The Holsteiner horse is the product of systematic breeding that has been ongoing in the northermost province of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, for 750 years.
Originally the horse was valued by German farmers for his strength, steadiness and reliability, and by the military for his courage and agility. The age of mechanization and conditions in post war Germany necessitated a new direction for the breed. The Holsteiner developed into one of the great German sporting horses, particularly suited for jumping, dressage, driving and eventing. This was accomplished through careful infustion of English Thoroughbred and Anglo Norman blood which added elegance, refinement and jumping ability to the superior character of the Holsteiner foundation stock.
The modern Holsteiner is of medium frame and stands 16 to 17 hands with a powerful hind lag, strong back and loin. His arched neck rises from a well angled shoulder to a small head with a large intelligent eye. This conformation adapts easily to "self-carriage" - that expressive, elegant movement so essentail in dressage, driving and jumping.
When the Holsteiner begins to move, his reputation as one of the world's finest sport horses is assured. with his strong hauches providing implusion, he moves forward with elevation and suspension, producting an impression of strength, balance and elasticity. This fluid movement, coupled with renowned intelligence, willingness to work and kind temperment makes him the ideal sporthorse.
The photographs and information contained on this page are provided courtesy of The American Holsteiner Horse Association