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From: Sandy


We are currently looking at purchasing a Haflinger horse. I was wondering if you know anything about the breed. We hope to train it to ride as well as drive, the riding mainly for our grandchildren when they're old enough, though we plan to ride it as well to keep it obedient to the aids. Our oldest grandson, Adam, is 2 1/2 yrs. He loves horses already and is always talking about riding. Scott is one year old and loves them already as well. He gets all excited when we take them to see our two horses at the barn they're stabled at. Any suggestions as to what to look for in particular as regards this breed? If we get a mare, we would want one that would be good for breeding.

Thanks much, Sandy

Hi Sandy! Haflingers are lovely little horses, there's no doubt about it. They are very popular in Europe as mounts for both children and small adults -- these are strong, sturdy animals that make excellent driving or riding horses.

I suggest that you get in touch with the breed association and visit some farms where you can see these horses and get a good idea of how they move, and watch them interact with each other and with people. I've always found Haflingers to be "people" horses; they are independent souls, but they develop a strong bond with their owners.

Unless you intend to embark on a Haflinger breeding program of your own, which would require considerable time and investment, I suggest that you consider purchasing a gelding. Mares of good breeding stock will be more expensive, and the cost of raising a foal is incredibly high if you are boarding your horses out. And on your own property, making fences and structures foal-safe can be a very expensive proposition! If you simply want to work with a very young horse, sometime down the line, you'd do better to let someone else raise a nice foal in safe surroundings, where it could grow up in a herd and play with other foals (important for proper socialization), then buy it as a yearling or two-year-old.


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