Haflinger is an old breed of low horses, bred in the mountains of Austria, in Tyrol. The history of the halflinger can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when writers mentioned a population of horses of the eastern type living in the mountains of South Tyrol on the territory of modern Austria and northern Italy. Many villages and farms in Tirol could be reached only through narrow mountain paths, moving and carrying goods, which were only capable of agile and dexterous horses. The paintings of this area at the beginning of the 19th century depicted neat little horses with riders and packs traveling on steep mountain roads.
The first official documentation representing the halflinger (named after the Tyrolean village of Hafling, modern Italy) was provided in 1874, when a stallion who founded the breed, 249 Foley, was born from a crossbred Arab 133 El Bedawi XX and a local Tyrolean mare.
During the Second World War, significant changes took place in the established breeding order, as the army needed pack horses, and the selection of halflings was carried out to receive shortened massive animals. After the war, the breed’s growth and grace were restored, with an emphasis on breeding a small horse, versatile horse-drawn, strong constitution, strong physique with a strong skeleton.
Haflingers are easily recognizable. A golden suit with a white mane and tail became their business card.
The height at the withers is 138-150 cm. The head is noble and harmonious, the stallions are allowed slight roughness, the nape is well defined, the neck is noble, of sufficient length, correctly set, the chest is wide enough, deep, the shoulder has an excellent angle, the withers are high, providing a good saddle position, the back is strong, of sufficient length, with a short loin, the legs are dry, correctly set, the joints are wide, well-defined, the strong hoof horn, the marks on the legs are not desirable, but allowed.
Color: fake with linen mane and tail.
The halfling has diligent, rhythmic and earth-covering gaits. The step is relaxed, energetic, stately and rhythmic. Lynx and gallop are elastic, energetic, athletic and rhythmic. The hind legs work actively with a large capture of space. Horses of this breed have a low stroke, a high stroke is undesirable.
Application and Achievements
Haflinger is the perfect horse for the whole family. This is a horse for sports and farming. They are unpretentious and hardy, in some reference books they appear as “Alpine tractors”, where they are regularly used in the work of small farms. Their amazing stability and perfect psyche have made them the basis of the Austrian Avaleriya, where more than 100 halflings serve mountain military units every day.
The uniqueness of the halflinger is, of course, in his love for people. A diligent and unforgettable character developed in it for centuries in the process of living side by side and working with mountain peasants, serving all the goals of family members. Haflinger easily becomes a member of the family.
The modern halflinger is spread all over the world; it is used for such purposes as heavy-duty, light-harnessed, competitive, dressage; performs in runs, driving, vaulting, in the style of “Western”, is used as a walking horse, and is also widely used in hippotherapy. Haflinger keeps up with other breeds in competitions, often demonstrates athleticism and strength, amazing for its size.