Dülmener horses are a rare breed that originated in western Germany.

They are feral horses, but once tamed they are known for their friendly temperament, gentle nature, and good disposition.

Here is everything you need to know about Dülmener horses!

Dülmener Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Dülmener:

Height (size) 12.3 – 13.2 hand high
Colors Most commonly dun with an eel line, and zebra-striped markings on the legs
Country of Origin Germany
Common Uses General riding and driving

Dülmener Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

Near the town of Dülmen in the Kreis of Coesfeld in western Germany, in an area of about 4 km², lives a free-roaming, mostly unmanaged, herd of around 300 horses.

Dülmen’s wild horses were first mentioned in writing in 1316, when, in addition to securing the rights to fishing and hunting, Lord of Merfeld also gained the right to the “wild horses” in the region.

The land that is now known as the Merfelder Bruch nature reserve was formerly several thousand hectares in size and was owned and administered by the squire and the farmers of Merfeld.

Thanks to the Duke von Croÿ family, the division of the communally used areas of the Merfelder Bruch that took place between the years 1840 and 1850 did not result in the elimination of the wild horses that lived there.

They organized a roundup and the relocation of the wild horses to a protected area on the wild horse trail in the Merfelder Bruch where the visitors can still see them living today.

The enclosed area spans over 400 hectares, and the horses are completely left to themselves.

The average number of animals in the herd is roughly 300.

At the beginning of the 20th century there were still areas where wild horses lived without human intervention in Westphalia.

However, these areas slowly disappeared as a result of the division of the Marche, and the expansion of towns.

The horses are rounded up once a year, around the end of May, and some young stallions are removed from the herd to be auctioned off.

However, in contrast to the stallions, mares spend their whole lives in the wild.

In 2021 the Dülmener – formerly known as the Merfelderbrücher – was classified as extremely endangered.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Friendly, easy to train, undemanding

Physical Characteristics

The head is medium-sized, expressive, with a broad forehead and large eyes.

The neck is well set and the shoulders are sloping.

The chest is wide.

The back is strong and well muscled.

They are robust and resilient horses, harmoniously built.

Mane and tail are abundant.


Most commonly dun with an eel line, and zebra-striped markings on the legs

Height (size)

12.3 – 13.2 hand high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Once tamed: general riding and driving


No known breed related diseases

Popular Traits

Feral horses


Easy keepers

Country of Origin



Mongolian Wild Horse, Tarpan