So, if you had a choice, would you go Irish or warmblood? I'd go Irish over warmblood any day...except possibly for pure dressage! Irish bred horses have the blood, the brains and that crucial survival instinct. We're at the top of the eventer rankings once again, but are seriously struggling in the show jumping world rankings. Can this be reversed?

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Definitely Irish!! I love their brains, their ability and their personalities. An Irish bred that you get to know and love is like your best friend on four legs...
so this may sound inexpeinced but could anyone tell me what is ment by a "warmblood" and an "Irish" horse? I do'nt mean to be igorent but I have to say there are breeds I have heard of but know nothing about other than the name.:P
Hi Cmos! As you say, there are many, many breeds of horses, with some breeds native to particular countries. Ireland has several breeds of horses native to our shores, with the best known of these being the Irish Draught, the connemara and the Irish TB. Irish Sport Horse has really developed into a breed in itself too, with such horses largely being a cross between an Irish Draught and an Irish TB. Warmblood horses are more traditonally bred on the continent of Europe, such as Germany or Holland. Breeds such as the Hannovarian and Trakehner would be considered to be warmbloods. They tend to be more extravagent movers than Irish bred horses, but Irish horses are renowned for their fantastic brains and ability to think for themselves. Hope this helps a bit! The breeding of horses is such a complex area as there are so many influences, which makes it all the more exciting!
Had them both. Many Warmbloods. Prefer the Irish, hands down!

Here is why: :

The Irish Draught Horse is an active, short-shinned, powerful horse with substance and quality. It is proud of bearing, deep of girth and strong of back and quarters. Standing over a lot of ground, it has an exceptionally strong and sound constitution. It has an intelligent and gentle nature and is noted for its docility and sense.

Stallions: 15.3 h.h. to 16.3 h.h. approx.
Mares: 15.1 h.h. to 16.1 h.h. approx.

Good, strong, clean bone.

Good, bold eyes, set well-apart, long, well-set ears, wide of forehead. Head should be generous and pleasant, not coarse or hatchet-headed, thought a slight roman nose is permissible. The jaw bones should have enough room to take the gullet and allow ease of breathing.

Shoulders, neck and front:
Shoulders should be clean-cut and not loaded, withers well-defined, not coarse; the neck set in high and carried proudly. The chest should not be too broad and beefy, the forearms should be long and muscular, not caught in at the elbow; the knee large and generous, set near the ground; the cannon bone straight and short, with plenty of flat, clean bone, never back of the knee (calf kneed), i.e. not sloping forward from knee to fetlock. The bone must not be round and coarse. The legs should be clean and hard, with a little hair permissible at the back of the fetlock as necessary protection; the paster stong and in proportion, not short and upright nor too long and weak. The hoof should be generous and sound, not boxy or contracted and there should be plenty of room at the heel.

Back, hindquarters, body and hind legs:
The back to be powerful, the girth very deep, the loins must not be weak but the mares must have enough room to carry the foal. The croup to buttocks to be long and sloping, not short and rounded or flat topped; hips not wide and plain; thighs strong and powerful and at least as wide from the back view as the hips; the second thighs long and well developed; the hock near the ground and generous, points tot too close together or wide apart but straight, they should not be out behind the horse but should be in line from the back and the quarters to the heel to the ground, they should not be over bent or in any way weak. The cannon bone, etc., as for the foreleg short and strong.

Smooth and free but without exaggeration and not heavy or ponderous. Walk and trot to be straight and true with good flexion in the hocks and freedom of the shoulders.

Any strong whole colour, including greys. White leg, above the knees or hocks, not desirable
Do you breed Irish Draughts Jill? You're a wealth of information! :)
yes!...thank you!...this does make a clear picture in my mind of the charector of the breed.when you said, "they think for them selves", that's my kind of horse. I find it easier to work with a horse that thinks compared to one who does not. I have a horse that can see it by just watching him, all the time thinking, ya have'ta be on your toes or he will take over and very quickly be giving you orders. I think they make the best and the loyalst partner once you prove your self as leader. Thank You again. :) It's the thinking horse that saves your "ASs" when you'er slackin' it and end up in a wreck of somesort......they wont ( I find ) be quite so eager to leave you to fend for your self the second you hit the ground....if you have bonded with them first.
Fabulous photographs. I have ridden Irish horses since I was 10 years old back when Irish horses were the ultimate show jumping machines and the world came to us to buy them. As courses evolved precision and power jumping were required and to a degree it became a riders job. Irish horses work with you and if you get it wrong, they take over with a smart head and a fifth leg to get you out of trouble. It became technique and jumping style as courses changed. Always brave and gutsy and mostly educated on the hunting field with the best of thoroughbred bloodlines and a splash of King of Diamonds and Clover Hill our event horses are world class because they are the right horse for the job. Our Irish show jumping horses did not change, the job they were given to do has changed. Show jumping was originally a series of fences ridden on a circuit at a hunting pace and the Puissance really was over a real stone wall!!

