Home / Netherlands Horses / Groningen Horse

By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd October 2017

Groningen Horse


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd October 2017

The Groningen Horse is a breed that developed in the Netherlands that developed as a working horse (light draft work). However, because of their calm disposition and low maintenance cost, they are quite popular as a family horse as well. However, they are suitable for moderately experienced owners.

Groningen Horse Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names Groninger, Groningse Paard
Behavioral Characteristics Calm, willing, adaptable, submissive
Physical Traits The profile is straight with a level topline, a long head, a muscular and medium-lengthed neck, and a deep, broad chest; the hindquarters are powerful with short legs, strong joints, and well-shaped hooves
Coat Colors Two common skin colors: bay and black
Height/Size 15.3 – 16.1 hands (adult)
WeightCategory Heavy
Common Uses Show jumping, mounted athletics (including rodeo), dressage, combined driving, eventing, endurance, pleasure mount (general riding)
Health Problems The breed is robust and long-lived, with no breed-specific issues
Type SportsHorse, Show Horse, Family Horse, Riding Horse
Blood Type Warm
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Oldenburg, East Friesian, local breeds
Popular Traits Easily manageable, multi-talented, excellent in jumping, durable
Feeding/Diet Typical horse diet like grass, hay, grains, etc.
Time of Origin Late 1800s
Country of Origin The Netherlands

Video: Groningen HorseCombined Driving Sports Event

History and Development

The Groningen were originally bred for agriculture and transportation works. They evolved in Groningen, a province situated in the northwestern part of the Netherlands, from which it gets its name.

It developed in the late 1800s as an attractive cross with a sweet temperament, endurance, and hardiness, by mixing the Oldenburg and the East Friesian strains with the native breeds. This resultant animal was a utility horse that was used in carriages, as well in the heavy-weight saddle.

However, because the mares were used in large numbers for cross-breeding with other breeds, the breed became endangered during the industrialization of Europe, with the tractors taking over the agricultural sectors, while cars and trains, the transportation. The effect was so intense that, in 1978, only one pure-bred stallion named Baldewijn was left, and was rescued from a butcher.

Interested breeders took the horse and began to mate it with 20 Oldenburg mares. The breed managed to revive though, but at a slow pace. At present, the Groninganbreed has been absorbed into the Dutch Warmblood breed by the breed’s registry and has been designated as a ‘basic type’ in their studbook.

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