, show-jumping, and three-day eventing.

Breed Color: Solid coat colors like black, chestnut, roan, white, grey, brown, buckskin, champagne, 

Size: About 15 to 17 hands

Weight: 1200 to 1500 pounds

Life Expectancy: Around 30 years

12. Gelderland Horse


The Gelderland or Gelderlander is a heavy Warmblood horse breed that evolved in Gelderland, Netherlands. Many horse enthusiasts admire Gelderland for their efficient trot, intelligence, adaptability, and gentle nature.

Norman, Norfolk, Roadster, Andalusian, Holstein, and Neapolitan horses were used to develop the breed. The Gelderlanders were used to work on the farm, pull carts, and carry people. 

The modern Gelderland horse is used in many equestrian sports because of its physical grace and high-stepping trot. Suitable for combined driving, dressage, and show-jumping.

Breed Color: Chestnut, Black, Bay, Grey

Size: About 15.2 to 16 hands

13. Danish Warmblood

Originating from Denmark, the Danish Warmblood is the modern sport horse breed developed after the crossing of Danish mares and elite stallions of European bloodlines.

Throughout its history, the breed has been used for a variety of work. In old times, Danish Warmblood was used for farm work, transportation, warfare, and recreational riding.

Modern Danish Warmbloods is now predominantly used for equestrian competitions like competitive riding, dressage, and show- jumping.

Breed Color: Black, Bay, Chestnut, Dark Brown

Size: About 15.3 to 17 hands

Weight: 800 to 1100 pounds

Life Expectancy: Around 25-30 years

14. American Warmblood

American Warmblood, primarily bred for equine competitions, is an elegant, lively, calm, well-mannered horse.

The breed was selectively bred to have all the desired qualities of competition horses. Reputable for their excellent temperament, obedience, loyalty, spirituality, and docility. The optimal combination of good conformation and sensible temperament adds to the appeal.

The American Warmblood breed is influenced by the European Warmblood, Thoroughbred, Arabian, and some draft horses. American Warmbloods do not always represent a certain breed, instead considered more of a “type”.

Carrying the genes of the best breeds, American Warmbloods have marked their territory in the equine sports world. Suitable for various sport horse disciplines of dressage, show-jumping, eventing, and combined riding.

Breed Color: All Solid Colors

Size: About 15 to 17 hands

Weight: Standard to heavy

Life Expectancy: Around 25-35 years

15. Cleveland Bay

This England’s oldest Warmblood breed is called after its coat color and Cleveland District of Yorkshire. Cleveland bay breed developed after the crossing of Chapman Horse, Spanish horses, Barb, Thoroughbred, and Arabian.

The now endangered breed was used to pull imperial carriages and do the agricultural work. Cleveland bays were the initial stars when the show-jumping first started as a sport.

Most purebred Cleveland Bay horses are offering their services in the Royal Mews and British royal stables. Apart from the royal services, the Cleveland Bay breed is used farm work, driving, show-jumping, and fox hunting.

Breed Color: Different shades of the bay with black markings

Size: About 16 to 16.2 hands

Weight: 1200 to 1500 pounds

Life Expectancy: Around 25 years

16. Rhenish Warmblood

This German Warmblood breed of sport horses is also known as Rhineland Horse. The Rhenish breed started as heavy horses used for extensive farmwork in Saxony, Westphalia, and Rhineland regions.

Rhenish warmbloods have proved their competence as a successful riding breed. Rhenish horses are multi-purpose, agile, courageous, and easy-going. 

Because of their desirable temperament, the breed is used for recreational and competitive riding. The aesthetic appearance and well-balanced gait with 3 beats make it an ideal choice for dressage. 

The Rhenish warmbloods are suitable for riding, racing, dressage, jumping, hunting, and endurance riding.

Breed Color: Chestnut (commonly), other solid colors

Size: About 15 to 17 hands

17. Swiss Warmblood

Swiss Warmblood or Einsiedler got its name after the Benedictine Monastery of Einsiedeln where the breed developed. The breed carries centuries-old history on their backs. 

Anglo-Norman horse, Yorkshire coach horse, Hosteiners are considered the ancestors of Swiss Warmbloods. Embodying the best of qualities of their ancestors, Swiss Warmbloods are calm, docile, lively, loyal, alert, and intelligent.

Swiss Warmbloods are used as general riding and competition horses. The breed performs well in dressage, hunting, and endurance riding.

Breed Color: Black, Buckskin, Dun, Roan, Champagne, Perlino, Cremello, Grullo, Brown, Palomino, grey, Chestnut, Bay

Size: About 15.1 to 16.2 hands

Weight: Up to 1500 pounds

Life Expectancy: Around 30 years

Which warmblood horse breed is your favorite? Write in comments

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Iqra Maryam is a passionate equestrian who has spent her life researching and writing about equine. She remembers playing with her pony more than toys and friends! With time, she managed to train her Pony and did all research related to the well being of her friend. She trains young equestrian and writes thoughtful articles on them. She believes each horse is a new learning experience and it sparks up her equine passion.

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