About animals

Holstein breed of horses


The Holstein horse breed is an ancient variety from Germany. These horses were mentioned back in 1225. Of course, since the breed could not help but change, however, these sports horses still exist.

Holstein breed of horses

Breed history

After 100-150 years, the descendants of knightly horses were used in the army. The Utersen Monastery led the breeding and selection of animals, and the monks tried to improve the characteristics of their horses by crossing them with undemanding Berberians, high-speed Andalusian and Arabian horses. Over the course of several centuries, the breed has gained speed, strength, and extraordinary learning abilities.

When heavily armed knights ceased to form the basis of the army and were replaced by light cavalry of the 16th-18th centuries, large horses were not in demand. They lacked playfulness in comparison with purebred riding horses. But in 1867, the prevalence of the breed began to increase again: horses of Holstein blood began to be used as draft horses at postal stations. At the Traventall stud farm they began to carry out targeted selection and breeding of horses with high carriage steps, capable of long and fast running.

The Holsteiners received the blood of the best horse-drawn carriages: Yorkshire, possessing the necessary qualities. The result of the influence of these genes is still valued. German horses inherited graceful posture from Yorkshire and high shoulder lift while running, graceful head set and swan bend of a long neck. Thanks to early selection, the new breed retained its own characteristics: restrained disposition and lack of aggression towards humans.

After World War II, the role of the horse in the carriage of crews and riders was lost. But they decided to use a beautiful animal as a sports breed. In order to increase agility, the breed was improved by crossbreeding with the English thoroughbred horse and tracken - the best horses. Horses obtained as a result of selection became the founders of the modern Holstein breed of horses.

The skin of the horse is thin, with short velvety hair. Under it, all muscle groups stand out well, giving the animal a resemblance to an athlete. The classic exterior combined with a proud fit and square format make the Holstein steed the most beautiful breed.

Suits and coats include bay and dark bay, furry and gray animals. Often there are white marks (stockings and grooves), and gray and muscle horses are decorated with numerous bright spots.

The jumping technique distinguishes Holstein from other sports breeds: thanks to the high lifting of the legs, the plastic of movements looks honed and almost mechanical. The combination of natural power with flexibility and dexterity is highly appreciated by riders who have to compete on the Holstein horse. The galloping animal has a soft setting and does not cause any inconvenience to the rider.

Character and temper

Riders classify the character of the horse as flexible: the animal is obedient, not stubborn, not capricious. A positive quality is the will to win. In competitions with other horses, Holstein gives all his best. Thoroughbred representatives of the breed are considered smart and quick-witted, they are noted for their unpretentiousness and calm disposition.

The hot blood of the English horses received by the Holstins during the selection process makes their peace of mind active, but balanced. Obedience is characteristic of horses, but they also show their own diligence, fulfilling dressage standards with extreme concentration.


Only mares and stallions that meet breed standards are allowed to breed. All individuals whose height at the withers are less than 168 cm and more than 178 cm are rejected. A hunch-bearing head and short auricles are considered marriage. Short-legged horses with a saddleback and low tail set-up are also excluded from breeding. Thanks to such strict selection, the breed has a formal and noble appearance. Rejected representatives are not allowed to equestrian competitions.

Despite the low external data, defective horses remain as smart and suitable for training. They complete circus troupes, equestrian schools, and are used as draft horses.

Care and maintenance

They keep thoroughbred animals in heated stables with artificial ventilation. The room should be spacious and bright, without drafts, with a fenced-out machine.

Particular attention is paid to the cleanliness of the litter. On the dirty and damp floor, the animal develops diseases of the hooves and their soft tissues (arrows), which are difficult to treat. For the same reason, it is not recommended to concrete the floor in the stable: it contributes to the accumulation of moisture. The best option is a clay coating, and an additional board flooring will need to be laid on concrete.

The pen for Holstein should have a good turf, resistant to trampling. It is undesirable to make it narrow and long. The best form of the pen is round or rounded square. The height of the enclosure is not less than 1.5 m. The fence and equipment of the machine must not have protruding nails, boards, etc. A horse may injure itself on similar objects.

Feeding a thoroughbred horse requires compliance with the rules:

  1. You need to set the feed often and little by little. The animal’s gastrointestinal tract is designed to digest small portions of hay, grass, grains or concentrates, but must function continuously. With rare and abundant feeding, bloating, colic and other diseases of the digestive tract can occur.
  2. Hay should be of good quality, from meadow plants. The manger for roughage is filled with hay so that it is constantly there.
  3. In addition to constant access to hay, the horse is fed 4-6 times a day, giving concentrates or grain, vegetables in small quantities
  4. You can not dramatically change the diet and introduce new types of feed into it. Addiction occurs gradually, within 1-2 weeks.
  5. There should always be clean water in the drinker.
  6. Feeding and watering is carried out about 1 hour before the start of work, and after it is given the opportunity to rest for the same time before feeding. The diet is made taking into account weight and load.

