Holsteiner

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Breed Name: Holsteiner

Holsteiner Quincy B, ridden by Hillary Dobbs. Photo by Nancy Jaffer


Origin: Germany

Physical Description:

The legendary horse Pegasus surely must have been a Holsteiner for no other breed of horse can give a rider that lighter than air sensation of flying like the majestic and proud horse from "between the seas." Whether you aspire to floating through a dressage test as effortlessly as a ballerina, tackling a grueling cross country course with the agility of a deer or leaping obstacles of dramatic proportions in a show jumping venue, the Holsteiner will provide the character, substance and extraordinary talent to bring your dreams of flight to fruition.

The modern Holsteiner horse is bred from a recipe with a clear goal but a variety of ingredients to make up the finished product. Through selective outcrossing and culling of breeding stock over the last 700 years the Holsteiner has developed its characteristic conformation and gaits. A strong hind end and sturdy foundation with looseness through the back and shoulder give the horse power and agility making it the Ferrari of the sport horse world.

History:

Ancestors of today's Holsteiner humbly pulled the farm equipment in deep soil and inclement weather which over generations of breeding created a horse with a "turbo boost" in the hind end. This benefits today"s rider by providing extra lift over the highest jumps, substantial carrying power and push for upper level dressage movements and an agility for negotiating cross country obstacles at speed over rough terrain. The farmers could not afford the luxury of resting their horses once the spring thaw allowed the ground to be tilled. Horses who had done little work all winter were harnessed up and those that were lacking in energy and spirit were also culled. Today"s Holsteiner comes from generations of willing workers and will give his all when asked to perform.

Observing the Holsteiner in the stable one is immediately drawn to his intelligent and noble expression. While taking in his surroundings with large quiet eyes his alert ears are tuned to all activity and he will not miss the opportunity to zero in on a favorite friend, human or animal. Holsteiners are sensitive and will develop strong bonds with humans who treat them with consideration, respect and good horsemanship. This manifests itself at the highest levels of competition where

Holsteiners repeatedly occupy the winners circles. No exception was the 2008 Olympic Games where Holsteiners were in evidence as gold medalists in 3-Day Eventing and Jumping.

Anecdotal evidence from the Holstein region of Germany suggests that the breeds love of jumping is evidenced by the horses jumping out of the fields where they are raised. More than one irate farmer reportedly culled the youngsters that would not stay put in the fields rather than continue to chase them around the countryside.

Primary Uses:

Holsteiners repeatedly occupy the winners circles. No exception was the 2008 Olympic Games where Holsteiners were in evidence as gold medalists in 3-Day Eventing and Jumping.

Breed Association: American Holsteiner Horse Association

(Information provided by AHHA website article by Wendy Webster)