Breeding values

Selection standards dressage horses

KWPN horses have established an excellent reputation in international dressage. The studbook’s goal-oriented breeding policy has certainly reaped rewards: Dutch-bred dressage horses are proof that it is possible to combine great sport talent with a pleasant and willing temperament. KWPN dressage horses have three correct, pure, active, and powerful basic gaits with natural balance and suspension: they are the image of light-footedness and self-carriage. These qualities, combined with their performance orientation and durability, guarantee success for the KWPN dressage horse.

Breeding standard Dressage Horses
The KWPN distinguishes a separate breeding standard for each breeding direction. These standards are, in fact, descriptions of the ideal dressage-, jumping-, harness- and Gelders horse. In preparation thereof, the functional aspect for sport is taken as the starting point: does the height of the withers make it easier or more difficult for a horse to learn or carry out the requested performance? If yes, the breeding standard reflects the ideal withers. Does the position of the shoulder, the length of the stride in the walk and the impulsion make a difference in the training and results of a horse? If so, this is reflected in the breeding standard.

They are not set in stone. New scientific research, forward looking insights and market trends: breeding constantly deals with developments that may or may not lead to a reconsideration of the breeding standard.

In this way, developments within the FEI, for example, are closely monitored: After the advent of the musical freestyle, we quickly saw horses with strikingly graceful and elegant movement and a lot of expression.

The breeding standard helps to evaluate horses objectively and uniformly. It provides framework in which jury members give their evaluations. This reduces the risk of pronounced personal preferences and therefore increases the uniformity, reproducibility and the reliability of the evaluation.

Dressage Horse


  • Stands in rectangular model
  • Is long lined with a proportional build
  • Has an uphill build
  • Has long legs
  • Has a light head/neck connection
  • Has a long neck that is raised and arched with muscling in the topline
  • Has a strongly built and strongly muscled back/loin formation
  • Has a correct and hard foundation
  • Is attractive


  • The walk is a pure ‘four beat’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion
  • The trot is a pure ‘two tbeat’ gait that is active and has suppleness and impulsion, balance and self-carriage
  • The canter is a pure ‘three beat’ gait that is active, light with suppleness, impulsion balance and self-carriage
  • Can lengthen and shorten easily in movement, without losing rhythm, tact, balance or self-carriage
  • Rises in the front
  • Has good posture
  • Is light footed
  • Shows flexion in the joints, engagement of the hindquarters, freedom from the shoulder with a slight lift of the knee


  • Has a willing, hardworking and honest character
  • Is intelligent
  • Has the will to perform
  • Is easy to handle
  • Reacts quickly to aids
€ 124.75 per year

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About the KWPN

The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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