After I got the second Haflinger in my life, I’d like to tell you why this is my favourite breed!
First of all they are really useful and strong horses. They arrive from the border between Italy and Austria. This means they are ready for walking to the top of high mountains, like the Alps.
Steady and strong
They are steady mountain horses and strong enough to pull a wagon. After adding some blood from arab horses, they have become a bit taller (around 1.50 m at the withers) and their mind is a bit less stubborn!
My horse is a result of these new breeding lines. She is a really sweetie and easy to train. But she still has that typical tough Haflinger attitude, which makes her a great horse for trekking. A Haflinger is alloved to have maximum 0,60% of arab blood in the veins.
Haflingers are like tractors, they won’t let anything stop them from getting trough the bush or the rivers. They remember any track and are always able to bring you home safely. And they’re not scared of anything.
My horse is only 5 years old, and she has about 2 months of experience of being ridden. Still she is allready what I will call a perfect horse. I’ve removed her shoes and now we are trying out the barefoot method. If she gets any problems, I’ll buy her a pair of removable shoes. I’m not gonna gamble her perfect health with old fashion horse shoes. They actually prevent the horses natural cushioning in their legs.
Very very healthy
That’s my second point. These horses are not only extremely beautyful. They have a health that most horse owners dream about. They can live outdoors in any kind of weather, and their hoofs are really strong. They actually should be living outdoors to keep their health on top.
These horses are still not very popular in Italy, even if they are an Italian breed. The problem is their height. People prefer taller horses, like Friesians or Argentine horses. But lately even Quarter horse people start to open their eyes for this breed. Since a Quarter isn’t much higher than a Haflinger, they are likely to be used in Western competitions. Some individuals have won important reining competitions, and they might be great for cattle work as well.
They are not lazy horses
They have a will to work, and it’s impossible to tire them out. This is a horse that can walk for days and days and even months. I see allready now how much my Soraya wants to get out of the fence and do some work. I remember my old Haflinger. She was never tired, and she wanted to run all the time. But she was a bit too much! I prefer the horses that like to work, without getting stressed or too keen.