Hotblooded Horses – Traits, Breeds, and Temperament


What is a hotblooded horse? Does that mean that their blood is hot? What breeds are considered hotblooded? I have been hearing and thinking these questions for a while now, and wanted to see for myself. After doing a little bit of research, I came up with this:

What Is A Hotblooded Horse?

A hotblooded horse is known for being full of energy, fast, fiery, and a little harder to control than most horses. These horses are typically smaller and lankier with a narrow build. This type of horse just happens to have more energy than other breeds. Hotblooded breeds have a reputation for having a lot of stamina, speed, and agility. Hotblooded horses are popular show horses and can be used for a variety of disciplines in both English and Western styles of riding.

Do Hot Bloods Actually Have Hot Blood?

I know this is what it sounds like, but no. Hotblooded horses run the same temperature as other breeds of horse whether they are warmblooded or coldblooded. The reason they are called hotblooded is actually just because they do faster and lighter work and are more full of energy and more flighty than other types of horses. The name does not have to do with temperature at all.

Best Known Hotblooded Breeds

The Arabian

The Arabian horse is of the most famous types of hotblooded horses. This breed is seen in many different disciplines and known for several different things, but this breed is especially known for its high-strung temperament, fiery personality, and flashy gaits.

The Arabian is classified as a hotblooded horse for these reasons

To read more about this beautiful and unique breed, check out my article all about the Arabian Horse.

The Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred is another famous breed that falls into the hotblood category. This horse is most famous for its success on the racetracks of Europe and North America.

The Thoroughbred is classified as a hotblooded horse because of its high- strung nature, incredible speed, and outstanding stamina and endurance. This horse is a first choice breed in many English disciplines because of these traits that it carries.

Fun Fact: The Thoroughbred is actually descended from the Arabian!

To read more about the Thoroughbred and how it compares to the Quarter Horse, read my article about these two breeds.

The Akhal-Teke

This breed is a very rare horse and considered to be the ‘super model’ of the horse world. The Akhal-Teke is a hot blood from Turkmenistan that is used in jumping and endurance all over the world.

This breed, like the Barb and the Arabian, is a very ancient breed and can trace back to the ancient Turkoman horses.

This horse is of a very fine and narrow build making it a poor choice for western riding, though it can be seen often in English disciplines.

The Barb

The barb is a hot blooded horse that is known to be similar to the Arabian in personality and traits, but lacking the grace and elegance that the Arab has.

These horses were used in Calvary regimens by the Turks and later the French. Today they are used in ceremonies, celebrations, general riding, and endurance.

These horses are descended from the Arabian and carry a lot of the same traits like excellent endurance, hardiness, versatility, and more. This breed is almost a hardier, stockier, and plainer version of the Arabian Horse.

Fun Fact: These horses are able to reach incredible speeds despite the fact that they have a rather straight and flat shoulder. They also are primarily grey, but because of the Arabian traits in their blood, they can also be bay, black, or chestnut.

How To Identify A Hot Blood

Hot bloods are easily identifiable horses. They can be identified by the discipline they are competing in, their appearance, gait, temperament, and size.

Their Discipline

Hot bloods can be identified by their discipline because they usually compete in disciplines that require a lot of speed, stamina, and agility.

Common disciplines where hot bloods are found are:

  • Racing
  • Endurance
  • Cross Country
  • Show Jumping
  • Dressage
  • Halter

These horses excel in these sports because they have great stamina, speed, and endurance which makes them clock fast times, jump high, and put on a show for the judges and audience.

Many of the horses seen competing in these areas will be hot bloods.

Their Appearance

Hot bloods can be distinguished from warm bloods and cold bloods because typically they have a narrow build, light frame, swift or flighty movements, and are smaller and lankier in appearance. They have a great build and excellent conformation.

Their Gait

When riding hot blooded horses, riders like myself may notice that they are lighter to ride, have a quick smooth gait, and require soft hands.

Typically these horses have excellent movement and are responsive and collected in all the gaits asked of them. They tend to rush gaits and are more ready to go than ready to whoa.

Their Temperament

These horses are known to be fiery horses with a lot of energy. Hot bloods can be harder to handle than most horses because they are so high-strung.

If you don’t believe me, watch an Arabian halter class. These majestic horses have a lot of energy and it is proven just by watching them perform.

Their Size

Hot blooded horses are most commonly a smaller sized horse, but there are a lot of larger sized exceptions. These horses are lanky and narrow in build with a large lung capacity. This allows their light frame to travel quickly having plenty of oxygen supplied to their muscles.

FAQs On Hot Blooded Horses

Why are hot bloods more likely to be smaller built?

These horses are smaller in size with a narrow frame to give them strength, and a great stamina. If a horse is really large, heavy, and wide, they won’t be able to clock the same speeds or have the same stamina that a smaller, narrow horse can achieve.

Why are they called hot bloods if their blood isn’t actually hot?

Hot blood is a name given to this type of horse just based on their hot temperament. Hot blood horses are typically fiery horses with more energy than some know what to do with. These horses are just quicker, temperamental, and more high-strung than other horse types.

These horses also tend to come from hotter countries like those in the Middle East. An example is that the Arabian is from the Arabian Penninsula and the Akhal-Teke is from Turkmenistan, both being in the middle east.

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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