Developed from a small and light, yet sturdy warm-blooded mountain horse influenced by Arabian blood in the Tyrolean mountains in Austria, the Haflinger is a relatively young breed that originated in 1874 with the birth of the stallion 249 Folie. All seven modern Haflinger stallion lines can be traced back to this first registered Haflinger stallion. Organized Haflinger breeding began in 1921 with the foundation of the Northern Tyrolean Haflinger Breeding Society.
Originally used in high mountain areas to work the small hillside farms, after WWII the dependence on them declined with the onset of motorized vehicles. In the early 1950s, Tyrolean head breeder Otto Schweisgut had a vision to rebreed the Haflinger into a leisure animal and a diverse riding and carriage horse.
The Haflinger is now found all over the world. In 2003, history was made when a Haflinger filly named Prometea became the first horse clone ever born.
The Haflinger is an elegant and dynamic animal with an expressive head, large eyes, and plenty of charm. Distinctive withers stretch well into the medium-length back, with a large slanted shoulder and a long, strongly-muscled croup. The legs are clean with flat knees, powerful hocks, and tough hooves. The gaits are rhythmic and ground-covering, with some knee action.
Haflingers range in size between 13.2 and 15 hands. The desirable coat colour is chestnut in many shades from light to dark. The mane and tail are white or flaxen and are often kept long and flowing.
Haflingers are smart, trustworthy, and obedient, with an outstanding character and balanced temperaments. They are known for being quite hardy and are easy keepers.
Haflingers are suitable for many activities including draft and pack work, and for both children and adults as western or English riding and show mounts, driving, trail and endurance, dressage, show jumping, vaulting, and therapeutic riding programs. In parts of Europe the Haflinger is used for milk and meat.
For more information, visit:
World Haflinger Federation