What Is A Dutch Warmblood? All About This Gorgeous Horse Breed

The Dutch Warmblood is a breed from the Netherlands that is extremely successful in a number of English disciplines. This breed is widely known as a show horse and is found in nearly every country in the world.

What Is The Dutch Warmblood?

The Dutch Warmblood is a well-known breed that originated in the Netherlands. This breed is average in size and only comes in the normal solid base colors seen in horses. This breed of horse is mainly used in top-level English riding competitions and as performance horses. Because of their closely monitored breeding, these horses have bloodlines mainly coming from the best of the best. The Dutch Warmblood is selectively bred and stallions of this breed go through extensive screening before they are allowed to breed with a mare.

How Big Is The Dutch Warmblood?

The Dutch Warmblood is a horse that is relatively average in size. They stand between 15.3 to 17 hands high and are rarely seen above or below this height.

Being a heavier horse as compared to the hotblooded breeds like the Thoroughbred, the Dutch Warmblood weighs between 1,200 and 1,450 pounds. This number can fluctuate depending on the horse’s health and body condition.

What Colors Can Dutch Warmbloods Be?

Like many breeds, Dutch Warmbloods can only be the four main coat colors seen in horses. These include:

  • Bay
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Chestnut

A pure Dutch Warmblood should not appear in any colors other than these four.

The History Of The Dutch Warmblood

The Dutch Warmblood is a relatively new breed of horse that originated in the Netherlands. Many different breeds go into creating the horse we know today. The breeds mixed into this horse are:

  • Gronigen
  • Gelderland
  • Thoroughbred
  • Trakhener
  • Hanoverian
  • Westphalian
  • Oldenburgh

The Thoroughbred was one of the more recent additions to the bloodlines and was added to encourage speed, conformation, and courage. The Thoroughbred blood was then diluted by other early Dutch Warmbloods to reduce the hot temperament that a Thoroughbred would bring to the blood line.

In the Netherlands, many people own Dutch Warmblood stallions intended fro breeding. The breeding of these horses is very closely monitored and only top quality individuals are usually allowed to breed. The Netherlands aids and monitors the breeding of these horses through the Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland.

One of the most notable horses in the creation of the Dutch Warmblood was the Trakhener stallion Marco Polo. This horse, though smaller than normally desired, sired several world-class showjumping horses. Marco Polo sired a stallion named Marius. Marius was ridden by a professional British showjumper named Caroline Bradley who took him to becon=me an international champion. Marius went on to sire one of the most successful showjumping horses in the world: Milton. Milton, a Dutch Warmblood, won over one million pounds in prize money (equivalent to $1,380,040 USD).

Thanks to the introduction of this Trakhener stallion, the Dutch Warmblood began to make a name for itself and is today one of the most desired breeds for jumping and dressage.

How To Identify The Dutch Warmblood: Their Appearance

The Dutch Warmblood is an easily identifiable breed just by looking at its build. This breed has a well-shaped head with a wide forehead and delicate features. These horses have kind and alert eyes, well-sloped shoulders, pronounced withers, strong and sound legs, short cannons, and sound feet. Because of its careful breeding, the Dutch Warmblood is often identified by its incredible build and conformation.

What The Dutch Warmblood Excels In


Dutch Warmbloods have a natural free-moving gait that offers the feel of extravagance and grace. This, combined with their appearance, great temperament, and excellent conformation make them a top choice for dressage. There are even Dutch Warmbloods who reach the Olympics in dressage.


Like mentioned before, showjumping is basically the Dutch Warmblood’s specialty. Milton, a gray gelding and the grandson of Marco Polo, made the name for Dutch Warmbloods in the showjumping arena by becoming one of the most successful showjumping horses in the world. The breed has an excellent natural jump and can jump notably higher than most other breeds. These horses are seen competing at the highest level of showjumping seen to this day. Some Dutch Warmbloods even make it to the Olympic games for showjumping.


Though not entirely common, the Dutch Warmblood makes a great and beautiful driving horse. They are seen in some driving classes at horse shows as well to demonstrate their skills in this discipline.

General Riding

These horses are very smooth movers with great temperaments. Because of this, they are very popular to be used for general riding. Western saddles are rarely used on these horses, except for in training, so it is English that they are ridden in.

Hunter English Pleasure

Some riders who are still learning to ride on the flat will ride Dutch Warmbloods in hunter English pleasure classes to show their skills. This breed makes a great flat-class horse because of their smooth movements, They make the rider’s equitation appear even better than it might actually be making them a top choice for beginner riders who want a horse that they can advance with..

How Long Do Dutch Warmbloods Live?

Because of their selective breeding, Dutch Warmbloods don’t have as long of a lifespan than what other breeds may have. Their average life expectancy is only around 20 to 25 years making them a short-lived horse compared to the average lifespan of 33.

Fun Facts On Dutch Warmbloods

  • Many of them are famous, like Milton the world famous show jumper
  • They are a newer breed of horse
  • They come from a lot of different crossbreeds
  • Before a Dutch Warmblood can be bred, they must be fully inspected including having X-rays done on their feet to make sure that no bad foot issues are passed down to their offspring
  • They are very competitive
  • Some Dutch Warmbloods used as top quality broodmares and riding horses can sell at up to $100,000 (USD) or more!
  • The most expensive dressage horse EVER sold was a black Dutch Warmblood stallion named Totilas. He was sold to a German horse trainer for 11 million Euros! ($12,913,890 USD)

Hailey Sipila

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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