Belgian horse breeders had made a great success of producing heavy and dependable draft horses but were relative newcomers to the art of producing a sports horse. Only in the 1950s, in the calm after the two world wars, their thoughts turned to such luxuries.
ENVIRONMENT: Open habitat including grassland, moor and heath
USES: Riding and sports
HEIGHT: 16.0 to 16.2 hh ( 64 to 66 in)
COLORS: Black, brown, chestnut, gray or bay
In the 1950s, a heavyweight riding horse had been developed by crossing some of the light Belgian farm horses to the Gelderlander. The result was a reliable weight carrying riding horse. There was then a period of outcrossing to a number of breeds, including the Thoroughbred, Arab, and the neighboring Dutch Warmblood. The result was a horse with sufficient speed, scope, and stamina to meet the demands of equestrian sports, but still with a good, calm temperament.
The breed has retained the soundness and strength of its heavy draft forefathers and has good paces with a degree of elevation but not the spectacular movement of some of the other warmblood breeds.
Strong hindquarters and loins, sound limbs, and good overall proportions are the result of the careful mix of breeding that has produced the Belgian Warmblood.
The breed has been able to put his power to use in showjumping. The Belgian Warmblood’s trainable temperament is also an asset in sport that demand an accurate technique.
Debby Sly: Encyclopedia of Horses. Bath, UK 2008, p. 193