Detailed Characteristics Overview | Irish and English Warmblood Horse Breeds

Did you know Irish warmblood horse breeds are superbly talented? They do not only turn their hooves to get the job done but also compete internationally and across different disciplines.

Irish horses are good for beginners because of their excellent temperaments and kindness. Well, Ireland, the land of horses, has a rich history of horses with six native horse breeds, but the Irish Draught Warmblood Horse is the most common breed originally developed for farm use.

Today, the Irish Draught Warmblood horse is excellent for sporting and excels at the highest level of eventing and show jumping. 

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Irish Cob Warmblood and Irish Hunter horse | What you need to know 

Irish Cob is popularly known for its gentle character and is the most suitable breed for beginners in the equestrian journey. This breed, for hundreds of years, pulled wagons and carts in Ireland.

It was developed by the Irish traveling community. So if you’re considering getting a horse for leisure trips, the Irish Cob is ideal for your leisure rides.

The Irish Hunter horse is also known as the Irish sport horse, was created in the 1920s and is renowned for its intelligence and good jumping ability.

This hunter horse competes at the highest level internationally. Besides its ability in sporting events, its ability to care for and look after its riders make it ideal for leisure rides. 

Hackney Horse Breed | The stylish and showy horse

Hackney horse breed and Cleveland Bay English horse are of English descent. Hackney is a stylish, showy horse and popularly known for carriage driving.

The Cleveland Bay is the oldest warmblood breed in England, noted for its intelligence. It is also popularly used for fox hunting and show jumping. 

Hackney Horse appearance and physique
Hackney Horse physique

 This article will provide a complete overview of Irish and English warmblood horses. Read through to learn about their unique traits, physique, colors, origin, and height.

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Irish Cob Warmblood Horse Breed | Origin Colour and Character

Origin: Ireland. Height: 15-16hh.

Color: Any. Black, bay, chestnut, and gray are the most common.

Character: Sensible, active. A hard worker with endurance. 

Physique of the Irish Cob Warmblood Horse Breed

Plain head with convex face, strong neck set on powerful shoulders, strong, sturdy body, and hindquarters. Legs short and iron-hard with plenty of bone, feet large and round and dense.

This extremely strong and capable harness horse, still questionable as a definite breed although the type has existed in Ireland for centuries, is now, unfortunately, declining in numbers through being made redundant by motorization.

The physique of Irish Cob horse breed
Irish Cob warmblood Horse breed

It had its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries, being the sort of horse that could be trusted to take a loaded cart to market or pull a milk float all day without tiring or becoming impatient. It still enjoys success as a sensible hack for a heavy rider. 

Hackney Horse Warmblood Breeds | Characteristics and Specifics 

Origin: England.

Height: Usually 14.3-15.3hh (Great Britain); 14.2-16hh (USA). 

Color: Black, bay, brown, chestnut, occasionally roan.

Character: Alert, vigorous, and full of life and spirit. 

Physique of the Hackney Horse Warmblood Breeds

Neat head with a straight face, large, intelligent eye, short prick ears, carried high and proud on an arched, muscled neck; strong shoulders with prominent withers, well-sprung ribs, and muscular, rounded hindquarters.

Strong, straight legs with flexible joints and short pasterns, neat, round, hard feet, rather small. Tail set on high and carried high in the United States, the muscles of the dock are often nicked to induce an artificially high carriage.

The Hackney | A Proud and graceful equine

The Hackney is distinguished by its proud and graceful carriage and by its attractively flamboyant paces.

Even at a standstill, it holds itself with great presence; at a walk, it moves with a springing, airy step, and at a trot.

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The forelegs are drawn up high with sharply-bent knee and thrown well forward with a ground-covering stride while the hindlegs move in a similar exaggerated action, being propelled well forward under the body.

The action should be straight and true, with a tiny pause of each foot in mid-air which almost makes it appear to float.

Irish Draught Warmblood Horse Breed | Height Colour and Physique

Origin: Ireland.

Height: 15-17hh. 

Color: Bay, brown, chestnut, gray.

Character: Quiet, sensible, willing, and active.

Physique of the Irish Draught Warmblood Horse Breed

Alert head with a straight face carried well on the short, strong neck. Its body is barrel-shaped and rather long, with massive shoulders and powerful, sloping quarters. Legs very hard, showing abundant bone and having only a little feather on the heels. Feet large and round.

Irish Draught Horse physique
Irish Draught Horse physique

This horse, when crossed with a Thoroughbred or other quality lightweight horse, gives rise to the famous Irish hunters and jumpers. 

It could be argued that it belongs in the “cold blood” section of this book, but the absence of feathers on its heels and the general alert air of the riding horse make its categorization at least questionable.

Irish Hunter Warmblood Horse | Origin and Character

Origin: Ireland.

Height: Usually 16-16.3hh. 

Color: Any solid color.

Character: Intelligent, bold, sensible, enduring. 

Physique Irish Hunter Warmblood Horse

Handsome animal of classic hunting and showjumping type, having an alert head of Thoroughbred appearance, excellent shoulder and heart room, strong, sloping quarters, hard legs with ample bone, and good feet.

Both as hunter and showjumper, the Irish horse – even today a type rather than a breed – is internationally acclaimed.

Cleveland Bay Warmblood English Horse Breed | Character Physique and Origin

Origin: England.

Height: 15.2-16.1 hh.

Color: Bay or bay brown. White markings are not desirable, but a small star or white hairs showing in the heels is acceptable.

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Character: Intelligent, active, sensible, calm, and of bottomless endurance.

Physique of the Cleveland Bay Warmblood English Horse Breed

Large head with convex profile and kind eye. The longish neck on the good shoulder.

A rather long body, deep-girthed and roomy round heart. Powerful hindquarters, with tail set on fairly high. Legs are short and hard with excellent bone and good feet.

Cleveland Bay Warmblood horse breed physique
Cleveland Bay Warmblood horse breed physique

The Cleveland Bay happens to be one of the oldest, if not actually the oldest, of the established English breeds. In earlier times, it was known as the Chapman Horse, named for the Chapman, or traveling merchants, who used it as a packhorse in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Evolution of the Cleveland Bay Warmblood English Horse Breed

Improvement with Thoroughbred blood in the late 18th century led to the side shoot of the Cleveland Bay, the now nearly-extinct Yorkshire Coach Horse, which was a taller and flashier version of the Cleveland model.

Today, with a dash of Thoroughbred blood added over the last two centuries, the Cleveland Bay is in worldwide demand as a ceremonial coach horse. It is also much sought after for crossing with Thoroughbreds to produce ideal hunter types.

All Irish horses are generally known for their good temperaments with a positive attitude to work and are trainable. They are extremely versatile and famous for their endurance and soundness. English horses are best known for their stylish riding and attractive flamboyant paces