7 Stunning European Warmblood Horse Breeds | Facts Origin and Characteristics

If you are passionate about horses, you know there is an array of different breeds available.

The European warmblood horse breed is one of them. Do you want to know which horses of this breed are the most spectacular?

Here is your answer –

The 7 Most Stunning European Warmblood Horse Breeds are Swedish Halfbred Horse, Furioso Hungarian Warmblood Horse, Gelderland, Dutch Warmblood Horse, Nonius Hungarian Warmblood Horse, Danubian Horse, East Bulgarian Warmblood Horse, and the German Trotter Horse Breed.

There are many specialities of European Warmblood Horse Breeds.

This post will give you a brief overview of these breeds, like their origin, characteristics and some other interesting facts.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Furioso Hungarian Warmblood Horse Breed

The Furioso is an elegant and versatile saddle horse, popular in its native land and in adjacent countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria and Romania.

It excels at dressage and cross-country work, at jumping and eventing, and is used for steeplechasing (Soviet bloc countries frequently use half-bred horses for this purpose). 

Additionally, it is an imposing carriage horse, possessing both style and great endurance.

The physique of Furioso Warmblood horse
The physique of Furioso Warmblood horse

It has been bred in Hungary since the mid-19th century. The foundation sires were an English Thoroughbred named Furioso, foaled in 1836, and a Norfolk Roadster called North Star. These were bred to native mares of the Nonius type.

It has a long, strong back with well-sprung ribs: muscular, sloping hindquarters, tail relatively low set on.

Strong, clean legs with hocks, well let down and short pasterns. Action free and straight and very slightly exaggerated.

Characteristics and Origin of Furioso Hungarian Warmblood Horse

  • Origin: Hungary.
  • Height: Average 16hh.
  • Colour: Black, dark bay, bay-brown, often with white markings.
  • Character: Active, intelligent and tractable.
  • Physique: Handsome saddle/carriage horse. Medium-sized, attractive head, well-carried on long, strong neck. Powerful, sloping shoulder, deep. Chest, prominent withers.

Swedish Halfbred Warmblood Horse Breed

The Swedish Halfbred, also called Warm-Blood, had its beginnings 300 years ago, when Oriental, Andalusian and Friesian stallions were imported and bred to local mares to produce good saddle horses for the cavalry.

Since then, the breed has been carefully built up, using the best of Thoroughbred, East Prussian, Hanoverian, Trakehner and Holstein stallions.

The breed is now fixed, and strict controls are exercised over the stallions used.

The result is an outstanding saddle horse, a formidable Olympic Games competitor which excels in dressage and jumping.

Its shoulders are strong and sloping: good withers and depth of girth. Rather deep body, with well-sprung ribs, straight back, good loins, and excellent, rounded hindquarters.

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Legs hard and slender, with short cannon bones, short, sloping pasterns, and hocks well let down. Action free, straight, and well-balanced.

Characteristics and Origin of Swedish Halfbred Warmblood Horse

  • Origin: Sweden – Flyinge.
  • Height: Average 16.2hh.
  • Colour: Solid Colours; generally chestnut, bay, brown, grey.
  • Character: Intelligent, bold, good-natured, sensible and obedient.
  • Physique: Quality saddle horse with excellent conformation. Neat. Attractive head with a straight face, large eye, and short, pricked ears, well-set on the neck of medium length.

Gelderland Dutch Warmblood Horse Breed

This attractive breed stems from a variety of sources, notably Andalusian, Norman and Norfolk Roadster.

Hackney, Oldenburg, East Friesian, and Anglo-Norman blood has been introduced during the last century, and the best of the offspring interbred in an intelligent campaign to fix a new breed.

The Gelderland makes a first-class carriage horse, combining presence, good conformation and attractive, showy action.

Gelderland Warmblood horse physique
Gelderland Warmblood horse physique

It is also capable of light agricultural work.

It is a pleasant horse to ride, and its power and thrust have proved to be an above-average showjumper.

The breed has powerful hindquarters, with tail set on high and held with an exaggerated carriage.

Legs short and strong, with short cannon bones and hocks well let down. Round, hard feet. Stylish action. Typical of a good carriage horse.

Characteristics and Origin of Gelderland Dutch Warmblood Horse

  • Origin: Holland – Gelderland.
  • Height: Usually 15.2-16hh; occasionally taller.
  • Colour: Solid Colours. Chestnut and grey are the commonest.
  • Character: Docile, good-natured and very active.
  • Physique: Somewhat plain head with convex face and intelligent expression, carried gaily on strong, arched neck. Good shoulders. Compact, strong body, broad and deep.

Nonius Hungarian Warmblood Horse Breed

This medium-heavy all-purpose horse is a forerunner of the Furioso, which it closely resembles. Both originated at the Mezõhegyes Stud in Hungary.

The Nonius is now also bred in Yugoslavia, Romania and Czechoslovakia.

The modern Nonius has many uses, ranging from sport through the carriage to agriculture.

Outcrossed to lighter breeds such as the Thoroughbred, it produces first-class hunters, eventers and showjumpers.

