Haflinger Horse

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Breed: Haflinger Horse
Temperament: Calm
Cost: From $2000
Lifespan: Up to 40 years
Recommended for: Experienced riders

A solid, all-round European horse breed seen more frequently in Australia today is the Haflinger, a horse of striking appearance and all-purpose performance.

Appearance: Haflingers range from a pale palomino colouring to dark chestnut, but always with a blonde or flaxen mane and tail. Fully grown they are usually less than 15 hands with a sturdy build. Vets have said their feet look relatively large for their size.

Temperament: While the temperament is said to be placid and calm, breeders recommend Haflingers for experienced riders.


Generally a very sturdy breed
Small genetic pool could exaggerate any hereditary faults
Do not overfeed
Many are still healthy and active at 30 years

Breeding: Keeping in mind there are few Haflingers in Australia, evidence shows there are few breeding problems. Interestingly, while many Haflingers have the classic palomino colouring – and may be registered if they match the palomino societies’ guidelines – they do not follow this breeding pattern. For example, Haflinger to Haflinger matings consistently result in the same colour, but typical palomino-palomino matings throw a range of colours including about 50% palomino foals. (Keep in mind that palomino is a colour, not a breed of horse.)

Cost: A Haflinger gelding costs from $2000, fillies from $4000 and breeding colts to $10,000.

Exercise & feeding: Feeding will depend on the amount of exercise the Haflinger performs. Most recreational riding horses will do well in a paddock but harness horses worked regularly probably need additional hand feeding.

Grooming: As most Haflingers will be ridden regularly, they will need shoeing every six weeks at about $50 per horse. A thorough brushing each week will remove loose or dead hair and keep the mane and tail free of tangles.

Uses: Haflingers were bred to be a multi-functional horse in their homeland and therefore suit a range of uses from riding, driving, to harness and farmwork. Less frequently, the Haflinger has been used for dressage and jumping. But remember, this is a small horse. The average height of around 14.2 hands is normally associated with an older child’s horse. Most adults prefer riding horses to be between 15 and 16 hands.

History: Named after the Tyrol town of Hafling (which pre-World War II was in Austria but is now in Italy) the Haflinger horse is probably a mix of many old, possibly extinct, breeds, with a late 1800s infusion of Arabian blood. There are only between 160-200 Haflingers in Australia.

Further information

Haflinger Horse Society of Australia
Eve Paxton-Brown
Phone: (02) 4998 7362

Warwick Milham
Phone: (02) 6554 1726

Haflinger Horse Society of Australia
Vice-president: Geoff Riseley
Phone: 015 132 597