Blondes Have More Fun
"The history of the Haflinger horse can be traced to medieval times when writings told of an Oriental race of horse found in the Southern Tyrolean Mountains which were once part of Austria, but now belong to Northern Italy. Many of the villages and farms in the Tyrol were accessible only by narrow paths requiring agile and sure-footed horses for transportation and packing. Artwork from the region from the early 1800s depicts a small noble chestnut horse with packs and riders traversing steep mountain trails.
Haflingers range in colour from a light gold to a rich golden chestnut or chocolate hue with a white or flaxen mane and tail. The desirable height for the breed is between 13.2 hands (138 cm) and 14.3 hands (150cm), although they can be up to 15 hands. The horse's appearance should be elegant and harmonious, with a refined and expressive head with large eyes, a well shaped mid-section, and a well-shaped croup which must not be too steep or too short. The horse should be well muscled and show correct, clean limbs with well formed clearly defined joints. Breeding stallions should have unmistakable masculine features and brood mares should exhibit undeniable feminine lines and features. The head should be noble and lean and should fit well with the rest of the horse. The eyes should be large and positioned forward. The nostrils should be large and wide. Should have a light poll and correctly positioned ears. The neck is of medium length and should become narrower towards the head. There should be sufficient freedom through the jowls.
The legs should show clear, lean distinct joints, and equal stance on all four feet. Legs should be in a straight line when viewed front or back. From the side the front legs should be straight and hind legs should display an angle of 150 degrees through the hock and an angle of 45-50 degrees through the pastern and hoof to the ground. The knee should be broad and flat and the hocks wide and powerful. Pasterns should be long and well developed and the hooves should be round, distinct and hard.
The Haflinger has diligent, rhythmic and ground covering gaits. The walk is relaxed, energetic, and proud and cadenced. The trot and canter are elastic, energetic, athletic, and cadenced with natural self-carriage and off the forehand as well as balanced with a distinct moment of suspension. The hindquarters should work actively with lots of propulsion. This propulsion should transfer through the elastic back to the free moving shoulder and front legs. A little knee action is desired. The canter especially should have a very distinct forward-upward motion."