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Holsteiner Horses- Explored

Holsteiner horses have been around for over 700 years, which is a relatively short period of time compared to some of the other breeds around. Originally breed for both beauty and stability, the Holsteiner horse is wide known throughout many breeding and Olympic circles. You may be surprised to know, that many of the Olympic winning horses are of Holsteiner linage. They have come a long way in the past few years, and are sure to be around for many years to come.

History

The breed began in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Northern Germany, and was the result of a systematic breeding system. They were originally bred in monasteries for both beauty and hardiness. The Holsteins were used as carriage horses, but were also known to work in the fields if the need arose. So they were able to withstand harsh climates and conditions. In the later years, the breeding of the horses was passed on to individual farmers, yet immaculate records were still kept. Every single bloodline was assigned a number or stem, which was passed on through the generations from mother to daughter. These numbers are still in existence today.

Today’s Holsteiner

If you have the privilege of owning a Holsteiner, you will likely see a horse that is a bit different from the ones that lived 700 years ago. Breeders throughout the years have introduced new bloodlines in order to keep up with the growing horse trends. For instance, when the Olympics became popular and events like jumping were all the rage, new blood was introduced to help strengthen this skill in the bloodline. The Holesteiner takes up approximately 6% of the horse population, but are very well known in sporting and show circles.

Physical Attributes

A typical Holsteiner horse possesses the following traits:

• Medium frame

• Stands 16-17 hands high

• Has a powerful hind leg, strong back and loin

• Has an arched neck that rises from a well angled shoulder

• Possess a small head with large intelligent eyes

• Fluid movement and gate

Famous Holsteiners

Holsteiners are particularly famous in the Olympic circle. In the 1976 Olympic Games, Holsteiner horses won the gold and silver for dressage, the silver in three day eventing, and the silver in show jumping. They were also part of a team that won the World Championship in combined driving. Since 1996, Calvaro 5, an eighteen hand gray gelding, has won the individual silver medal in show jumping at the Atlanta Olympics, and was voted Best Horse at the World Equestrian Games in 1998. In addition, most of America's top show jumping riders have had at least one Holsteiner in the barn, including Anne Kursinski (Indeed, Canyon), Margie Goldstein Engle (Hidden Creek Alvaretto, Hidden Creek Christo), Hap Hansen (Roxett 7), Tim Grubb (Elan Coriana, Elan Lorestan), Susie Hutchison (America I), Nona Garson (Capital S), and Leslie Howard (Concerto).

 

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