The Dutch Warmblood is the product of two of Holland's indigenous breeds, the Gelderlander and the heavier Groningen. Then it was refined by the Thoroughbred blood and adjusted as necessary by using French and German warmbloods.
The Groningen had powerful quarters but its front was not as good as that of the Gelderlander. The two were put together and the mix was adjusted by outcrosses to create a base for a competition horse. The carriage horse action and the long, harness back were eliminated by the Thoroughbred and temperamental deviations were corrected by a return to the related warmbloods.
This breed is a proven performer in show jumping and dressage although it is far less successful as a cross-country horse.
The head of the Dutch Warmblood is now almost indistinguishable from that of the improving Thoroughbred. While good riding conformation is a prime criteria in the breeding of Dutch Warmbloods, tractability and intelligence are the sought after qualities. This breed now exhibits the length of rein that distinguishes the riding horse from the more common light draft horse. The Gelderlander, though a carriage type, was noted for its good shoulder and front, a feature retained in the Dutch Warmblood. The long carriage-horse back of the Dutch breeds has been shortened and strengthened by the predominant Thoroughbred influence, to benefit the breed. The powerful draft quarters of the Groningen farm horse have been refined by the extensive use of the Thoroughbred. Dutch breeders have succeeded in producing a horse with good, sound limbs and hooves, and one with bone and substance. The short cannon is a noticeable feature. Good hooves and sound limbs, often a failing in the warmbloods, are a notable feature of the Dutch horses. The average height is around 16hh or above. Any color is acceptable but bay and brown are probably the most common.
Reference: The Ultimate Horse Book; Elwyn Hartley Edwards; 1991
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