The horse is daily treated with scrapers, brushes and cloth gloves, keeping the coat clean.

Historical data about the breed

The Holstein breed of horses appeared in the Middle Ages: in the documents of the XIII century you can find a mention of these horses. The Holstein horse was very relevant during the war. This is because she is distinguished by her courage and fearlessness, for which riders very much appreciated her.

Holstein has a rich pedigree. According to historical data, this horse was crossed with a Neapolitan, Eastern, German, Spanish horse. At a later time, this breed was crossed with the Yorkshire carriage breed. Despite the name, the latter was used not only for harnessing to the carriage. Knights mounted their battles on it, and she also took part in ceremonial and cavalry exits.

Today, the horse is breeding this horse farm, which is located in Elmshorn, a city in Germany. The modern representative is even more athletic, but he managed to maintain an easygoing character. With the qualities that this breed possesses, you can safely win awards and medals in various competitions.

The Holstein horse breed is a real athletic breed, a muscular body also speaks about this.

This horse has a rather unusual exterior. The average growth of an individual varies in the range from 168 to 172 cm. As for color, most often you can find:

External characteristics are attractive: horses have large eyes, the profile has regular shapes, the shape of the head is slightly elongated, the nostrils are wide. The neck is distinguished by its length and graceful bend, as can be seen from the photo.

Appearance of the Holstein breed

The stallion has a truly athletic build. The body is sloping, strong, muscular. The width between the forearms is sufficient, which ensures the correct setting of the legs. This contributes to horse endurance. The wrists are powerful, dense, their diameter is 20-24 cm.

A horse can develop an enviable speed due to his physique. She has wonderful hock joints. Strength and endurance of the horse is provided by tendons, which differ in strength and dryness.

The Holstein breed of horses is a workaholic. Also, its representatives are characterized by ambitiousness in conquering new peaks.

By nature, the horse is distinguished by obedience, but at the same time very fond of movement. The Holstein breed of sports horses combines beauty and strength, a love of movement and poise, muscularity and grace.

This is ideal if you need to participate in equestrian competitions or at ceremonial exits. The universal abilities of the horse allow it to be used in a variety of fields.

This breed cannot be called numerous, because a very small number of plants are engaged in its breeding. But those who take this horse to sporting events often win. Among the representatives of the variety known bay horse, whose name was Meteor. History remembered him, thanks to three Olympic medals.

Today, horses find their place in horse riding and other sports.

Tribal line

Inside the breed there is a tribal line specializing in some types of equestrian sports. These breeding horses have a special love for sport and movement, they have incredible coordination, they are characterized by increased energy and rare obedience.

The horses of the Holstein breed are energetic and obedient

These horses love to learn, are diligent, interact well with riders. Pet owners say that these horses have a sometimes stronger spirit of victory than the people themselves. These are horses with pronounced leadership qualities. It is thanks to them that horses are taken to real tournaments for knights.

The kings of Sweden and Denmark in their stables keep this particular subspecies in order to make solemn trips to them.

Interesting facts about horses

A representative of the Holstein breed of horses who took part in show jumping competitions became the winner of the Olympic Games 3 times in a row. The first gold medalist of the Olympics was the Holstein mare of Thor (1936).

It is believed that the horse of the Holstein breed can recognize itself in the photo. The animal expresses different emotions about this.

The use of Holstein horses in the army is due not only to their physical strength and endurance. It was believed that the horse was so smart that it independently helps the rider and performs commands well.

A new round in breed development

At the German stud farm, active work was carried out to improve the local breed. To give the horses lightness and agility, the mares were crossed with the stallions of the Yorkshire carriage horses. The latter had a number of features that strong knightly horses lacked:

  • distinguished by a beautiful physique,
  • had a graceful easy move,
  • energy and nobleness.

The individuals obtained as a result of breeding combined the best qualities inherited from the ancestors - endurance, unpretentiousness, agility, smoothness of lines, grace and beauty. Work on improving the Holstein breed was carried out before the outbreak of World War II.

The birth of a sports horse

After the war, the need arose to change the selection strategy again. Now mechanization was actively developing, and the crews were irrevocably a thing of the past. But in Europe, interest in equestrian sports developed. German breeders decided to work on improving the Holstein breed, making it suitable for participation in sports.

