The Haflinger is a breed of horse that originated from Austria. They have distinctive gaits described as energetic but smooth, and are well-muscled yet elegant.
Haflingers were developed for use in mountainous terrain, and are known for their hardiness. Their current conformation and appearance are the result of infusions of bloodlines from Arabian and various European breeds into the original native Tyrolean ponies. The foundation sire, 249 Folie, was born in 1874, and by 1904 the first breeders’ cooperative was formed. All Haflingers can trace their lineage back to Folie through one of seven bloodlines. There are breeding farms in several countries, although most of the breeding stock still comes from Austria. In 2003 a Haflinger became the first horse to be cloned, resulting in a filly named Promote.
Haflingers have many uses, including light draft, harness work, and various under-saddle disciplines such as endurance riding, dressage,equestrian vaulting and therapeutic riding. They are also
still used by the Austrian and German armies for work in rough terrain.
Their beautiful – their almost always palomino in color with gorgeous manes and tails. There is the exception to this – we have one that is – but for the most part, they all look relatively similar in color. We have people that come here and tell us often that they can’t tell the difference between our horses.
The reason we chose Haflingers as our ranch horses is because they are known for their sweet disposition. We have a lot of children’s ministry always ongoing here at Ranch Shekinah – summer camps, a week of Vacation Bible School where a local church comes here to host their VBS, – but children seem to always be here wanting to ride the horses, even when there is no scheduled week of camp. We have had countless
people marvel at how well trained, gentle, and sweet they all are. We always enjoy the numerous compliments we receive on our horses.
Our haflingers have personality plus. We often say that someday we’re going to write a book about all the personalities and experiences we’ve had with our horses.
Our horses are actually what is called, “Modern Haflingers”. They have been “bred up” to be more tall and refined looking, similar to a quarter horse, instead of the original draft look.
I could go on and on about why we love our Haflingers, but I think I will just save more for another post!