Thorough Comparison of Characteristics | 4 American Most Popular Warmblood Horse Breeds

There exist over 600 breeds of horses in the world. Unlike other breeds of horses that exist, the American Warmblood horse breeds were initially created for traditional sports.

These American Warmbloods developed in the US were intended for sporting activities and recreational disciplines like show jumping, combined driving, dressage, and eventing.

Many persons get attracted to horses because of their color or physique, but getting to know their peculiar characteristics like the American Warmblood horse breed is likely to capture your attention because they are pretty fascinating. 

The four most popular American warmblood horses include:

  • The Morgan breed, known for its elegance and versatility.
  • The Tennessee walking horse, popularly known for its flashy movement and used for recreation and trail riding,
  • The American Saddlebred with a long, proud history from battlefields,
  • And the American Standardbred is graced for its ability in harness racing. 

In this article, we’re going to describe in detail the height, physique, characteristics, and origin of the four most popular American warmblood horses mentioned above. 

Morgan Warmblood Horse Breed | Origin and Characteristics

Origin: United States. 

Height: 14-15.2hh.

Color: Bay, brown, black, chestnut.

Character: the Morgan Warmblood horse is generally Kind, independent, active, hard-working, and enduring. 

Physique of the Morgan Warmblood Horse Breed

Short, broad head with an intelligent eye, set on a thick, muscled neck. Strong shoulder, deep, broad chest, compact, muscular body with strong loins and hindquarters.

Good legs with plenty of bone. Abundant mane and tail. Action high and free. A tough, hardy horse with enormous physical strength and endurance.

Morgan Warmblood | how the name came to be

Few breeds of horse can claim descent from one common foundation sire. Still, Justin Morgan, foaled about 1793 in Massachusetts, was a stallion of such astonishing prepotency that his stamp in conformation, character, and height was reproduced in his offspring so often and faithfully that a new breed of horses began. 

See also  6 Magnificient German Horse Breeds (Quick Facts and Breed Overview)
The physique of Morgan Warmblood Horse breed
Morgan Warmblood Horse breed physique

The Morgan horse was named for him, or rather for his second owner since the horse was originally called “Figure,” and the later appellation “Justin Morgan” seems to have been an abbreviation of “Justin Morgan’s horse.”

Justin Morgan appears to have changed hands several times, doing grueling work as a farm horse, winning weight-pulling contests, and also racing unbeaten both in harness and under saddle. He died in Vermont in 1821.

The modern Morgan horse | A taller and more refined version of Justin Morgan

It is an all-purpose breed, popular in harness and under saddle, and its good nature, economy, and endurance have made it deservedly popular.

Despite exhaustive research, the parentage of Justin Morgan remains obscure. It seems quite likely that he may have been almost pure Welsh Cob, but claims are also made that he was sired by a Thoroughbred racehorse named True Briton or by a Dutch stallion. 

The Welsh Cob theory supports the preponderance of Welsh family names in the region in which Justin Morgan lived and has great support in the appearance of the Morgan horse today.

The modern Morgan horse is a taller and more refined version of Justin Morgan. It is an all-purpose breed, popular in harness and under saddle, and its good nature, economy, and endurance have made it deservedly popular.

Tennessee Walking Horse Warmblood Breed | Characteristics and Origin

Origin: The Tennessee horse was developed in the United States in 1970. 

Height: 15-16hh.

Color: All solid colors.

Character: Docile, kind, willing, and gay. 

Physique of the Tennessee Walking Horse Warmblood Breed

Plain head with prick ears, nobly carried on a strong, arched neck. Strong, sloping shoulder with a broad chest.

Tennessee Walking Horse  physique
Tennessee Walking Horse physique

Broad, powerful body with strong loins and hindquarters. Clean, hard legs. Abundant mane and tail. They’re usually worn long and full and artificially high tail carriage.

How was the Tennessee Walking Horse developed?

Like the Morgan, the Tennessee Walking Horse traces to one prepotent stallion, a Standardbred trotter named Black Allan, who was foaled in 1886.

Black Allan contained both Morgan and Hambletonian blood. Other breeds who contributed to the Tennessee Walker were the Thoroughbred, Saddlebred, and Narragansett Pacer. 

See also  7 Most Popular Pony Breeds from across the World and their Characteristics

The Walker was developed through selective breeding by southern plantation owners who aimed for stamina with great comfort and smooth gait. The results have been extremely successful. 

