Monday, 5 September 2016

What is the difference between Hot-bloods, Warm-bloods and Cold-bloods?

These terms are used in the horse world a lot but it is not to do with the body temperature of a particular horse.  The three terms are used in relation to the breeding and origins of different  types of horses.


There are only 2 kinds of hot-blooded horses; Arabs and Thoroughbreds.  Originating from the hot deserts of the Middle East and North Africa these horses are high spirited and 'sharp'.  Their lighter bodies gives them both speed and endurance.  However, they are highly strung and sensitive and need careful handling and understanding.  They tend to be spooky and often over react to situations or strange objects.


Cold-blooded horses are calmer and more even tempered.  They are heavier boned and descended from the northern forest type of horses.  Their stocky build suits the cold northern winters.  They have thicker coats and manes than the hot-bloods.  Draft horses and some ponies come into this category and they are generally suitable for slow and heavy work.  Examples include; Shires, Clydesdale and the Percheron.  Cold-bloods tend to be gentle giants and they are less likely to spook.  This makes them generally easier to handle and safer rides.  


Warm-bloods are descended from cold-bloods but over the years hot-blood has been introduced to produce the warm-blood type we know today.  Most of this breeding took place in Europe and examples include; Hanoverian, Oldenburg and the Dutch Warmblood.  They are more even tempered than hot-blooded horses but are more spirited than the cold-bloods!  However, there are great variations between breeds and some are still highly strung.  Warm-bloods are the modern sports horses used in dressage, eventing and many other disciplines.  

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