Dutch Warmblood Horse Facts and Information – Breed Profile

The Dutch Warmblood horse is a warmblood type horse that is used mainly for riding and for competition. It is a modern horse that has its origins around half a century back.

It was bred from the Gelderlander and Groningen breeds. The breeding goals were to create an athletic type of horse that combined the best characteristics of both the breeds.

Dutch Warmblood Horse

The Dutch warmblood is registered with KWPN (Koninkljik Warmbloed Paardenstamboke Nederland), the Royal warmblood studbook of the Netherlands. The horse is a warmblood horse that belongs to the middleweight type of horse.

The sport horses are used in competitions, including dressage, showjumping, and carriage driving. The horses are also used as recreation horses for general riding. The temperament of the horse makes it suitable for recreational uses. It is even suited for beginners.


The origins of the Dutch warmblood can be traced back to the period after the Second World War. It was during this time that two popular Dutch horses, the Groningen and Gelderlander horses, started becoming less popular. These two horses were used to draw carriages and for agricultural use. The advent of cars and agricultural machinery led to a decline in the use of these horses.

Breeders decided to create a new horse breed using these two breeds. They wanted a horse that had the strength to do agricultural work and stylish enough for riding.

The Groningen, Gelderlander, and other horses like the French-bred L’Invasion, the Hanoverian Eclatant, and the Holsteiner Normann were crossed to produce the Dutch warmblood.

Imported blood types were brought in to increase the strength of the horses. This is why thoroughbred horses were used during breeding.

The Dutch warmblood horses are registered in the KWPN studbook of the Netherlands. They comprise of different types like the harness type, Gelders type, riding type, jumper type, and dressage type. In North America, there is another type known as the Hunter type.


This breed is mostly chestnut or bay colored. There are grey and black horses also to be found. Very commonly, one can find white markings on the face and legs of this horse. 

The Dutch warmbloods earlier used to be branded with the lion-rampant brand. Branding has now been banned. Now horses are now microchipped.

The eligibility to be recognized as a breeding horse is based on the height of the horse. The stallion needs to be a minimum of 15.3 hands and the mare 15.2 hands. There is no upper height limit.

The Dutch warmblood has an excellent temperament that makes it easy to ride. There are strict selection procedures to ensure that bad-tempered stallions and mares don’t breed.


The Dutch warmblood needs the same kind of nutrition that all other horses do. Their diet includes good quality grass, hay, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

The amount of food needed by the horse depends on its activity level. More active horses and larger horses need more food.

Beet pulp is a special food that is generally given as food. Vitamin and mineral concentrates are also included in the diet to ensure the horse is strong.

Breeding And Uses

The breeding of the Dutch warmblood horses is done by KWPN.

The selection of horses for breeding is properly monitored. This is done to ensure the horses bred are of good temperament and easy to manage.

Every year there are inspections carried out of horses for breeding. Horses that are three years or more are present in this inspection. Strict selection is done and any horse not meeting the criteria is rejected. Only horses meeting requirements are entered into the stud register.

Periodic evaluations are done of the horses. This is done for classification purposes.

The primary uses of the Dutch warmblood horses are as riding horses and dressage horses. The Gelderlander is well-known as a light draft horse.

Since the horse would be thoroughly inspected, the draft horse would turn out to be one with an excellent temperament.

The horses are used as competition horses. While breeding, it is ensured that their dressage and show jumping abilities are at the Grand Prix level. The Dutch warmblood horses would be found in the list of top-performing horses in most competitions. This is what makes them popular.

The KWPN’s stud register is one of the largest in the world. There are more than 10,000 foals registered every year.

Royal Kaliber, Udon, Breitling LS, and Ferro are some of the well-known Dutch warmblood horses that have won many competitions. Uraeus is another well-known Dutch warmblood that starred as Brego in the hit movie ‘Lord of the Rings’.


The average height of the Dutch warmblood stallion is 15.3 hands (155.4 centimeters). The height of the mares is 15.2 hands (154.4 centimeters).

The Dutch warmblood, on average, weighs 1430 pounds.

What Breeds Make Up The Dutch Warmblood Horse?

The Dutch Warmblood has been bred using the following breeds of horses:


These horses can have any color. The colors include brown, chestnut, grey, black, and bay. The breed has solid colors.

It is very likely that these horses have white markings on them. A tobiano pattern that can produce white patches is seen in some horses.

Black Dutch Warmblood

What Do They Look Like?

The Dutch warmblood is a sport horse. It was bred with the specific purpose of being used for riding and for competitions. The horse is strongly built and has an attractive appearance. The head is well-defined in shape. The profile is straight.

