Understanding Warmblood Breeding

wb-breedingAs other bloggers have touched on the warmblood breeding world is like a maze. There are a lot of things to consider. One of the biggest misconceptions that I have seen is the difference between a horses bloodlines, registration, and approvals – usually when discussing stallions. Maybe I am the only one that thought all of this was clear as mud but if not I am going to share my basic understanding. I will use a few examples.

A horse can be registered in a specific studbook but have bloodlines of many others. For instance – almost all of the horses that I looked at had Holsteiner somewhere in their lines. They might have been registered BWP or KWPN but a lot of horses tend to have horses from different books and breeding in their pedigree.

Using Luna as an example you can see that her sire Big Star is actually by the Selle Francais stallion Quick Star but out of a Dutch Warmblood mare by the great stallion Nimmerdor and such was registered KWPN. Luna’s dam sire Douglas is by Belgian Warmblood stallion Darco and out of a Holsteiner mare by Capitol. He is registered but not approved KWPN however due to his approval by other WBFSH books and the fact that D’Amour (Luna’s dam) is out of an approved KWPN registered mare she was eligible for Reg A papers and her offspring by a KWPN approved stallion are eligible for KWPN foal book registry.

Top: D’Amour (Douglas x Zeus)Bottom: Big Star (Quick Star x Nimmerdor)

It is really interesting that the breeders I have talked to normally end up falling into their preferred registries as opposed to choosing a registry for some myriad of reasons. Whether because of a horse that they happen to own, the mare requirements that a registry has, or even the stallion selection in a specific book. If I do end up breeding down the road I will likely stick with KWPN as that is what I have but that could change. Additionally KWPN will be one of the easier registries to get a foal of Annie’s registered as you can get a foal out of a registered TB mare into their main book if it is by an approved KWPN stallion.

Do any of you all have preferred registries? If so why? Do you not care one way or another about bloodlines? I am genuinely interested to see where everyone falls.

You may also like


  1. I know pretty much nothing about bloodlines; I don’t have any interest in it (Warmblood or Thoroughbred or otherwise), and I feel that there are plenty of great horses already out there that I don’t have a desire to create something myself. Breeding comes with a ton of risks and involves a lot of money, and even if you plan carefully, it’s still a crapshoot.

    1. Everyone has their own perspective. I think that even with Thoroughbreds and finding horses off the track there are a lot of bloodlines to watch out for in sport horses. Breeding of any kind is definitely a risk that’s for sure!

  2. I like two things in my registries: 1) European reciprocity – if I was trying to create a breeding stallion this would be of even greater importance to me, but I just like having it, personally. There are only a few NA registries that actually have European reciprocity, which is something most people don’ t know. 2) Emphasis on canter. Nothing drives me battier than going to an inspection where they only evaluate the horse in hand on the triangle. A good canter is vital to my sport. While I don’t think that the registry’s opinion of the horse’s canter is very indicative of quality, it’s a principle thing for me when they don’t even evaluate it. If they don’t even look at the canter, I’m not interested in what they’re trying to sell me, period.

    But yes, warmblood bloodlines are very intermingled. This is why I get such a kick out of it when someone says their favorite breed is Oldenburg or Dutch Warmblood. So many giggles.

    1. Definitely a good point. KWPN does I guess but historically the stallions have had to go to the Netherlands to be approved. Not sure if that is still the case though and need to do more research.

      One of the craziest things I ever witnessed was a SF inspection. They literally didn’t even watch some of the horses trot or canter but gave them scores… A horses walk doesn’t tell you enough for that… I was pretty appalled and it made me have less respect for the registry. Maybe it was a fluke at the one I went to but between that and the Oldenburg/ISR inspection I attended in August I just had to roll my eyes.

  3. KWPN/NA and KWPN are separate entities.

    I don’t put a lot of stock in the inspection scores themselves. Smile, nod, thank them for the opinion and the papers, and move on. I’ve just seen too much at this point lol.

  4. Color me confused. It is definitely all very interesting, I just don’t have the desire to learn about it right now. Maybe someday.

  5. Interesting! I am honestly a bit confused about the whole breeding/registration thing. I registered Henry as a Canadian Warmblood but was later told that I should have registered him as a Canadian Sporthorse as that’s a more desirable registry…. wtf…. I have no idea.

  6. I am very intrigued by the warmblood registries. I know basically nothing about them (I should change that) so I hope you continue to share what you know! Now, if we start talking thoroughbreds, that’s another story!

  7. Breeding is something g that fascinates me and I love reading your experiences and Amanda’s…suh a wealth of information & brains to pick