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Warm blood, Hot blood & Cold blood Horse Breeds

When describing a horse as a hot, cold or warm blood we are really grouping different breeds of horses together based on their temperament, build, movement and the tasks they are most suited to perform.

What is a Cold Blood Horse?

Descended from ancient European breeds used for farming and hauling, the cold blooded horse is epitomized by the Shire – tall, heavy, and suitable for pulling wagons, carriages, and plows.

They are strong, muscular, and move slowly in long, flat strides with an economy of motion that allows them to work all day without tiring.

Often called “gentle giants” because of their calm and placid disposition, these tend to be the biggest horse breeds.

Cold Blood Horse Breeds

  • Shire
  • Clydesdale
  • Percheron
  • Ardennes
  • Friesian
  • Icelandic

What is a Hot Blood Horse?

Hot blooded horses are ancient breeds that originated in the Middle East. They are considered high spirited, bold and quick learners and were bred mainly for speed and agility.

Probably the most recognized hot-blooded breed is the Thoroughbred. They are generally light and refined in build with long legs, thin skin, and a nervous and energetic disposition.

Hot Blood Horse Breeds

  • Thoroughbred
  • Arab
  • Akhal-Teke
  • Barb

What is a Warm Blood Horse?

Warm blooded horses were produced by crossing hot blooded and cold blooded breeds. This produced a middleweight horse, larger than the “hot blood” but more refined than the “cold blood”.

They are extremely popular sports horses today as they combine the calmer character of the draft breeds with the athletic ability of the Thoroughbred / Arab.

 Dutch Warmblood

  • Hanoverian
  • Trakehner
  • Holsteiner
  • Irish Sport Horse

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