Interested in Belgian warmblood horses? Get an overview of this superior performance horse of Belgium in our information guide.
Belgian warmblood horses are renowned all over the world for being excellent performance and dressage horses. They are highly regarded in their native country for their stout health and superior performance.
Origins of the Belgian Warmblood Horse
The Belgian warmblood horses were nowhere to be found in Belgium until the 1950s. Whereas on the other hand Germany, France and Netherlands were engaged in full fledge breeding of warmblood horses at this time. Much of Belgium’s efforts were however directed towards the breeding and maintenance of their giant draft horse breed. It was in the 1950s that Belgium began taking up the breeding of lighter saddling horses.
In order to kick off the breeding of warmblood horses Belgium imported top quality jumping horses from Netherlands and France. Along with this the Holsteiners and Hanoverians were imported from Germany. The Belgians then made use of studbook selection to tailor the breeding to their own preferences.
Rise of the Belgian Warmblood Horses
In 1953 the first stallion show took place in Belgium for riding horses. It was however illegal. In the absence of their own warmblood breed that could serve many different purposes Belgium had to rely on importing these horses from other neighboring countries.
BWP was founded in 1953 and in the next fifty years the number of broodmares in the country amounted to 3,500. The organization also managed to produce a large number of top quality show jumpers. The rise of the Belgian warmblood was remarkable. So much so that it claimed the 5th spot in the international show jumping rankings in the year 2006.
What Makes a Good Belgian Warmblood Horse?
Belgian warmblood horses come in a wide variety of coat colors and many different pedigrees. However these aspects are not the main criteria of judgment when it comes to these horses. For the Belgian warmbloods it is their uniformity of purpose that matters most.
In order for a horse to be licensed as a true Belgian warmblood it needs to go under rigorous inspection by “Hengstenkeuring”. The test includes a detailed veterinary examination, an analysis of the conformation of the horse as well as its jumping ability on its own. The horse is even tested for the level of performance it gives under the saddle. Any stallion failing to match the standard set by the organization does not receive the license. Even when a particular stallion is granted the license it has to make great efforts to maintain that license. For this purpose the stallion has to participate in various shows.
In general the selected horse has a correct build with a rectangular frame. It has big outlines on its body and has a decent natural stride. Not only does the judging panel analyse the riding quality of the Belgian warmblood horse rather it has to have a sound character as well. The character should be such that any rider can take on the horse whether for performance or pleasure purposes. A top notch Belgian warmblood horse needs to have a perfect conformation, good health and must be able to give a super performance.