All About the American Warmblood Horse: Breed Profile, History, Characteristics, & Facts

The American Warmblood is not an official horse breed, but is considered to be more of a “type breed”. American Warmblood horses are not from one specific bloodline and were bred to be used for sport. They are a popular choice for owners due to their calm and willing personalities, and their varying colors and physiques give plenty of options for those looking for a specific-looking horse.


History and Origins

The American Warmblood was founded back in 1981 in the USA. Originally bred for sporting purposes, they have several bloodlines influenced by the European Warmblood, Arabian, Thoroughbred, and a bunch of other draft-type horses. These horses are only considered a separate breed of horse because it was unanimously asserted by American breeders that, because the European Warmblood breed has been so intermingled, it more properly represents a breed type rather than an actual breed. It is also because of the intermingled bloodlines that American Warmblood horses are not registered by accepted bloodlines, but also by type, with an emphasis on sport horses being bred.

American Warmblood Horse Breed Statistics

Height and Weight

The average American Warmblood Horse stands between 16 to 17 hands tall. Their weights vary due to their extensive and random bloodlines, but they tend to be on the heavier side of the scale. 

Color and Markings

There is no single color associated with American Warmbloods. They usually have solid-colored coats and can have any variety of markings due to their mixed bloodlines.


The American Warmblood horse breed can be considered to be stocky when it comes to their physical profile. Their heads are shaped similarly to the Thoroughbred breed, and they have very strong sloping shoulders. Their muscular, strong hindquarters and short backs are what make them so excellent for sporting games.

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Unique Characteristics of the American Warmblood Horse

The American Warmblood horse is a popular choice due to how easy it is to train and handle. They are also known for having attentive and calm personalities, good bone structure, and three well-balanced gaits. American Warmblood horses also have consistent temperaments and athleticism, which can be attributed to their strict breeding requirements.

American Warmblood Horse Temperament

The American Warmblood horse has a willing yet calm personality. It is energetic and exudes an alert presence, approaching its work with great concentration and attentiveness. The American Warmblood is generous and obedient to its rider.

Grooming the American Warmblood Horse

Outside of equine competition, there are no specific grooming needs for the American Warmblood horse. If you are intending to use your American Warmblood horse for equine competition, however, there are a few requirements that include mane and tail styling as well as cleanliness.

Nutrition for the American Warmblood Horse

Keeping a well-balanced diet between forage and grain for performing American Warmblood horses is essential. In general, they can be kept on a regular diet that is given to the average horse. If they are being used for sport, which means they are expending more energy than the average horse, then additional fortification may be needed.

Common Health Issues for the American Warmblood Horse

A health issue that is uniquely found in American Warmblood foals is a condition called Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS). This untreatable illness is a genetic defect that causes abnormally fragile and thin skin and mucous membranes, making them more susceptible to lesions. If a foal is born with this condition, it is quickly and easily identifiable and the only treatment is to euthanize them shortly after birth. Some American Warmblood horses can simply be carriers of the disease without displaying signs of it.

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American Warmblood Horse Common Uses and Talents

Since the American Warmblood horse was bred specifically for sport, its primary use is for competitive show jumping, eventing, dressage, and combined driving. An American Warmblood horse’s elegance and endurance make it an excellent companion in the ring. They are not really worth purchasing as a pleasure horse since they live to serve and compete.

Facts About the American Warmblood Horse

The American Warmblood horse breed has an extensive bloodline due to its not being restricted to just one. What makes a horse classified as an American Warmblood is dependent on their passing strict inspections and examinations, which are done by studbook. Also, a horse cannot be considered an American Warmblood unless it was born in Mexico, the U.S., or Canada. Their name is significant as it distinguishes them from cold-blooded draft horses and hot-blooded breeds like Arabians and Thoroughbreds.

Famous American Warmblood Horses

Since the American Warmblood breed is a broad term referring to a type of horse rather than a specific breed, it is difficult to narrow down famous horses. However, with how popular they are in competitive equine sport it is assured that there are many famous horses that fall under the American Warmblood category.

Is the American Warmblood Horse Right for You?

American Warmblood horses make attentive, willful, active, calm, and well-mannered companions for riders of any experience level. Their ability to learn a wide variety of disciplines makes them an ideal choice for just about anyone looking for a horse to ride in equine competitions.

How to Adopt or Buy an American Warmblood Horse

You can find an American Warmblood horse just about anywhere since it blankets a variety of breeds. You can either purchase one through a professional breeder or adopt one through a horse rescue.

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American Warmblood Horse FAQs

How much does an American Warmblood horse cost?

A quality American Warmblood horse will cost upwards of $25,000 to $60,000. 

How big do American Warmblood horses get?

American Warmblood horses mature to an average of 16 to 17 hands tall. 

Where do American Warmblood horses come from?

The American Warmblood horse type originated in the United States of America, and can also be found in Canada and Mexico. 

Are American Warmblood horses good for beginner riders?

American Warmbloods have a great temperament for the beginner rider. 

How rare is an American Warmblood horse?

Since American Warmblood horses are more of a “type” than a breed, they are not rare at all.


The American Warmblood is a wonderful horse, especially for performance events. Their non-tempermental behavior and good manners make them an excellent choice for any rider of any experience level. The only possible downside is how expensive they are, but when one takes into account how much of an effort it is to get an American Warmblood horse registered and all the beneficial qualities they have for equine sports, they are worth the price.


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