Haflinger breed information
Haflinger horse general information
COLORThey range in color from light to dark chocolate. Most are chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.
SIZEThe height of the breed has increased since the end of World War II, when they stood an average of 13.3 hh. The desired height today is between 13.2 - 15 hh
WEIGHTWeight of this breed ranges from 800-1300 lb (365 - 590 kg)
ORIGINHaflinger Horses originated from the Tyrolean mountains on the border of Northern Italy and Austria
USESThe Haflinger was originally developed to work in the mountainous regions of its native land, where it was used as a mountain pack horse and for forestry and agricultural work. Today the breed is used in many activities that include draft and pack work, light harness and combined driving, and many under-saddle events, including western-style horse show classes, trail and endurance riding, dressage, show jumping, vaulting, and therapeutic riding programs. They are used extensively as dressage horses for children, but are also tall and sturdy enough to be suitable as riding horses for adults. There are several national shows for Haflingers worldwide, including those in Germany, Great Britain and the United States.
TEMPRERAMENTSound, strong character, a good disposition, sturdy all purpose type, willingness to work, efficient, easy keepers
The Haflinger is a breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy during the late 1800s. There are several theories as to this breed's origin, but its current conformation and appearance are the result of infusions of Arabian and various European breeds blood into the original native Tyrolean ponies. Haflinger horses are relatively small, are always chestnut in color, and have distinctive gaits described as energetic but smooth. The breed is well-muscled, but with an elegant appearance. Haflingers have many uses, including light draft and harness work as well as various under-saddle disciplines such as endurance riding, dressage, equestrian vaulting and therapeutic riding programs.
Type: The horse's appearance should be elegant and harmonious, with a refined and expressive head with large eyes, a well shaped mid-section, and a well-shaped croup which must not be too steep or too short. The horse should be well muscled and show correct, clean limbs with well formed clearly defined joints. Breeding stallions should have unmistakable masculine features and brood mares should exhibit undeniable feminine lines and features.
Head: Should be noble and lean and should fit well with the rest of the horse. The eyes should be large and positioned forward. The nostrils should be large and wide. Should have a light poll and correctly positioned ears.
Neck: Should be of medium length and should become narrower towards the head. There should be sufficient freedom through the jowls.
Front-section: Well pronounced withers that reach far into the back, a large sloped shoulder and a deep broad chest.
Back: Medium length, well muscled, and when in motion should combine elasticity, balance and tension.
Mid-section: Well connected to both forehand and hindquarters, with sufficient girth and curved deep ribs.
Hindquarters: A long well muscled croup, slightly sloped and not too much split.
Tail: Not too deeply set.
Legs: Show clear, lean distinct joints, and equal stance on all four feet. Legs should be in a straight line when viewed front or back. From the side the front legs should be straight and hind legs should display an angle of 150 degrees through the hock and an angle of 45-50 degrees through the pastern and hoof to the ground. The knee should be broad and flat and the hocks wide and powerful. Pasterns should be long and well developed and the hooves should be round, distinct and hard.
Movement and basic gaits: Diligent, rhythmic and ground covering gaits. The walk should be relaxed, energetic, and proud and cadenced. The trot and canter should be elastic, energetic, athletic, and cadenced with natural self-carriage and off the forehand as well as balanced with a distinct moment of suspension. The hindquarters should work actively with lots of propulsion. This propulsion should transfer through the elastic back to the free moving shoulder and front legs. A little knee action is desired. Especially the canter should have a very distinct forward-upward motion
The history of Haflinger horses traces to the Middle Ages, but precise origins of the breed are unknown. There are two main theories: the first is that they descend from horses abandoned in the Tyrolese valleys in central Europe by East Goths fleeing from Byzantine troops after the fall of Conza in 555 AD. These abandoned horses are believed to have been influenced by Oriental bloodlines, and may help explain the high percentage of Arabian blood seen in the Haflinger. The second theory is that they descended from a stallion from the Kingdom of Burgundy sent to Margrave Louis of Brandenburg by his father Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor when the Margrave married Princess Margarete Maultasch of the Tyrol in 1342. There is also a theory that they are descendants of the prehistoric Forest Horse. They also have close connections to the Noriker due to overlapping geographic areas where the two breeds were developed. Regardless of precise origins, the breed developed in a mountainous climate and was well acclimated to thrive in harsh conditions with minimal maintenance.
The breed as it is known today was officially established in the village of Hafling in the Etschlander Mountains. The Arabian influence was strongly reinforced in the modern Haflinger by the introduction of the stallion El Bedavi, imported to Austria in the 19th century. El-Bedavi's half-Arabian great-grandson, El-Bedavi XXII, was bred at the Austro-Hungarian stud at Radautz, and was the sire of the breed's foundation stallion, 249 Folie, born in 1874 at Val Venosta. Folie's dam was a native Tyrolean mare of refined type. All Haflingers today must trace their ancestry to Folie through one of seven stallion lines (A, B, M, N, S, ST, and W) to be considered a purebred. The small original gene pool and the mountain environment in which most of the original members of the breed were raised has resulted in a very fixed physical type and appearance.
After World War I, when the Treaty of Saint Germain resulted in South Tyrol being annexed by Italy, the breed was reorganized in the Austrian Tyrol and kept alive through crosses to the Hucul, Bosnian, Konik and Noriker breeds. During World War II, Haflingers were bred to produce horses that were shorter and more draft-like for use as packhorses by the military. After the war, breeding emphasis changed to promote refinement and height. Haflingers were bred to be versatile enough for many under-saddle disciplines, but still solid enough for draft and driving work. Haflingers were used by the Indian Army in an attempt to breed pack animals for mountainous terrain, but the program was unsuccessful due to the Haflinger's inability to withstand the desert heat. Though in the years after World War II, it was feared that the breed was dying out due to indiscriminate crossing with other breeds, by 2003 there were almost 250,000 Haflingers in the world.
The first Haflingers were imported to the United States from Austria in 1958 by Tempel Smith of Tempel Farms in Illinois and the first Canadian Haflinger was registered in 1977. They were imported into Great Britain in the 1960s, into Australia in 1974, and also into Japan. Although the modern Haflinger is now found all over the world, the majority of breeding stock still comes from Austria, where state studs own the stallions and carefully maintain the quality of the breed. However, there are breeding farms located in the United States, Canada, Germany, Holland, and England.
Haflinger health and genetic issues
This horse breed is resistant to disease.
Haflinger fun facts
Breed organizations exist in many countries to provide accurate documentation of Haflinger pedigrees and ownership, and also to promote the Haflinger breed. Most are linked to each other through membership in the World Haflinger Federation (WHF). The WHF establishes international breeding guidelines, objectives and rules for studbook selection and performance tests. They also authorize European and World Shows and compile an annual list of Haflinger experts, or adjudicators. The WHF is the international umbrella organization, with 22 member organization in 18 countries. Membership organizations include the Haflinger Horse Society of Australia, the Australian Haflinger Horse Breeders Association, the Canadian Haflinger Association, the Haflinger Pferdezuchtverband Tirol (Tyrolean Haflinger Breeding Association) and the American Haflinger Registry, as well as a division for breeders in countries that are not already members
Austria, Haflingers are referred to as "Palomino Ponies