Cold blood, warm blood or hot blood?

Have you heard someone say their horse it hot blooded? Or its a cold blood? That doesn’t mean they are a reptile, with horses it is just another way of grouping them.

All horses are mammals and therefore they are all warm-blooded animals so these titles describing horses blood temperature are a little misleading. The don’t actually have anything to do with the horses blood temperature however they are an informal way of grouping horses based on their temperament.

Cold-blooded horses are breeds that are easy going and calm. They have thicker skin and coats, are large, strong, big boned, heavy horses and ponies with endurance and power making them excellent choices for agricultural work and as carriage horses. Draft or heavy horse breeds such as Clydesdales, Percherons and Shires are considered cold-blooded horses.

Horses that fall into the hot-blooded category include Arabians and Thoroughbreds. They tend to be more nervous, spirited and energetic. Cold-blooded horses are more athletic and competitive with their slight build, thin skin and light coat making them the perfect fit as a race horse or for endurance riding.

Warm-blooded horses originated by crossing hot-blooded and cold-blooded breeds. This has resulted in horses that have great athletic ability but are calm and easy to work with. Warm blood breeds include Holsteiner, Hanoverian and Dutch Warmblood and they are a very popular choice as dressage and eventing horses.

So the terms cold-blooded, warm-blooded and hot-blooded are just another way of classifying or grouping together different breeds and not related to the horses actual blood temperature. What blood type do you have?

Until next time,

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Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. Bec is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and also has a Bachelor in Applied Science Animal Studies with special interest in Wildlife and Recreational Animals. Her studies have been put to good use working in various animal industries including small and large animal veterinary clinics, horse studs and the family cattle property. Horses have played an important part in her life, living on a horse stud and caring for horses throughout breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, a cheeky cockatiel, chickens and many horses including a naughty little pony.