6 Most Common European Russian and Libyan Warmblood Horse Breeds | Full Comparison

Are you curious about the most common European, Russian, and Libyan Warmblood Horse Breeds and how they compare to one another? Then search no further! This article provides all the necessary information you need. 

The six most common European Russian and Libyan Warmblood Horse Breeds includes; 

  • Tersky Horse Breed,
  • Pleven warmblood horse,
  • Libyan Barb warmblood horse,
  • Lipizzaner Horse Breed,
  • Kladruber warmblood horse,
  • Masuren horse breed. 

These European Russian and Libyan Warmblood horse breeds have unique characteristic features, well-suited to specialized tasks, and intriguing origin stories that you’d make you thrill in amazement. 

Continue reading to learn which breed is best suited to your area of interest.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Tersky Horse Breed Specifics and Character

  • Origin: USSR (Russia)  – Stavropol region. 
  • Height: Average 15hh.
  • Color: Gray.
  • Character: Kind, intelligent, enduring.

Physique: Three types exist, light, medium, and thickset. Elegant, medium-sized head with a straight face, large, liquid eye, and longish, pricked ears. 

Tersky horse breed physique
Tersky horse breed physique

Long, well-carried neck set on good shoulders; prominent withers, a longish back with strong loins, good hindquarters with a high-set tail. Legs fine, and with good bones.

Origin of the Tersky Horse Beed

Founded on the remnants of the old Streletsk Arab, which was in fact an Anglo-Arab with predominant Arab blood, mixed with Kabardin, Don, and Thoroughbred blood, and reinforced with more Arabian, the Tersky began to take shape in 1925 and was officially recognized in 1948. 

It was evolved on the State stud at Tersk in the northern Caucasus, and the aim behind its breeding was to produce a horse with the Arab qualities of air and endurance, a hardy sort who would make a good steeplechaser.

Uses of the Modern Tersky Horse Breed 

The modern Tersky is in fact used as a flat-race horse, competing not against Thoroughbreds (it hasn’t the speed) but against Arabians.

Lokai Warmblood Horse Breed and their Physique
Lokai Warmblood Horse Breed and their Physique

It is an excellent cross country and dressage mount, and its beauty and versatility have created some demand for it as a circus horse.

Pleven Warmblood Horse Breed Origin and Character

  • Origin: Bulgaria.
  • Height: About 15.2hh.
  • Color: Bright chestnut.
  • Character: Kind, intelligent, brave, spirited. 
  • Physique: Robust Anglo-Arab horse with a fiery Arab look about it.
    Very handsome. Excellent conformation.
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Origin and Uses of the Pleven Warmblood Horse Breed

The Pleven originated at the turn of the century on the State agricultural farm of Georgi Dimitrov near Pleven, Bulgaria. 

The mixed breeding that produced it started with Russian Anglo-Arabs bred onto local Arabian and cross-bred mares, and continued for a quarter of a century with additions of purebred Arab and Hungarian Gidran (Thoroughbred crossed with native mares) stock. 

About 1938, the type became fixed, though it has subsequently received careful injections of selected English Thoroughbred blood.

The result is a magnificent all-purpose lightweight horse, a first-rate all-round saddle animal that is also sometimes used in agriculture

Libyan Barb Warmblood Horse Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: Libya. 
  • Height: 14-15hh.
  • Color: Black, brown, bay, chestnut, gray.
  • Character: Active, intelligent, frugal, and enduring.

Physique and Uses of the Libyan Barb warmblood horse breed

A lightweight saddle horse of varying conformation. Though its bloodlines are aristocratic, it is much used as an everyday working animal, and as such, it is normally not selectively bred, and so is not often anything out of the way to look at.

Origin of the Libyan Barb warmblood horse breed

The Libyan Barb stems from Arab and Barb bloodlines with unspecified additions. It is the common mount of North Africa. It is hardy, has abundant stamina and can do well on poor fare, and has some ability as a sprinter.

History of the Libyan Barb warmblood horse breed

In 1662 King Charles II of England married the Barbary port of Tangier (it was part of his wife’s dowry). Charles’s great passion was racing. 

In the 21 years of his rule Barbs were exported plentifully to England, where they were used to improve the speed and stamina of early British racehorses and were thus forerunners of the Thoroughbred (not to be recognized as a breed for another half-century). 

