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Breed Spotlight: Haflinger

March 02, 2020 2 min read

The Haflinger is a breed of horse developed in the Southern Tyrolean Mountains in Austria and Italy during the late 19th century. The name comes from the village of Hafling which is part of Austria. The breed originated as a sturdy workhorse pulling carts and riding in the mountains. They developed a strong set of lungs because of the thin air which has remained a standard for the breed today. Haflingers are well-suited to riding, driving, vaulting, pulling, and carrying. They were first imported in the US in 1958. They are always chestnut, although they come in shades ranging from light gold to a rich gold or liver color. Always with a white or flaxen mane and tail. They are typically between 13.2 and 15 hands and 800 -1300 pounds in weight. However, make no mistake, this is a horse, not a pony. Sturdily built with short well boned legs and feathering at the fetlocks.

Common Characteristics:

1. Docile temperament 2. Uncomplicated nature 3. Sturdy all-purpose horse 4. Ability to carry large riders easily 5. Expressive head with large eyes 6. Eagerness to perform and please 7. Quiet and gentle 8. Friendly 9. Not as intimidating as a larger draft horse Because of the excellent qualities of the Haflinger, breeders are continuously trying to protect the bloodline of this ancient horse. Occasionally, they will crossbreed studs with Haflinger horses in order to improve the breed and make it more sophisticated. The modern Haflinger is now found all over the world and continues to stun horse lovers with its varied abilities, including pleasure riding, western trail riding, jumping, therapeutic riding programs, and vaulting. Haflingers hold their own in competition with other breeds, often showing surprising athleticism and strength for their size. The Halflinger also makes for a great family-horse due to its favorable size for children. Apart from their beautiful looks, many people are drawn to the Haflinger breed because of their kind temperaments!

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