HistoryDuring the late 19th century, in the southeastern Alps along the border of Austria and Italy, the Austrian government decided to breed strong pack horse for their military. They started in 1874, when they crossed a half-Arabian stallion with a mare native to the area, producing the chestnut colt Folie. Mares were continuously bred with him, and the resulting offspring were called "Haflingers." All of today's Haflingers are descendants of Folie.
Even though the breed only got its name in the late 1800s, similar horses have been seen in paintings from as early as the beginning of the 19th century. This proves that when the military horses were being bred, the government may have just been refining an already existing breed, one that has never been named.
|Haflingers are strong yet athletic. credit|
In 1954, Tempel Smith wanted horses with great bloodlines for his breeding farm, so he sent a man named Leo Lightner in search of horses throughout Europe. Though Lightner recommended the Haflinger, Smith decided to get the Lippizaner.
Breed Description and Uses
Haflingers are sturdy, strong horses with powerful hindquarters and are perfect for driving and packing, though they also make good riding horses. Despite their muscular build, they are quite small, standing only 13.2 to 15 hands high. Their coat is thick and soft, coming in a golden chestnut color with cream manes and tails. White legs are undesired, yet blazes are preferred, though it is not very important. They have calm, friendly temperaments and are very patient, especially with young children.
Today, Haflingers are used for a variety of sports: driving, like they were traditionally used for; jumping, dressage, and even western disciplines.
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