The neck of the Dutch warmblood is arched and usually long. It has a strong neck that makes it so useful in riding and competitions. The croup is short and flat. The tail of this horse is set high. The hindquarters of the horse are strong. The legs are long and very powerful. The hock joints of the horse are low to the ground.

The back of the Dutch warmblood is short, strong, and is straight. It has a chest that is deep and full that gives it the strength needed for riding. They have sloping shoulders and have prominent withers. This is usually at the same level as the loins. In some cases, it may be higher.

Their physical characteristics have been fine-tuned thanks to the stringent selection procedures. This ensures the best horses that perform well, whether in competitions or in recreation.

What Are They Used For?

The Dutch warmblood is used for riding and competition. It is commonly used as a recreational horse for riding. Owing to its pleasant temperament, it is a horse that is easy to manage. This makes it ideal for recreational riding.

The primary use of the Dutch warmblood is as a competition horse. It is used in dressage, show jumping, and eventing. Since these horses have been bred for the purpose of participating in such competitions, they are very successful. The body features of this horse make it well suited for these uses.

In 2007, the World Breeding Federation for Sports Horses ranked the Dutch warmblood as the number 1 horse for showjumping. The athletic horses are gentle and calm. This is what makes them very popular.

Where Do They Live?

The origin of the Dutch warmblood horse can be traced back to the Netherlands. The horse is mostly found in the Netherlands. There are also Dutch warmblood horses found in North America.

The British Warmblood Society has made warmblood horses available even in the UK. It is also available in Germany.

How Long Do They Live?

The Dutch warmblood horses live on average for 20 years.

They are usually inspected and selected for breeding at the age of four. From this age onwards, they are trained and prepared for their use in competitions.

One of the strengths of the Dutch warmblood is its athletic build and its good health. Its life span of 20 years is good and is available for use for more than 10 years of its life. The horse can face problems like bone spavin, mild arthritis, etc.

In general, if the horse is looked after well, it can live its entire life span in good health. It needs proper grooming so that it serves its owner well for a long time.

How Fast Are They?

The Dutch warmblood is a powerful horse. It has been bred to take part in competitions and hence has the ability to move fast. Its athletic features like good withers, powerful hindquarters and sound feet allow the horse to run fast.

Being a warmblood horse, it is agile and fast. On average, they can run at a speed of around 30 miles an hour.

How Much Do They Cost?

The Dutch Warmblood horse is a fairly expensive horse. This is because the horse has been exclusively bred for use in dressage and other events. The average range of cost is $5,000 to $25,000. 

Like most show horses, the price of the horse is decided based on factors like the age of the horse, the pedigree of the horse, and the training it has undergone. You can get older horses for a lesser price if you are interested in using it for recreational purposes.

A good and well-trained Dutch warmblood would cost at the higher end if you intend to use it as a competition horse. The best horse may cost around $50,000.

Are Dutch Warmblood Horses Good For Beginners?

The Dutch Warmblood horses are one of the best horses for beginners. This is a horse that has been bred exclusively for riding and dressage. This would make you think that the horse needs to be handled very carefully. But this is not the fact.

The horse has been bred so that it is easy to handle. Bad-tempered stallions and mare are not used for breeding. This has ensured the Dutch warmblood is gentle and has an excellent temperament. It is easy to handle and does not create any problems for the rider. Riding on this horse is a pleasure.

The horse is intelligent and can understand its rider very well. The training the horse undergoes improves its abilities. This makes the horse best suited to work even with beginners. A beginner who wishes to use this horse for general riding would find it co-operative.

Even beginners in show riding would find this horse very easy to handle. The horse’s temperament is its biggest advantage.

Conclusion / Summary

The Dutch warmblood is a unique horse. Unlike most horses of today, its origins are in the late 1960s. It was bred from Dutch horses with thoroughbreds and other blood added to it. The very purpose of breeding the horse was to create a strong horse that is good for riding.

The Dutch warmblood is an exceptional sport horse. It has been used extensively for show riding. It has been known to win many competitions. The horse is easy to handle for riders who can use its athletic features to the best use in competitions.

The main reason for this is the selective breeding done. The KWPN regulates the breeding of the Dutch warmblood. The horses are carefully selected for breeding at the age of four or later. They are periodically evaluated to ensure they meet the stringent criteria. This has led to this horse being known as one of the best of its type.

The careful selection and breeding have ensured that the horse has a very pleasant temperament. Even beginners can handle this horse very well. It lives for around 20 years and serves well as a recreational horse or a competition horse. It is mostly healthy and does not require any special care.

The Dutch warmblood is a reliable athletic horse that adapts itself to the needs of its owner. This makes it very popular in the equine market.

There’s a whole world of horse breeds out there to explore! Discover and find out more information by checking out our horse breed guides.