The Nonius is believed to descend from a prepotent and prolific French stallion called Nonius, who was foaled about 1810 in Normandy from a Norman mare by an English half-bred.

Nonius warmblood horse and its physical appearance
Nonius warmblood horse and its physical appearance

Nonius’s progeny, while standing at Mezőhegyes, is said to have exceeded 200 animals.

It has good hindquarters and hard legs with short pasterns, Round, small hooves. A compact carriage/saddle horse, active and free-striding: very tough.

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Characteristics and Origin of Nonius Hungarian Warmblood Horse

  • Origin: Hungary.
  • Height: Large Nonius- over 15.3hh. Small Nonius – under 15.3hh.
  • Colour: Black, dark bay, dark brown.
  • Character: Excellent temperament: willing, consistent, calm, kind and active.
  • Physique: Bold, attractive head, with kind eye, open nostril, and alert ears. Well-set on a long, strong neck. Good, strong shoulder and good withers; barrel rounded with a rather broad back and loins and well-sprung ribs.

Danubian Horse Breed from Bulgaria 

The Danubian is a 20th-century product of the State stud near Pleven.

It was developed from Nonius stallions crossed with Anglo-Arab mares, and, surprisingly, it seems to be thought of mainly as a draught horse.

Though maybe this is not so odd because its dense, muscular body can pull comparatively enormous weights and its aristocratic bloodlines give it the willpower to triumph.

Stance and physique of the Danubian Warmblood horse
Stance and physique of the Danubian Warmblood horse

It is also a good saddle horse and a useful jumper. Especially when crossed with the Thoroughbred.

The Legs of this breed are comparatively slender for the bulk of the body but hard and of dense bone. The general effect is of power and vigour without coarseness.

Characteristics and Origin of Danubian Horse

  • Origin: Bulgaria.
  • Height: About 15.2hh.
  • Colour: Black, dark chestnut.
  • Character: Active, docile, indomitable, energetic.
  • Physique: Strong, compact, handsome animal with a neat, expressive head, well-set on strong neck. Massive shoulder, deep, strong body, and powerful hindquarters with tail set on rather high.

East Bulgarian Warmblood Horse Breed

It was bred at the Vassil Kolarov state farm near Shumen and at Stefan Karadja.

The State stud in Dobrudja, East Bulgarian is the product of selected Thoroughbred, half-bred, Arab and Anglo-Arab bloodlines.

The breed was fixed in the first part of the 20th century, and since then, only Thoroughbred blood has been added.

As with many of the European hot-bloods, it is expected to work in agriculture as well as under saddle.

Selective breeding for the performance of all kinds has made it extremely versatile, though its greatest aptitude is for sport.

Physique and stance of the East Bulgarian warmblood horse
Physique and stance of the East Bulgarian warmblood horse

It excels at dressage and eventing and has the guts and stamina to participate in international steeplechasing.

As a ‘chaser it lacks the turn of foot of the Thoroughbred and cannot fairly compete with it; but on tricky endurance courses such as that of the famous Grand Pardubice in Czech Slovakia, where two-thirds of the 4 miles is run on the plough and the 31 fences include every conceivable kind of obstacle.

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The handiness and level-headedness of the East Bulgarian put it well on terms with its faster flightier rival.

Legs of this breed are clean and of good bone. It is an elegant saddle horse, from its appearance an obvious Anglo-Arab of predominantly Thoroughbred type. It is hardy, active, and a good mover.

Characteristics and Origin of East Bulgarian Warmblood Horse

  • Origin: Bulgaria.
  • Height: Average 15.3hh.
  • Colour: Chestnut, black.
  • Character: Ideal saddle horse active, intelligent and good-natured.
  • Physique: Neat, attractive head with a straight face. Good, sloping shoulders, roomy chest, deep girth. Longish body with well-sprung ribs, straight back good loins. Muscular hindquarters.

German Trotter Rare Warmblood Horse Breed

Trotting is more popular in Germany than Thoroughbred racing, and there are roughly twice as many trotters as racehorses.

The beginnings of the craze occurred in the second half of the 19th century, and the first trotting club, the Altona, was formed in Hamburg in 1874.

Russian Orlov Trotters were the basis of the modern German breed, which has since been massively improved by American Standardbred blood and more recently by that of the French Trotter.

German Trotter stance and physique
German Trotter stance and physique

Performance is kept to a high standard through a system of handicapping based on the amount of prize money won, which in turn is based on individual speed over 1,000 metres. 

Trotters eligible for the standard register are those with times of under 1 minute 30 seconds, and there is an élite register for those who have achieved 1 minute 20 seconds or less.

The record over 1,000 metres is 1 minute 17.3 seconds. The record-holder is Permit, who is by Epilog, the most famous of the German Trotter sires.

Characteristics and Origin of German Trotter Warmblood Horse

  • Origin: West Germany.
  • Height: About 15.3hh.
  • Colour: Solid Colours.
  • Character: Bold, active, competitive, enduring.
  • Physique: Rather handsome small horse with expressive head. Strong. Well developed, slightly upright shoulder; prominent withers, deep girth, robust body with well-sprung ribs; lean, muscular quarters. Legs fine and iron hard. Hard feet. Splendid, long-striding action.