What makes the Walker unique?

The Tennessee Walker has acquired a unique running walk gait, making it about the most comfortable ride in the world. It is a gait that apparently cannot be taught to any other breed.

Still, in the Tennessee Walker, it is now almost inbred so that foals are sometimes seen to perform it without any other instruction but imitating their dams. The action of the forefeet is high and straight, that of the hind feet very long-striding. 

The Walker breed moves with a four-beat gait, the forefoot touching the ground fractionally before the diagonally opposite hindfoot, which oversteps the track of the forefoot by some 6-15in.

The effect is that of a steady, gentle, gliding movement, and the horse swings into his own rhythm with a nodding head and clicking teeth.

American Saddlebred (Kentucky Saddler) Warmblood Horse Breed

Origin: United States.

Height: 15-16hh.

Color: Black, brown, bay, gray, chestnut, usually with White markings. 

Character: Superb riding horse with great presence and gentle, charming nature.

Physique of the American Saddlebred (Kentucky Saddler) Warmblood Horse Breed

Small, alert head, with a straight face, alert eye, open nostrils, prick ears, gaily carried on an arched neck. Strong shoulders, body short, muscled and well ribbed up, strong, flexible hindquarters. Hard legs with supple joints and flexible pasterns.

Neat, round feet. Full mane and tail. The tail is carried exaggeratedly high- usually, an artificial tail carriage, created by nicking the muscles of the dock and setting in a crupper—action extravagant, collected, and precise; tremendously showy.

American Saddlebred (Kentucky Saddler) physique
American Saddlebred (Kentucky Saddler) physique

The five gaits of the American Saddlebred Horse are the walk, trot, canter, slow gait, and rack. The rack is an even four-beat gait in which each foot pauses in mid-air before coming down separately – a spectacular, prancing gait that can occur at speeds up to 30mph. The slow gait is a slow and graceful version of the rack.

What’s unique about Saddlebred?

The American Saddlebred horses have the grace of ballet dancers even at the walk, trot, and canter.

They were developed, like the slightly-heavier Tennessee Walker, from a mixture of Thoroughbred, Morgan, and Narragansett Pacer stock and, also like the Tennessee Walker, their original purpose was to provide plantation owners with a luxury ride. 

See also  4 Most Popular Warmblood Horse Breeds In The United States | Characteristics & Origin

Nowadays, they are usually bred for the show ring, where they compete in separate classes for three-gaited (walk, trot and canter only) and five-gaited horses according to their level of education.

American Standardbred Horse Breed | Main Traits and Characteristics

Origin: United States.

Height: has a heigh of about 15.2hh.

Color: Any solid color, usually black, bay, brown, chestnut.

Character: Courageous and very game.

Physique of the American Standardbred Horse Breed

Conformation varies somewhat since the prime requirement of a Standardbred is its speed and not its pretty face. It is a small, muscular Thoroughbred type, longer in the body and shorter in the leg, and of less refined appearance.

It has powerful shoulders, a deep, broad chest, and strong hindquarters. Legs and feet are iron-hard. It has immense stamina and a splendid heart and lungs.

American Standardbred horse breed physique
American Standardbred horse breed physique

The name “Standardbred” applies to both trotters and pacers and comes from a 1-mile speed trial standard requirement for entry in races.

Entrants must attain standards of 2 minutes 30 seconds for trotters and 2 minutes 25 seconds for pacers. Pacing is a gait in which both legs on the same side come down simultaneously.

Standardbred | contains a mixture of English and Canadian trotting and Hackney blood together with Arab, Barb, and Morgan

The Standardbred, although predominantly Thoroughbred, also contains a mixture of English and Canadian trotting and Hackney blood together with Arab, Barb, and Morgan.

The breed descends from Hambletonian, foaled in 1849 and the sire of 1,321 offspring, and through him from the English Thoroughbred Messenger, imported in 1788. 

This popular American breed is best known for its ability in harness racing which is one of the most popular of American sports, and Standardbred breeding has become big business.

The American Warmblood horses are a fascinating breed and best known for their uniqueness in sporting events. They are also very well-mannered, easy to train and come in solid colors.

They may be a little expensive, but the American warmblood is a breed to consider if you want to make your sporting event memorable.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.