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August 23, 2008 | | Comments 0

Swedish Warmblood Horse

Following the Path of the Swedish Warmblood

Today, the Swedish Warmblood is one of the finest riding and competition horse breeds in existence. Before it ever became a prized performer in horse competitions however, it had to pass through a long history.

The Origins of the Breed

It is correct to say that the breed descended partly from native stock. After all, there is some evidence that show that Sweden did have native horse breeds thousands of years before the birth of Christ. Because of the cold and difficult environment however, these horses survived by producing offspring that were small, brave and determined. At first, these early ancestors of the Swedish Warmblood were used as all purpose work animals. Later on however, there arose a new need for horses other than those used for agricultural purposes. As with other European countries, Sweden saw the need to breed fine war horses.

The war horses needed however were no longer the large, powerful horse types of medieval times. By the time the 16th century wound down, the need was for light, agile horses that could be used and maneuvered by the cavalry. This was when the breeding goals that would lead to the formation of the Swedish Warmblood began. As early as the 16th and 17th centuries, Friesian and Spanish horses were already brought in for breeding with local horses.

It was only sometime in the 1800s however that breed standards were clearly established for the Swedish Warmblood, Stud farms were opened specifically for the breed. As time changed, so did the demand for horse type and quality. Aside from the need for cavalry horses, there also arose a need for strong horses used for military work. Thoroughbred and Hanoverian horse breeds were therefore among the larger horse breed types that were introduced into the breeding standard of the Swedish Warmblood.

Despite the popularity of the breed, it was only in 1928 that the Swedish Warmblood Association was formally established. With the dawn of the 1900s however, the demand for the breed as war horses gradually decreased. In a few more decades, the Swedish Warmblood became more recognized as a sports horse breed.

Breed Traits

The Swedish Warmblood is every bit a competition horse. Its long neck, legs and light muscular body make it appear elegant, magnificent and refined. These same traits also ensure that it performs well in the competition ring. It has shown aptitude in dressage, jumping, eventing and driving. This beautiful horse breed is also of course, great riding horses.

Like many popular sports horse breeds, the standards for this breed are strict. Aside from the lineage of a horse, it also has to be graded according to conformation and performance before it can be considered a true Swedish Warmblood.

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