The Holsteiner initially evolved from native North German stock and were in high demand by the military and royalty throughout Europe. As demand grew for a lighter horse, infusions of the Yorkshire Coach Horse were used. About the turn of the century, Thoroughbred and other HOTBLOODed types were used to begin shaping the breed towards a different market. Although having been bred to be an all around dual utility horse, the Holsteiner was over time, developed into a world class performance horse. While excelling in the jumping sport, the Holsteiner has also made its mark in dressage, eventing and combined driving. Holsteiner blood is also greatly valued in other Warmblooded breeds, being found conspicuously in the Dutch Warmblood horse.
The Holsteiner is usually bay with a preference for no or few white markings. He is an athletic, expressive riding horse with long lines and excellent foundation. He is well-balanced, maturing between 16 and 17 hands. In movement, he exhibits round, generous strides and a natural, elastic movement. A lovely head with large, kind eyes is carried on a beautifully arched neck, rising upward out of his withers, producing elegance, lightness and self-carriage. His temperament is relaxed and willing, with good character and an eagerness for work. These traits, combined with physical hardiness, conspire to produce a horse mentally able to perform at a level of excellence in the modern sport horse disciplines.
The Holsteiner gains its name from its area of origin: Schleswig-Holstein in West Germany. Its ancestors date from the 1300s and it has been influenced by other breeds in recent centuries. INTERESTING FACT There are two basic types of Holsteiner. The heavier type is reminiscent of the breed's ancestors which were popular war horses and tournament horses in the Middle Ages. This heavy type has been used in more recent times to pull artillery in the military and for agricultural work. The lighter type has been used in carriage harness and under saddle.
1. Yorkshire Coach Horse 4. Thoroughbred
For more information:
The American Holsteiner Horse Association