Barb warmblood horse breed physique
The physique of the Barm Warmblood Horse Breed

While Turks occupied the eastern half of the Mediterranean, the Barbary coast was for years open to traders, many of whom took the Barb away with them to wherever home might be and crossed him with their local horses.

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When Tangier passed back to the Moors the exportation of Barbs was so widespread that by the 18th century inferior Barbs could be bought very cheaply in places as distant as northern Europe.

Lipizzaner | Magnificent Warmblood Horse Breed Origin and Character

  • Origin: Austria.
  • Height: 15-16hh.
  • Color: Predominantly gray. Sometimes bay, chestnut, roan.
  • Character: Excellent – intelligent, willing, obedient, and sweet-natured.
  • Physique: As Andalusian, though the face is often straight. The Lipizzaner is slightly smaller than the Andalusian and carries itself with possibly even greater presence.

Uses of the Lipizzaner warmblood horse breed

The Lipizzaner is the mount of the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna, founded in 1758 “for the education of the nobility in the art of horsemanship.

Only stallions are used in the School, and years of patient training lie behind the performances of the advanced high school Airs for which the White Horses of Vienna are world-renowned.

Lipizzaner warmblood horse breed physique
Lipizzaner warmblood horse breed and their physique

The stallion in the illustration is executing the capriole.

Origin of the Lipizzaner warmblood horse breed

The Lipizzaner has been bred in Austria since the 16th century, the foundation stud being at Lipizza, from which the horse takes its name. The original Lipizza stock was pure Andalusian.

At Piber, another famous Austrian stud, Andalusians were mixed with Kladrubers, Neapolitans (an important Italian breed of Andalusian mixed with a little Barb and Arab, now extinct), and probably a dash of Frederiksborg and Arab. 

Andalusian warmblood horse breed
The physique of the Andalusian Warmblood Horse Breed

Bloodlines belonging to Lipizza, Piber, and Kladruby were frequently blended. The result, both in the Lipizzaner and the Kladruber, is a horse of predominantly Andalusian origin and great similarity of appearance.

Kladruber Warmblood Horse Breed Specifics

  • Origin: Czechoslovakia (modern day Chezh Republic and Slovakia)
  • Height: 16-17.2hh. 
  • Color: Gray; occasionally black.

Character and Physique: Taller, but otherwise almost identical, version of the Andalusian/Lipizzaner, with a convex face. Superb carriage horse personality, being proud, obedient, intelligent, and good-natured.

Origin of the Kladruber warmblood horse breed

During the 16th century, Emperor Maximilian II founded a stud of Andalusian horses at Kladruby in Bohemia. 

There, Kladrubers, as they came to be called, were bred with great purity of line; the only new blood, it seems, coming from exchanges with other imperial studs of the Austro Hungarian empire such as those at Lipizza and Piber, which anyway stocked horses of almost exclusively Andalusian origin.

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Uses of the Kladruber warmblood horse breed

Today the Kladruber is still bred at the State stud at Kladruby, performing its ancestral function of drawing the State coach on ceremonial occasions.

Kladruber warmblood horse physique
Kladruber warmblood horse breeds and their physique

The famous Kladruby Grays are driven in teams of up to 16-in-hand, usually without postillions to assist the coachman.

Masuren Horse Breed | Warmblood Horse from Poland 

  • Origin: Poland (formerly East Prussia).
  • Height: About 16hh.
  • Color: All solid colors. Chestnuts and bays are the most common. 
  • Character and Physique: SEE  Trakehner, ABOVE!

Origin of the Masuren Horse Breed 

The Masuren is a continuation of the Trakehner horse left behind by the Germans following their evacuation of Poland in 1945. 

It has been bred with great skill and care by its new Polish masters, and faithful attention has been and is paid to following the principles used under the old German administration. 

The result is a splendid saddle horse of great quality, indistinguishable from the Trakehner since it is of identical ancestry.

Are the Masuren and Trakehner the same breed?

To all intents and purposes, the Masuren and the Trakehner are the same breed East Prussian. They are divided by only 30 years of separate breeding, and no new blood has been introduced.

To summarize, the growth of horseback riding over the last few decades has resulted in a desire for horse breeds with endurance predispositions. As a result, horses are bred specifically for the purposes intended by their breeder. 

The 6 Most Common European Russian and Libyan Warmblood Horse Breeds, as well as horse enthusiasts, are quite diverse as discussed above, as each is uniquely bred to suit its functions.