Some years ago I shared my mishap with a friend who also had draft horses. It was about my 2000 pound Percheron mare. I said, “Babe stepped on my foot yesterday!” He said, “Hurts don’t it.” I exclaimed, “Yes it hurt! She just stood there! I yelled. She looked drowsy and continued to stand there! I slammed my fist into her side! She noticed, still drowsy and begrudgingly moved over!” He muttered, matter-of-factly without compassion, “They are cold-blooded you know.”

Coldblood: The generic name for the heavy European breeds descended from the prehistoric Forest horse.

Hotblood: The term describing Arabians, Barbs, and Thoroughbreds.

Warmblood: In generic terms, a half or part bred horses, the result of an Arabian or Thoroughbred cross with other blood or bloods.” The Encyclopedia of the Horse” by: Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Hot-blood 1: one that is hot-blooded: especially: one having strong passions or a quick temper 2 : THOROUGHBRED

Cold-blood-ed 1 a: done or acting without consideration, compunction, or clemency *cold-blooded murder* b : MATTER-OF-FACT, EMOTIONLESS *a cold-blooded assessment* Merriam-Webster Dictionary

It is time to concisely define the terms hot-blood and cold-blood. The equine definition cold-blood and hot-blood is clearly different than the dictionary definition. The equine definition describes a specific kind of horse. The dictionary definition describes the type of personality or character. I have been using these terms rather loosely in this blog, probably more like the dictionary definition than the horse definition. Because the dialogue is mostly about Arabians, I’m usually technically correct according to the horse definition and the dictionary definition. My effort was to describe a personality type not a particular kind of horse. This quote is an example of doing both, “Dawn Treader is more hot-blooded than the hot-bloods”.

I wonder which came first, the dictionary definition or the horse definition. I wouldn’t be surprised if the character type of the horse led to the dictionary definition both for hot- bloods and cold-bloods. I’ve never met an Arabian that wasn’t hot-blooded by the dictionary definition to some extent. I’m sure there are exceptions but I have never encountered any personally. However, the Percheron mare I mentioned before had a hot-blood character, according to the dictionary, though certainly not as extreme or pronounced as my Arabs. Although they say in the development of the Percheron breed there was an infusion of Arab blood making them technically warm-bloods.

This topic comes up now, because yesterday I rode all three of my trainees: Kiwi, Dawntreader (hot bloods) and Jihad (cold-blooded by the dictionary definition, warm-blooded by the horse definition). The difference in character between Kiwi and Dawntreader or Jihad is so dramatic that I have to adjust my training methods to accommodate the hot-blood or the cold-blood. I can see why people, possibly because of their own personality type, tend to devote themselves to one or the other of these two basic types of horse. It takes an adjustment in training technique and perhaps even different tools to train one or the other.


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