Warmblood Horse in the Dressage Arena

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Today’s sport horses have a size and scope that enable them to demonstrate their strength and endurance in highly intense events such as show jumping, dressage, three-day eventing, and combined training. When we think of warmbloods, we generally think of the following breeds:

Hanoverians. Hanoverians originated in a section of Germany called Hanover. Hanovarian and Hanovarian crossbreeds can now be registered by the American Hanovarian Society, established in 1978. These horses are considered to be calm and cool in stressful situations and perform well for dressage and show jumping events.

Holsteins. The Holstein is a tall, light horse that is built for jumping and dressage events. Holsteins originated in the Schleswig-Holstein area of Germany. In the 1970s, the American Holstein Horse Association began selective registrations for the breed. These horses are solid in color and are usually bay or seal brown.

Trakehners. Trakehners, like Hanoverians, originated in Germany and were known for their performance in dressage and show events. They were bred to be partners in war and on the farm. Their excellent movement has made them popular in competitive events, such as dressage, where they demonstrate their free-floating movement and strength.