Europe - Germany

Photo supplied by Shambala Holsteiner Stud - QLD

The Holsteiner originated several centuries ago and is probably the oldest German warmblood horse. These horses had German, Neapolitan, Spanish and oriental bloodlines and were very popular in the 17th century in Italy, France and Denmark. During the 19th century the Holsteiner was crossed with Yorkshire Coach Horses and Cleveland Bay stallions to produce a tough, active, handsome carriage horse with a willing nature and distinctive high knee action. The breed become also popular as an army mount.
In 1867 the Prussians founded the Traventhall Stud in Schleswig-Holstein where the breeding of the modern day Holsteiner began. Today the main breeding centre is located in Elmshorn. After World War II some Thoroughbred blood was introduced to produce a lighter, more refined horse with a better shoulder. In comparison to other warmbloods Holsteiners are only bred in relatively small numbers with little variations.

Head: handsome, expressive head, in good proportion to the size of the horse; big, bright eyes
Neck: muscular, slightly arched
Shoulders: long, sloping
Body: strong back; wide, deep chest; muscular loins; strong, muscular hindquarters; well muscled thighs, stifles and gaskins
Legs: short, strong cannon bones; flat knees; big, clean hocks; medium length pasterns
Feet: good, hard
Color: predominantly bay with black points; brown; grey and chestnut are less common
Height: 16 to 17hh
Temperament: intelligent, bold, good natured, alert, willing
Qualities: powerful action, active

Holsteiners are bold, good natured and intelligent and well suited for top level dressage and show jumping and can also be seen in harness racing in the four-in-hand driving discipline.