...and on the eighth day God created the horse in perfect image, to romp, graze, gallop, play and make manure wherever it darn well pleases, in divine grace.
Not much is ever heard from out of the countries of Switzerland or Sweden, however, they have produced superior breeds of horses that have been developed to compete on international levels.
The Swedish Warmblood originated in the 17th Century primarily as a cavalry horse. (1)
Famous Swedish stud farms such as Flyinge and Stromsholm were founded in the 1600's, and local mares were bred to a wide range of other types of breeds to create horses suitable for the military or for farming.
The military then initiated its own breeding program, importing Trakehners, Thoroughbreds, Hanoverians and Friesians, thus creating a versatile, quality riding horse.
In 1874, the government decided on selective breeding programs and established standards for several new breeds, including the Swedish Warmblood.
The Swedish Warmblood Association was formed in 1928 and rigorous curing and approvals improved the breed even further.
The Swedish Warmblood is valued for its looks, excellent abilities and sensible temperament.
It excels at Dressage, eventing, jumping and even driving under harness.
Swedish Warmbloods come in at 16.3HH and are considered a Warmblood.
They come in all solid colors, including dark gray and they like temperate climates.
Their necks are long and attractive, with pretty heads and muscular, sloping shoulders on broad, deep chests.
Their temperament is calm and balanced.
The Swiss Warmblood is also known as the Einsiedler, and gets its name because it originates from the Benedictine Monastery of Einsiedeln. (2)
Monasteries played an important role in the development of many European horse breeds.
The monks at the Einsiedeln Monastery were breeding a versatile horse in the 10th Century, and it could work the farm land and also be ridden.
By the Middle Ages, the monks had developed a superior horse known as the Cavalli della Madonna. (3)
Later, the breed was renamed the Einsiedler and in 1655 a studbook was opened.
A detrimental effect of cross breeding with other types of horses, begun in the 17th Century, was ended by 1784, with a new studbook having to be established.
Despite a continuing diversity of influence from other breeds, the Swiss Warmblood has developed its own characteristics.
Attractive and versatile, it is suitable for most types of competition, including driving under harness.
The Swiss Warmblood comes in at 16.2HH and is considered a Warmblood horse.
Colors are mainly chestnut or bay, but it can be any solid color.
It thrives in temperate mountain climates and is generally good-natured.
A well-proportioned head sits on a muscular neck, and a broad, deep chest rests under sloping shoulders.
Its back is straight, with powerful hind quarters and long legs, and it’s no surprise that Dressage events feature Swiss Warmbloods in the upper levels.
Take a jaunt on one these fine creatures and then come in from the cold and go fireside to an Absolut Vodka martini, shaken not stirred, extra olives. (Absolut Vodka is made is Sweden.)
Move on to a rustic plate of Swiss Tartiflette, made up of sliced potatoes, smoked bacon, carmelized onions and ooey, gooey Reblocohon cheese, that you can marry with some white wine and a chaser of Peppermint Schnapps.
Excellent winter fare.
Do it all to the immortal words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, “Happy Trails to You.”
1-3: “A Pocket Guide to Horses and Ponies,” by Corinne Clark