Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Westphalian   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Westphalian (or 'Westfalen') is a German sport warmblood breed which excels in dressage and show-jumping, and is considered to be one of the best breeds in the world in these two disciplines.

The Westphalian breed originated in the province of Westphalia, where it started as a relatively heavy breed which was used for military and farm work. When the need for farm horses declined, breeders crossed their Westphalians with Hanoverians, to turn the Westphalian into a lighter and more athletic breed.

The heavy influence of the Hanoverian over the Westphalian is still noticeable, with the two having a similar conformation, though the Westphalian can be a bit heavier. Nevertheless, the Westphalian is an outstanding horse for dressage and show-jumping.

Westphalian registries have an open book policy which allows to crossbreed Westphalian horses with German, Swedish, Belgian, Dutch, and Canadian sport warmbloods, as well as with Thoroughbreds and Anglo-Arabs. However, every stallion must pass a strict conformation evaluation, and to achieve a minimal number of achievements and wins, before it is approved for breeding.

Westphalian horses usually have solid coats in the colors of bay, chestnut, brown, black, or grey. Cream-diluted colors and pinto coats exist in this breed but to a lesser extent. When it comes to height, the Westphalian breed is divided into two groups: ponies, who stand between 13.2hh and 14.2hh, and horses, who usually stand between 15.3hh and 17hh, but their full height range is 14.3hh and 17.1hh.

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