The Swedish Warmblood: All About Sweden’s Most Famous Breed


The Swedish Warmblood is a famous breed of horse known for its many successes in both the showjumping and dressage industries. This breed is extremely athletic, has great stamina, and can compete and participate in a number of equine sports.

What Is A Swedish Warmblood?

A Swedish Warmblood is a horse from the European country of Sweden. This breed was originally intended to be used by the cavalry in battle which is why strength, bravery, and stamina were bred into this breed. These horses can come in all solid colors and stand just over 16 hands high. They are most famous for their success in eventing, jumping, dressage, cross country, and driving. These gorgeous horses are one of Sweden’s most popular and famous breeds.

How Big Are Swedish Warmbloods?

Swedish Warmbloods are tall horses that stand usually between 16.1 and 17 hands high. Though this is the average height, some are known to be slightly shorter than this.

These horses weigh the same of an average horse their size. Usually, these horses will weigh around 1,000 to 1,100 pounds.

What Colors Can Swedish Warmbloods Be?

Swedish Warmbloods, like many horses, can be seen only in solid colors to be determined a purebred. The possible coat colors of these horses include:

  • Black
  • Bay
  • Chestnut
  • Gray

And in some rare cases they can be:

  • Dun
  • Palomino
  • Buckskin
  • Perlino
  • Cremello

What Type Of Horse Is A Swedish Warmblood?

As you may have guessed based on this breed’s name, the Swedish Warmblood is in fact a warmblooded breed of horse. This is due to their Friesian ancestors crossing with Barbs, Thoroughbreds, and Arabians to create a fast, athletic, but slightly heavier horse (heavy as compared to the Arabian or Barb).

The History Of The Swedish Warmblood

The Swedish Warmblood has a unique history that doesn’t date back to that long ago.

This breed, like many other European breeds, was originally intended to be bred and used by the cavalry. Because of this, these horses were carefully bred to bring out the best traits for their purpose: speed, stamina, agility, and health.

The breed can be traced back all the way to the early 1600s to the early Swedish studs in Stromsholm that originated in the year 1621 as well as the Royal Stud of Flyinge established in 1658.

The original breeding of these horses was fairly random with no fixed type desired. The end goal was to have an agile horse capable of running many miles, brave enough to fight, and calm enough to be easily handled and directed. The breeds of horses crossed to create this warmblood were:

  • Spanish horses
  • Oriental horses
  • Friesians
  • Thoroughbreds
  • Hanoverians
  • Arabians
  • Trakheners

It is believed that the Trakhener blood introduced to this line was the most important and influential cross done to the breed.

What Makes The Swedish Warmblood Unique? How To Identify The Swedish Warmblood

The Swedish Warmblood is an exquisitely beautiful breed with many traits that make them stand out. To identify this breed, look at their:

Head

The head of this breed is long and refined with a straight nose, defined muzzle, and flared wide nostrils.

Eyes

Swedish Warmbloods have bright, wide, and kind eyes that are set well on their heads. The bright eyes of these horses also shows a hidden intelligence.

Ears

Long, pricked ears are a common trait of this breed. Because of the shape and length of their ears, this horse almost always looks alert and attentive.

Neck

A long elegant neck is very desirable in horses, especially warmbloods. In this breed, a long elegant neck with a graceful arch is regularly seen making them not only popular for their athletic ability, but also their appearance. The crest of this horse’s neck is also well developed furthering the arch.

Shoulders

The shoulders of the Swedish Warmblood are usually sloping and strong, though sometimes a straight shoulder will be seen. The shoulders are next to a deep broad chest and in front of a deep girth. These traits are important to allow for maximum lung expansion, and the strength of the shoulders is important for driving the horse forward, especially if the horse is pulling a cart.

Legs

Clean, strong legs with well-made joints are traits seen in most of these horses. The reason these horses need such good leg structure is to allow them to perform certain movements of dressage, run smoothly for cross country, and land safely for jumping. With poorly made legs, these horses would rarely be sound to compete in the sports they do so well in.

Build

Like their Thoroughbred ancestors, the Swedish Warmblood has a tall lanky build. These horses have defined muscling, though their muscle is not heavy, and their frame is lean.

Hindquarters

Powerful hindquarters are essential for performing the different jobs asked of them. Whether its propelling the horse over a jump, or performing an advanced dressage maneuver, the hindquarters of these horses must be strong to carry themselves through what is asked of them.

What Are Swedish Warmbloods Used For & Good At?

These horses are extremely versatile and can do nearly anything asked of them. Because of their size, build, and performance ability, these horses are only really used in different disciplines of the English riding style. The areas where these horses succeed include:

Showjumping

Showjumping is the Swedish Warmblood’s specialty. Because of the great successes of these horses in the showjumping arena, they are often used for competition at the Grand Prix level and even the Olympics.

Dressage

Thanks to this breed’s gorgeous appearance, amazing temperament, and exceptional conformation, they make great dressage horses. The natural strength and athletic ability of this breed is why it is among the top dressage horses in the world

Cross Country

Because the Swedish Warmblood was originally bred to be a cavalry horse, they were bred to horses with exceptional speed, stamina, and agility. Thankfully, these horses still have these traits today making them exceptional cross-country horses. Their speed and stamina make them among the most popular horses used for cross country.

Eventing

Because these horses are so versatile, they do exceptionally well in eventing which consists of Dressage, Showjumping, and Cross-country. These horses can adapt quickly so performing multiple sports over the course of three days is not an issue for them.

Driving

Though one of the less common uses for the breed, Swedish Warmbloods make beautiful and attractive carriage horses. When driving, they are usually seen in pairs making a handsome team guaranteed to turn heads.

How Long Do These Horses Live On Average?

The Swedish warmblood lived an average lifespan for a horse of their size and bloodline. 25 to 30 years is roughly the lifespan of this breed, though if these horses are well taken care of, they are known to live well into their thirties.

Fun Facts On Swedish Warmbloods

  • These horses were originally bred to be used as a cavalry horse
  • Before they could be registered, each horse had to complete certain testing to determine if their athletic ability, conformation, temperament, and stamina were up to par.
  • Swedish Warmblood mares and stallions must earn a breeding license to be able to reproduce offspring that can be registered.

FAQs On This Breed

What is the average cost of a Swedish Warmblood?

Swedish Warmbloods can be insanely expensive horses because they are in such high demand for their success as competition animals. The cost for these horses can range from $7,000 to well over $100,000 depending on age, temperament, gender, age, and ability.

Hailey Johnson

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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