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Haflinger Horses - sturdy, alpine ponies

Published: 2023-11-28 13:36:43 Categories: Guides Rss feed

Konie haflinger

Haflingers - small horses resembling ponies, with a touch of noble blood, exhibiting many traits of draft horses. Originally used as work animals, they possess a strong character and easily navigate mountainous terrain. Today, they are highly popular as sport horses. Learn more about this horse breed.

Haflinger horses - origin and breed history

The Haflinger is a robust pony that originated in the Alps in the Tyrol valleys (in the northern part of Italy and the western part of Austria) and takes its name from the town of Hafling. There are speculations that these horses may have been left there by the Goths after their defeat by the Byzantine forces at Conza in 555 AD. These animals already exhibited characteristics of Oriental horses (pure Arab blood) during medieval times, and the breed may have been significantly influenced by a stallion from the Kingdom of Burgundy (Burgundian breed), which was given to the son of Roman Emperor Louis IV on the occasion of his marriage to the Tyrolean princess in 1342. The contemporary version of Haflinger horses likely traces its origins mainly from Etsch and Sarntal in South Tyrol. However, they are undoubtedly descendants of El'Bedavi (a part-Arabian horse born in Radowce, Romania) and his son Folie 249 (born in 1874). Folie, the stallion, originated from a mare in the local breeding program managed by a farmer named Folie in the village of Hafling in South Tyrol. Modern Haflingers can be traced back to one of the seven stallion lines descended from Folie 249. During both World Wars, these horses transformed from a light mountain pony breed into a heavier draft horse type, evolving in contemporary times to also include horses with a more athletic build. The establishment of the Haflinger breed studbook took place after World War II, and soon after, the first Haflinger association was formed. Klacz rasy haflinger ze źrebakiem

Breeding: Tyrolean Association of Haflinger Breeders

Currently, horses of this breed are known worldwide, but the main breeding center remains in Tyrol – that is, Austria (with a foal station in Ebbs). Breeding is also carried out in Germany (southern part of the country). The breeding of Haflingers is also conducted under another name: Avelignese – in Italy – in Tuscany and Sicily. In the northern part of Tyrol, this breed is cultivated in a more sporty type.

Haflinger horses - breed characteristics and build

The Haflinger horse has a proportional build with rounded shapes. However, it is challenging to precisely categorize them into either pony or draft horse groups (let's not forget about the Oriental influence in their blood!). Horses of this breed have a dry, noble head, large eyes, and small ears, giving them a gentle appearance. The neck is of medium length, adorned with a light, hemp-like mane that reaches the barely visible withers. They possess long or medium-length, sloping shoulders, a compact, broad chest, a straight and robust back, a cut and short croup (similar to draft horses), and a tail that ends in a light color. Haflingers navigate mountainous terrain easily due to their strong limbs with small feathering, and they have hard hooves. Their legs are relatively short, resulting in a somewhat short stride. Haflingers may have small white markings on their face and legs, which is common and accepted by breeders.

Breed Characteristics of the Haflinger

  • Coat: light chestnut with a light mane and tail
  • Height: 135 - 145 cm at the withers

Koń haflinger w galopie

Haflingers as Sport Horses - Usage

The Haflinger was once a pack animal and a mountain pony, facilitating transportation through the challenging Alpine terrain. This horse efficiently utilizes fodder, displaying great courage and excelling in rides through difficult landscapes. The Haflinger is not easily startled or excited, being gentle but often assertive, making them well-suited as family horses. Today, they make excellent companions for children due to their compact size, gentle temperament, and intelligence. Horses of this breed also prove to be ideal for beginners in horseback riding. In the latter half of the last century, Haflingers were also developed into a small sport horse that performs exceptionally well under children, particularly in disciplines like jumping, eventing, and dressage. These horses possess the grace of Arabian horses and the strength and resilience of draft horses, contributing to the global popularity of the Haflinger. Rajd terenowy na koniach haflinger

The Haflinger horse - price

The average price of Haflinger horses ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 Polish złoty. Prices vary depending on the origin, gender, age, and training level of the specific horse. Sport-type horses are naturally more expensive.


The origin of these horses is not fully known to this day; there are several theories about the beginnings of this breed. However, this has not prevented Haflingers from capturing the hearts of riders worldwide, and breeding these horses is also conducted beyond their native Tyrol in other parts of the world.

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