The Swiss Warmblood: All You Need To Know


The Swiss Warmblood is one of the most amazing Warmblooded breeds in the English riding industry. These remarkable horses are capable of jumping great heights, performing a variety of dressage maneuvers, and running great distances. This is a large part of the reason they are often used at the highest level of competition and performance. Some of these horses have even made it to the Olympic level of competition.

What Is The Swiss Warmblood?

The Swiss Warmblood is a breed of horse that was bred and originated in the country of Switzerland. This attractive breed has many great qualities including its good strong build, excellent jumping ability, and natural skill at dressage. These horses are good enough at what they do that they have been taken to the Olympic level in riding and competition.

Basic Breed Information

HeightBetween 15.2 and 16.2 hands high
Weight1,000 to 1,200 pounds or 450 to 550 Kilograms
Acceptable ColorsAny solid color including rare colors like roan, palomino, and white
Country of OriginSwitzerland
TypeWarmblood

How Big Is The Swiss Warmblood?

The Swiss Warmblood is an impressive horse who can stand between 15.2 and 16.2 hands high. This makes these horses between ‘tall’ and average in height.

When it come to how much these horses weigh they will ususally weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds (equivalent to 450 to 550 Kilograms).

Much of the weight that this horse carries is all in muscle. These horses need to be incredibly strong to be able to perform what they are asked to perform.

What Colors Can Swiss Warmbloods Be?

The cool thing about Swiss Warmbloods is that they can be virtually any solid color! Though bay and chestnut are the most common colors that these horses can be, they can be a great assortment of other colors as well. The colors that these horses can be include:

The History Of The Swiss Warmblood

A long time ago, even before hte Middle Ages, there were a group of monks who lived in the Benedictine monastary. These monks created the early breeding stock for the Swiss Warmblood breed. These horses that the monks created were used for light riding, ligh draft work, and driving.

By the Middle Ages, these horses that the monks had created, had become a well bred, high-quality horse that became known as the Cavalli della Madonna. Later, the breed became known as the Einsiedler and a studbook for the breed was made in the year 1655.

In the 1600s, Switzerland had a known reputation for importing horses. It was around this time that many Italian, Turkish, Spanish, and Friesian stallion were brough inot the country of Switzerland. Sadly, these crosses did not improve the breed at all so the original studbook was scrapped.

In the 1800s, a Yorkshire Coach Horse stallion and some Anglo-Norman mares were bred with good results. In the 1900s, these horses were then crossed with French, Irish, English, German, and Swedish bloodlines which brought forth an even better result.

With these new improvements to the breed, the Swiss Warmblood was officially created. Today, there are many of these horses seen being used in jumping and in other disciplines.

How To Identify The Swiss Warmblood

There are a few way to tell this horse apart from other breeds. The traits and characteristics that make these horses identifiable inlcude:

Head

Swiss Warmbloods are horses that have a well made, fine, well proportioned head. These horses tend to have smallish ears and large bright eyes that are set wide on their heads.

Neck

Many Swiss Warmbloods will have a thick strong neck that is made of dense muscle. Ususally these horses will have a gentle arch in their neck as well just before the neck meets the head.

Chest

These horses have great stamina. One reason for this is the fact that these warmbloods have deep wide chests that allow for maximum lung inflation and air intake.

Shoulders

The Swiss Warmblood has well made sloping shoulders that allow them to pick up their legs easily during dressage or during jumping. The way that their shoulders are made also allows for easy smooth movement which makes their gaits even smoother to ride.

Back

These horses generally have a longer back than other breeds do. Though these horses are strong, a longer back is generally something that is more prone to issues like swayback later in life.

Tail

These horses have a high set tail that is of medium thickness.

Legs

Swiss Warmbloods have long, straight, and strong legs. They need to have such sturdy legs to be able to land jumps easily and perform certain dressage moves.

Coat

These horses have a short shiny coat that can be of any solid color seen in horses.

What Type Of Horse Is The Swiss Warmblood?

As you may guess just by looking at their name, the Swiss Warmblood is in fact a warmblood. It is classified as a warmblooded horse breed because it is heavier and more sturdily built than hotbloods like the Hackney or the Arabian, but is much more light and refined than coldbloods like the Shire and the Belgian.

If you aren’t sure what a warmblood is, click here to learn all about what this type is!

What Is The Swiss Warmblood Good At?

The Swiss Warmblood is good at many things. Some of this breed’s specialties include:

Dressage

In dressage, horses are required to perform a variety of maneuvers including flying lead changes, pirouettes, and other impressive moves which require years and years of training, strengthening, and practice.

To learn what dressage is all about, click here!

Show Jumping

Showjumping is an intense timed sport where horses need to jump a course in the shortest time possible without making any mistakes. The Swiss Warmblood makes a great showjumping candidate because of how well it picks up its legs and its overall natural jumping ability.

Some Swiss Warmbloods have even made it to the Olympics in show jumping.

To learn more about showjumping click here!

Cross Country

The stamina and jumping ability that these horses carry are both put to the test when a Swiss Warmblood is used for Cross Country.

Cross country is an intense sport that only the very best horses and riders succeed in.

To learn more about this intense riding sport, click here.

Eventing

Eventing is a sport that actually involves all three of the previously mentioned riding disciplines: show jumping, cross country, and dressage.

Usually, these competitions will have horses and riders compete in each discipline on different days. Over the course of three days, the horses and riders will have demonstrated each of the disciplines and are then judged on their ability and performance over the three days of competition.

To learn more about eventing click here.

What Is The Average Lifespan Of This Breed?

Swiss Warmbloods have the same lifespan as that of an average horse. Generally, these horses will live to be between the ages of 25 and 30, though some are known to live into their thirties if healthy and well taken care of.

Fun Facts On Swiss Warmbloods

  • Stallions at 3.5 and 5 years of age are rigorously tested in dressage, jumping, and cross country as well as have their conformation examines. This is because only the best stallions with the best abilities and genetics can pass their genes down to the next generation of Swiss warmbloods.
  • The early Swiss Warmbloods were bred by monks

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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