Donnerhaven - Our Horses

By: Donnerhaven  06-Dec-2011

Holsteiner Breed

The Holsteiner is a type of German Warmblood. The various names of the German Warmbloods denote their original geographical location – for example the Holsteiner originated in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Northern Germany; the Hanoverian from Hanover; the Oldenburg from Oldenburg; the Rheinlander from Rhineland, the Westphalian from Westphalia and so on.

The Holsteiner is thought to be the oldest of the warmblood breeds, and is thought to date back to the 12-13th Century. Breeding probably began as long ago as the 12th century with the Marsh horse, which became one of the ‘Great horses’ of medieval times and used through the centuries as a war horse.

The Holsteiner was held in high esteem for its good nature, intelligence, power and willingness to work. A succession of Spanish, Oriental and Neapolitan stallions was introduced in the 16-17th Century to refine the breed and in the 19th century the Yorkshire Coach Horse and English thoroughbreds were introduced to upgrade the breed even further to produce horses suitable for both light harness and saddle work.

The wide scale use of both English and German thoroughbreds over the last 40-50 years has produced a very versatile, trainable, rideable horse. The modern Holsteiner is notable for its long stride, good conformation and abundant bone. The most common colours are bay, brown, grey and their height ranges from 16-17 hands.

Most texts on Breeds of the World describe Holsteiners as multi-purpose riding and driving horse. They are a dominant force in international show jumping, and are found at the top levels of dressage, combined driving, show hunters and eventing.

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