Ride Around the World Horse: The Haflinger of Austria
In the spirit of this year's Ridefest theme, "Ride Around the World," we're going to explore a horse breed from across the world each week.
Origin: 18th-19th Century
Colors: Chestnut, Palomino
Uses: Pack, Saddle, Light Draft
The Haflinger of the Austrian Tyrol is distinguished by its striking chestnut or palomino coloring, accompanied by a flaxen mane or tail. All Austrian Haflingers bear he Edelweiss brand mark with the "H" at its center, and are sometimes referred to as the Edelweiss Ponies.
Breeding: The center of Haflinger breeding is the village of Hafling in the Etschlander Mountains in Austria; the principal stud is at Jenesien. The pony is technically a coldblood but has an Arabian foundation sire, El Bedavi XXII. The base stock was the now extinct Alpine Heavy Horse. Hucul, Konik, and related Bosnian ponies are all genetically related to the Haflinger.
Characteristics: A mountain pony, reared on the high alpine pastures, the Haflinger works easily on the steep slopes. It is ridden, used in forestry work, and will draw a sleigh or wheeled vehicle. The breed is strong and hardy and is very long-lived. Haflingers are not worked until they are four years old, but may continue to be active and healthy at 40 years of age.
Edwards, Elwyn Hartley; Langrish, Bob (PHT). “Haflinger.” Smithsonian Handbooks Horses, Dk Pub., pp. 58–59.