Horse Breed Facts Haflinger

Origin: Austria, Northern Italy and Tyrol.
Height: 138cm – 150cm (13.2 – 14.3 hands high).
Color: Any shade of chestnut body that can range from light blonde to dark liver. The mane and tail is white to flaxen.
Temperament: Intelligent, gentle, hardy and sparse, willing to work, docile and well-mannered.
Conformation: The appearance of the horse itself is harmonious and elegant, yet is the Haflinger compact build. The profile is refined and slightly dished with large eyes and small ears. The length of the neck is medium with muscular shoulders followed by a broad back and slightly strong sloping croup. The Haflinger has plenty of muscles on the hindquarters and loins combined with strong legs and hard hooves. Both the mane and tail have plenty of excessive hair and can tend to look bushy.

History: The Haflinger horse originated in the late 19th century in the Tyrol Mountains in Austria and northern Italy. They are descending from a race of mountain ponies which has been living in the Alps for centuries. This living environment has created strong and though ponies which were great all-around helpers for the mountain famers. The farmers only breed the horses that could be handled by every member of the family, which has made the modern Haflinger friendly and docile in nature as it is known today.

In 1847 Arabian blood was introduced to the Haflinger breed and the foundation Haflinger sire “Folie” was born and has been used in founding all the pedigrees of purebred Haflingers. Even though the farming world around the Haflinger horse was changing, the work of the Haflinger remained the same, it continued to provide transportation to the family and working for the farm. The reason for this is that mountainsides did not adapt well to the evolution of mechanized farming, thus the Haflinger continued helping its owners with plowing the soils around the farm long after the industrial revolution.

The work willingness of the Haflinger, but also its strength and surefootedness turned it into a desired pack horse for the military during the World War II, and used to though conditions, the Haflingers travelled through some of the coldest and difficult fronts during the war. After the World War II came to an end, the Austrian government took over and started a strictly selective breeding program, which has turned out great results.

The selective breeding program has turned the Haflingers into great personalities with an undeniable appeal. They are intelligent, fast learners and its docile nature has earned them a place as well-known therapeutic riding, but also as trail, dressage, jumping and driving horses.