Haflingers are small, chestnut-colored horses originating from Europe. They are both hardworking and beautiful, with an elegant and noble appearance. They are also exceptionally well-muscled, especially in the back and hindquarters.
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Name - Haflinger, Avelignese
Haflingers are small but very muscular, with thick manes and an elegant overall appearance. They walk with a distinctive gait that is energetic, but also rhythmic and relaxed. They are always a chestnut brown in color.
The Haflinger breed suffered due to the Great Depression, as well as World War I and II, as many horses were used for military service and quality breeding programs were halted. During this time, horses of inferior stock were also used and cross-breeding diluted the purity of the Haflinger. However, a renewed focus on the breed in the second half of the 20th century led to increased numbers of high quality horses, and the Haflinger is currently well represented in many countries.
Haflingers are long-lived horses that can live into their 30s, and breed into their 20s. They are known to be kind, gentle, tolerant, intelligent, and friendly. In fact, they can at times be a bit too friendly, and can become nosey and oblivious to personal space. Because of this, it is important that trainers establish a respectful relationship including guidelines for personal space to mitigate their potential for pushiness.
The Haflinger breed can be traced back to the late 1800s, to the village of Hafling in the Etschlander Mountains of Austria. This environment made it a strong, sturdy, compact horse that could work hard even in harsh climates. Purebreds of this breed can be traced back to seven original stallions, which has helped this horse maintain its unique qualities for centuries.
Haflingers are primarily workhorses, due to their strength and stamina. They are also used in endurance riding, vaulting, and dressage.