Prepared from information supplied by the Australian Warmblood Horse Association
The Australian Warmblood is a breed of horse with superb movement as one of its defining genetic traits. Characteristics of this movement are elevation, impulsion, elasticity, swing and rhythm.
Other qualities of the Australian Warmblood are its athleticism, versatility, hardiness, strength, temperament, correct conformation and trainability – making it one of the performance breeds of choice for the Olympic disciplines of dressage, showjumping, eventing and driving. A review of world rankings shows that Warmblood horses clearly dominate in these categories.
The Warmblood originally evolved in Europe from cavalry and light draught horses. In times of war, cavalry horses were bred; in times of peace, lighter more versatile horses were bred for the farm. After the Second World War, the emphasis shifted to a modern sporting horse capable of excelling in the Olympic disciplines.
A Warmblood is neither a 'hot blood' (Arabian or Thoroughbred) nor a 'cold blood' (draught horse). 'Warmblood' means these horses have a manageable temperament, which is needed for a good riding and driving horse that is neither intended for racing nor agricultural work.
The Australian Warmblood horse is bred using imported and Australian Warmblood horses, and in some cases crosses with Thoroughbred, Anglo-Arabian or Warmblood/Arabian breeding.
Warmblood horses, compared with other saddle breeds, are generally large horses that develop slowly. They may not attain their full development until they are eight years old. This slow rate of growth means that some breeders may not choose not to start seriously training their youngsters until they are four or five years old.
Australian-bred Warmbloods have represented Australia at the Olympics, the World Equestrian Games and other prestigious international events. Due to their versatility, their popularity as a superior general-purpose riding horse has gained momentum and they can be seen at pony clubs, agricultural shows and riding clubs.
Horses bred under the Australian Warmblood Horse Association banner are reflective of generations of pedigree selected for soundness and are bred to be riding horses. They are keenly sought by breeders, and both amateurs and professional competitors.