Reluctantly, there has to be a case for an "Irish Warmblood" to adapt our breeding programme to compete with the continental horses. While it is a bitter pill to swallow, lets not forget that breed improvement and foundation stock came from the best of Irish Thoroughbreds. One of my broodmares is 3/4 TB with the other 1/4 Hanoverian. She has movement, power and temperament perhaps she lacks a tiny bit of quality to nit pick but she is consistently breeding good moving stock with a powerful jump. One is just starting his jumping career we will try him show jumping but likely he will event as he has all the attributes needed - it is a real conundrum.

We have so many approved warmblood stallions now but do not have an educated approach to breeding and at grassroots level the mare still goes to the local stallion whether he is warmblood TB ISH RID Connemara or sky blue pink. Sales catalogues show that whatever is being mooted as marketable e.g. Eventers, most animals will carry the "potential Eventer" label or potential jumper. This is another topic entirely.

I accept change is needed but we also need to preserve the traditional irish horse because at the end of the day - THEY ARE FABULOUS!!!!
I couldn't agree more Denise. We are king of the event horse, without a doubt, but we really do need to me conscious that the sport is changing - the change in format and increased emphasis on the need for a serious dressage score does mean that the 'Irish warmblood' has a real role to play, as you say. the best of both worlds. Your broodmare sounds fabulous. are you still breeding from her? do you happen to have any photos? What stallions have you used with her?
I bred a foal last year out of my versatile little mare. she's only 15.2 , but jumps 1.20s and could even go 1.30 if i were brave enough. she's nearly medium dressage and is intermediate eventing. i just do sportsmans as i'm not brave, but she'd eat up 2* and maybe even go 3* with the right jockey. she's very Irish - by Puissance and i went to an Irish stallion too - Carrick Diamond Lad, to hopefully give a little bit more size and more step. it's all very exciting!
Hi Jenny
ITs funny how these 15.2 horses can turn their hoof to anything we also have a smashing 15.2 who does 1.20m and has done a couple of one days and is mad for hunting and won some small hunter classes. Yours mare sounds fabulous and and ideal type for breeding. There is a pic of our boy on my daughters page( Claudia Felstead) and an album on my page showing some of my stock. I still breed from the "irish warmblood" mare she is still young 8 years old and instead of being covered this year she is going for some schooling and to do some show jumping. She is by a TB called Stormhill Miller and out of a Furisto dam. As you can see in the picture she is a little long in the back "handsome" rather than pretty but moves like a dream naturally balanced and powers off the ground over any height of fence. I have used a good few of the warmblood "irish" approved stallions - Into the West, Chillout, Galloway Limmerick and also the traditional irish horses such as Captain Clover and TBs . I have a TB mare who I am covering with an Irish Draught to get a traditional half bred.
Couldn't agree more! I don't think I'd evern buy anything bigger than 16h again. I am short, so big horses don't suit me anyway, but I just love the nippiness of a little one, so long as it has the ability to go with it! This pic is my little girl at tatts a couple of years ago. she didn't hit a fence from start to finish...through all warm ups, xc and sj. Wish i had 10 more like her! not that I'd have time to ride them...just not enough hours in the day to do the things I love. Need to keep playing the lottery!
Love the pictures on your profile. You've got some gorgeous horses. They must keep you busy! Did you find the cold winter very hard to manage with them all? At least it's started to turn - lovely here today and have such a nice ride on both mine. been a long time coming! :)

She is beautiful Jenny, looks really scopy. The bad weather was awful here and horses confined in stables but improving now. Collecting our three year old from his schooling tomorrow then he will do a couple of half days hunting and then turned away until summer. We are taking the mare to the same place for tuning up hopefully she will have a greatr season jumping. Her foal is half weaned already so tomorrow will be the final separation ( I hate it). We have another foal to share the box so hopefully it wont be too traumatic.


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