5 Northern Warmblood Horse Breeds | Characteristics Origin and Interesting Facts

There are hundreds of different breeds of horses. The Northern Warmblood Horse Breed is one of them with its uniqueness and character.

If you are interested in learning about some of the most incredible Warmblood Horse Breeds, then this article is for you.

The 5 most fascinating Northern Warmblood Horse Breeds are Toric Warmblood Horse, Orlov Trotter Warmblood Russian Horse, Latvian Harness Horse, Metis Trotter Warmblood Horse, and the Kabardin Warmblood Horse breed.

These breeds are from Estonian, Russian, and Latvian respectively.

Keep on reading to know all about these magnificent horse breeds, including their uses, colors, and personality traits.

Table of Contents (Horspedia)

Toric Warmblood Horse Breed | Characteristics

It is a strong harness and general working horse, popular on the farms of northern Russia.

The breed was developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The basis for the Toric was the local Klepper, an indigenous native horse of unspecified type.

A wide variety of native and foreign blood was added, which included that of the Arab, Ardennais, East Friesian, Hackney, Hanoverian, Orlov Trotter, Thoroughbred, and Trakhener. 

The result is a handsome, light draught sort with abundant capacity for work.

The Toric Warmblood Horse breed is Good Natured and Hardworking.

It has deep girth, a strong back, body dense with well-sprung ribs, powerful hindquarters; legs short and hard, with abundant bone, short cannon bones, short pasterns, light feather on heels. Well-shaped feet. Action-free, straight and even.

Characteristics and Origin of Toric Warmblood Horses

  • Origin: Estonia.
  • Height: 15-15.2hh.
  • Colour: Mainly chestnut; also bay.
  • Character: Good-natured, calm, hardworking and enduring.
  • Physique: Strong harness horse with good conformation. Attractive head of medium size, with a bold eye and mobile ears; strong neck, set high on the muscular shoulder.

Orlov Trotter Warmblood Russian Horse Breed | Characteristics and Facts

This popular horse, probably the best-known outside Russia of all the Soviet breeds, is the brainchild of Count Alexius Grigorievich Orlov, a man of great military talent and an early revolutionary who may have been the murderer of Czar Peter III.

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Origin of Orlov Trotter Breed

In 1777 Count Orlov crossed his Arab stallion, Smetanka, with a Dutch or Danish mare and got a colt called Polkan. Bred to a black Dutch mare, Polkan sired a horse called Bars I, who is considered to be the true foundation sire of the Orlov Trotter. 

Other blood, including Arab, Thoroughbred, Mecklenburg, and Norfolk Trotter, has since been added. The new breed was for many years known as the Russian Trotter.

Trotting is immensely popular in Russia, and a good horse must travel well and adjust easily to the pronounced climatic variations which are to be expected in this huge nation. 

There are more than 30,000 Orlovs, bred at 34 State studs, and though they are not as fast as the American Standardbred (the Orlov record is a mile in 2.02 minutes), they provide excellent competitive entertainment.

They are also used under the saddle in many sports and make good cavalry horses.

Physique of Orlov Trotter Horse

Orlov Horse Breed comes with a very Powerful Physique.

Strong, rather upright shoulder, good withers, roomy chest. Girth deep, ribs well-sprung: back long, flat, broad, with strong loins and muscular quarters.

Orlov Trotter Warmblood Breed Physique
Orlov Trotter Warmblood Breed Physique

Very hard legs with abundant bone. Thick mane and tail, feather on fetlocks (often quite heavy). Strong constitution, fertile and long-lived. Excellent action.

Characteristics and Origin Orlov Trotter Warmblood Russian Horse Breed

  • Origin: Russia.
  • Height: 15.2-17hh; average 15.3hh. 
  • Colour: Solid colours. Grey and black are most common.
  • Character: Active, bold, courageous. 
  • Physique: Powerful and thick-set, with generally good conformation. Varies somewhat in type. Head usually a little heavy, but with an Oriental cast; large eyes, short ears.

Latvian Harness Horse | Characteristics and Facts

There are three types of Latvian. 85% of them belong to a taller harness type and a lighter type that has less bone and looks more like a trotter.

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Uses of a Latvian Harness Horse Breed

The Latvian Harness Horse is an all-purpose breed popular throughout the Soviet Union.

In the south, it is thought of mainly as a draught horse, while in the north, its main uses are under the saddle and in harness. 

Physique of the Latvian Harness Horse
The physique of the Latvian Harness Horse

It is also widely used to work on farms and take part in pulling contests and endurance tests according to the common European and Soviet practice of proving a horse before he is put to stud.

Origin of Latvian Horse

The original Latvian horse has existed on its home ground since before recorded history began. It seems to have been a typical example of the basic Forest cold-blood type of Northern Europe. 

From the 17th century on, it has been crossed extensively with warm-bloods of all kinds; many of the German saddle breeds, Arabs, and even Thoroughbreds contributed to it, and during the early part of the breed’s improvement, heavy horses were also used. The breed was finally fixed in 1952.

Latvian Harness Horse Breed is a Powerful and Muscular Warmblood Equine Breed.

Its back is straight and strong, barrel round and hard, hindquarters muscular and ample. Strong legs with much bone. Abundant mane and tail, and light feather on heels.

Characteristics and Origin of Latvian Horses

  • Origin: Latvia.
  • Height: 15.2-16hh.
  • Colour: Usually bay, dark brown, or chestnut.
  • Character: Calm, sensible, good-natured, hard-working. 
  • Physique: Powerful, muscular horse of good conformation. Head large, with a straight face, kind eyes, and short ears. Strong, crested neck, set rather high on massive, sloping shoulders with well-defined withers, deep chest, and girth. 

Metis Trotter Warmblood Horse Breed | Type and Specifics

Metis Trotter is a brave and tough Russian Warmblood Horse Breed.

The Métis Trotter is a cross between the best of the Orlovs and American Standardbreds. The breed was begun in the early 1950s and is not yet fixed.

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Characteristics and Origin of Metis Trotter Horses

  • Origin: Russia.
  • Height: Average 15.3hh.
  • Colour: Solid colours-grey, black, chestnut. Bay; other colours rare. 
  • Character: Brave, tough horse of good conformation.
  • Physique: Long and Straight Neck, muscular back. Type not yet fixed, but characteristic of both its parent bloodlines.

Kabardin Warmblood Horse Breed | Pyisique and Characteristics

Kabardin Horse is an intelligent Horse Breed from Caucasus Region.

The Kabardin comes from the mountains of the northern Caucasus area, and like all-mountain breeds, is distinctive for its sure-footedness and for its readiness to tackle paths that most horses would think unpassable.

Kabardin horses are used as a pack and saddle animal, and the mares are valued for their milk. 

Kabardin Warmblood Horse Breed Physique
Kabardin Warmblood Horse Breed Physique

Kabardin’s background is uncertain. It seems to have arisen from tough native stock, possibly Mongolian, and to have been improved with southern blood of the Turkoman and Arab strains.

It has a tendency to sickle hocks, which occur more often than not. Coat fine, mane and tail usually wavy. Free-moving, sturdy horse with endurance; exceptionally sure-footed, very long-lived.

Characteristics and Origin of Kabardin Warmblood Horses

  • Origin: Russia – Caucasus.
  • Height: 14.2-15.1hh.
  • Colour: Usually bay, but can be black, dark brown, grey.
  • Character: Calm, intelligent, independent; possesses strong homing instinct.
  • Physique: Intelligent head with a straight face; tips of ears turn slightly inwards. Strong body with good front and prominent withers. Back straight and somewhat long, hindquarters good. Very hard legs and feet.