Dutch Warmblood

By PetMD Editorial on Sep. 8, 2008

The Dutch Warmblood is commonly used as a riding horse, but excels as a sports horse. Originating in Holland, this powerful horse is also obedient, reliable and quite intelligent.


Physical Characteristics

The Dutch Warmblood, sometimes referred to as the Nederlandsche Warmbloed, has a straight profile with a well-shaped head, arched, muscular neck, sloping shoulders, and a long, straight back. Its withers -- the area between the shoulder blades -- is prominent, while its croup (loin) is flat and short. The Dutch Warmblood also has a deep, full chest with powerful legs and strong hind quarters.

Standing at about 16.2 hands -- a hand is a common unit of measurement for horses that is equal to four inches -- this horse has as much ability as it has beauty.

Personality and Temperament

The temperament of the Dutch Warmblood is quite good. It is reliable and very willing to work, but also rather intelligent and in tune to the needs of its rider. This is what makes these horses very appropriate for sporting events and for riding.

History and Background

The warmblood breeds are some of the most famous horse breeds in the world; among them, the Dutch Warmblood. The Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands, founded in 1970 from the union of two Dutch warmblood groups, was created to establish the highest quality of warmbloods in the region. Also, if you look closely to their trademark, the Dutch Lion, you can see that the warmblood is the inspiration for this symbol. And until recently, prior to a Dutch law banning branding, registered horses of the association bore the mark of the lion on their hip.

The warmblood has gone through centuries of selective breeding, culling only those of the highest quality. Up until World War II, the Dutch Warmblood was divided into two types: the Gelderlanders bred in the south and the Groningen bred in the north. Eighty percent of them were made to be riding horses and the remaining 20 percent were used as carriage horses. Modern versions of the Dutch Warmblood, however, are suitable for all types of work or activities -- reliable until the very end.

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?

Get Instant Vet Help Via Chat or Video. Connect with a Vet. Chewy Health