4 Most Popular Warmblood Horse Breeds of America You Should Know | Characteristics and Origin

Horses have always been popular in America, especially warmblood horse breeds, and if you want to find out which breeds are the most notable, you are in the right place.

The 4 Most Popular Warmblood Horse Breeds of America are Appaloosa Warmblood Horse, Paso Fino Warmblood Horse, Mustang Warmblood Horse, and Appaloosa Warmblood Horse Breed.

Keep on reading to know about the characteristics and origin of these iconic breeds.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Native Mexican Warmblood Horse Breed

The Mexican horse is thought to be a mixture of the breeds running wild in North and South America, possessing Andalusian, Arab, Criollo and Mustang blood and, of course, originally tracing to the horses of the Conquistadors.

It is a tough, handy little animal, adapted by natural selection to a harsh climate, quick and flexible enough to be used for ranch work and brave enough to face a bull in the ring.

Characteristics and Origin of Native Mexican Warmblood Horses

  • Origin: Mexico.
  • Height: Roughly 15hh.
  • Colour: Any.
  • Character: Courageous, easy to train and willing.
  • Physique: Small saddle horse of varying type, but basically a lean-framed animal with a good shoulder, short back, strong loins and hindquarters, hard legs with plenty of bone, and hard feet.

Paso Fino Warmblood Horse Breed

The Paso Fino exhibits three natural lateral four-beat gaits, a comfortable inherited characteristic that does not have to be taught but appears in the foal at birth.

The slowest and most collected gait is called the Paso fino: then comes the Paso Corto, which covers long distances at a steady pace, and lastly, there is the faster Paso largo.

It is believed that the gaits trace directly to early imported Spanish horses of the 16th century. 

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Apart from modifications and refinements to suit its new and varying climate, the Paso Fino remains similar to the mounts of the Spanish explorers.

Strains developed separately in Puerto Rico, Peru and Colombia are now being merged in the United States into the American Paso Fino.

Characteristics and Origin of Paso Fino Warmblood Horses

  • Origin: Caribbean – Puerto Rico and equatorial South America.
  • Height: About 14.3hh.
  • Colour: All Colours.
  • Character: Gay, tractable, willing.
  • Physique: Strong small horse with Arab-type head, gaily carried. Short pricked ears, expressive eyes and open nostrils. Good shoulder, short back with strong loins and quarters. Hard legs, light of bone, with short cannon bones and hard feet.

Mustang Warmblood Horse Breed

The feral horse of North America, which used to roam the plains in large herds during the country’s pioneering days, is descended from Spanish horses brought by the Conquistadors, which got loose or were captured by Indian tribes.

Over a period of some 300 years of freedom, they adapted themselves, by natural selection and survival of the fittest, from quality Spanish stock to very tough, inelegant utility animals.

They came in all Colours, shapes and sizes. They were the ponies used by the Indians and were also the original cow ponies.

Today the Mustang’ is on the decline, though its continued existence is likely because of government laws ensuring its protection and allotting specific areas of free range.

It has been primarily replaced on the ranches by range horses of better quality.

Even the Bronco- the name given to the most intractable fighters among the wild Mustangs- is now being homebred for rodeo bucking competitions.

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Characteristics and Origin of Mustang Warmblood Horses

  • Origin: United States.
  • Height: 14-15hh.
  • Colour: All Colours.
  • Character: Brave, independent and intractable.
  • Physique: Lightweight saddle horse of scrub type and usually plain appearance. Good bone, very hard legs and feet. Extremely hardy and thrifty.

Appaloosa Warmblood Horse Breed

The development of the Appaloosa is attributed to the Nez Percé Indians, who lived in the fertile north-western area of America now covered by the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho watered by the Palouse River.

The  Physique of Appaloosa Spotted Blanket Horse Breed
Appaloosa Spotted Blanket Horse Breed Physique

The name Appaloosa is a corruption of “Palouse horse” or “Palousy”. In 1877 the Nez Percé were nearly wiped out in a 6-day battle with the US Army, and 61 years later, the horses they had bred were recognized as an official breed.

Popularity of Appaloosa Warmblood Horse Breed

Though still chiefly to be found in western areas of the United States, the Appaloosa has grown so much in national popularity that it ranks as one of the half-dozen biggest breeds in America.

Appaloosa Leopard Horse Phyisique
Appaloosa Leopard Horse Breed Appearance

It is internationally admired for its striking appearance and is much in demand overseas as a circus horse.

The most common ground Colour is roan, though Appaloosas may be of any Colour provided that their spots conform to an accepted pattern.

Physique of the Appaloosa Dark Foreparts Horse
Appaloosa Dark Foreparts horse breed look

However, other Colours are very unusual, except for the horse having Coloured spots on a white ground. The skin around the nostrils, lips, and genitalia is mottled.

White sclera round eye. Hooves are sometimes vertically striped.

The History of Appaloosa Breed

The precise origins of the Appaloosa are obscure since horses with similar markings appear in ancient Chinese and Persian art and in much earlier cave art at Pêche Merle.

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The claim that Appaloosas came to Nez Percé from Mexico through the agency of Cortés’ importations from Spain in the 16th century is probably not far out since all foundation American horses originate from Spanish stock.

The physique of Appaloosa Blanket Dark Mane
Appaloosa Blanket Dark Mane horse physique

It is possible that they were the forerunners of the medieval.

Spanish Appaloosa was bred in Central Asia (hence the paintings), but it is necessary to distinguish between Appaloosa as a breed and Appaloosa.

Appaloosa Snowflake horse breed physique
Appaloosa Snowflake horse breed physique

As a Colour: There are ponies with Appaloosa Colouring throughout the world who bear no physical resemblance to the quality cow pony type of the recognized American breed.

Whether the colouring of these widely-varied types indicates common heredity or simply a spontaneous quirk of evolution remains a mystery.

Characteristics and Origin of Appaloosa Warmblood Horses

  • Origin: United States (probably).
  • Height: 14.2-15.2hh. Not less than 14hh.

Appaloosa Raindrop physique and appearance
Appaloosa Raindrop horse breed look
  • Colour: There are 6 basic patterns: frost, leopard, snowflake, marble, spotted blanket and white blanket, though many variations exist.
  • Character: Tractable disposition combined with speed, stamina, hardiness and great endurance. Handy and quick on its feet.
  • Physique: Compact, large-boned, with short, straight back Wispy mane and tail (called “rat-tailed” or “finger-tailed”). Hooves are hard (striped hooves claimed by some Appaloosa-fanciers to be more resilient than ordinary hooves).