Golshtinsky breed of horses in equestrian sport

The rush of blood of trakenes and English riding horses played a huge role in the development of modern competitive breed. The current Holstein people are very different from their ancestors - they are light, proportionately built, beautiful, fast and hardy.

Attention! Sporty breeds of horses are characterized by a difficult character, but the Holstein horses, despite the presence of hot English blood in them, demonstrate a humble good temper. This is one of their virtues.

Description of the breed: exterior and color

Holstein horses look like real athletes. They are harmoniously folded, have a strong muscular body, which, however, is not without grace and gloss. The average stallion height at the withers is 1.68–1.72 m.

The common color in the breed is bay. Red and black coat colors are also common. Less often you can meet the bay or roan representative of the Holstein breed of horses.

  • medium-sized head with an even profile and clever expressive eyes and wide nostrils,
  • beautiful high set curved long neck,
  • oblique muscular shoulders,
  • massive breasts
  • strong short case,
  • the back is straight,
  • tight stomach
  • neat oval croup with a high tail,
  • strong long legs with massive hooves.

Powerful limbs and a lightened back of the hull - this body structure allows horses to make neat, clear, high-tech jumps. This breed is considered the best for show jumping.

Representatives of the Holstein breed achieve good results in sports not only due to their physique, some character traits also contribute to their success. Holstein are stubborn, hardworking and hardy. They are able to train for several hours in a row, dutifully carrying out the commands of the rider.

These horses, unlike English thoroughbreds, are complaisant and friendly animals. The will to win, determination and leadership qualities elevated Holstein horses to the podium.

Where is the horse used?

The Holstein horse breed is involved in sports. The horses are considered one of the best in show jumping, although they show excellent results in other disciplines - driving and dressage. Among them are many champions and Olympic medalists.

A mare named Thor is the first of the breed who managed to win gold at the Olympics in 1936. Horse Meteor three times became the Olympic champion. The mother family of the world-famous stallion Landgraf 1, born in 1966, is considered the most productive. The descendants of this legendary stallion have earned many high prizes in equestrian sports. In total, they won more than 3,000,000 marks, participating in races..

Other world famous medalists and champions of the Holstein breed:

  1. Stallion Luch, a descendant of Landgraf 1, who won the USSR Cup in 1975.
  2. Mare Feine Dame. She received a bronze medal in show jumping competitions.
  3. Almox Classic Touch - awarded gold for jumping over obstacles.

Attention! In any equestrian competition, be it show jumping, dressage or driving, Holstein horses will certainly be in the top ten.

Stallions and mares, which for various reasons were not allowed in professional sports, are used in amateur riding. Connoisseurs of this breed buy rejected horses for private farms and use them as assistants. Thanks to the good disposition, these horses can be involved in hippotherapy and equestrian tourism.

The ancient pedigree line of horses bred in Germany is a prime example of German pedantry.Competent selection and strict adherence to the goal led to the appearance of the Holstein horse in the form in which it is presented now. These are superbly built, beautiful, graceful, smart, strong and hardy horses worthy of the best rewards.

Horses from the Middle Ages

The first mention of this breed is found in documents dated 1225. The homeland of the ancestors of the named horses is medieval Germany. Marshy in winter and very dry in summer, the lands of Schleswig-Holstein adjacent to the Elbe River formed a horse with high endurance, unpretentiousness in food and a good disposition. In those days, agricultural work was associated with certain difficulties. Therefore, horses with a balanced character, increased stamina and extremely strong were selected.

Such a horse, moreover, could easily ensure victory in a tournament for a knight in full vestment, which, by the way, weighed up to 200 kilograms. Frequent use in tournaments left a mark on the character of the animal - the Holstein breed of horses seeks to win, sometimes no less than its rider.

Pedigree start

The breed began with massive heavy trucks. Enlightened monks from the Itersen Monastery began to pay attention to systematic tribal work for the first time. It was to them that the Holstein breed of horses owed its origin. A photo of the first representative of this breed would be very different from individuals from modern families.

The blood of the Spanish breed was added to the genes of the heavyweights, and the horses became higher, and the blood of the Neapolitan breed gave them smooth lines. But the main quality in artificial selection remained endurance, to which added dexterity and mobility.

Horses were especially popular as cavalry horsemen. For their devotion to the master and the will to win, they deservedly were in demand in Europe at that time.

Until the beginning of the XVIII century, horse breeding in Germany belonged to farms. For a good horse, the government even paid monetary rewards.

Golshtinsky breed of horses in the "golden age of carriages"

With the beginning of the era of carriages and refined carriages, there was a need for horses to match the decoration of a rich wagon. The Yorkshire British carriage horses, who added their blood to the Holstein pedigree, gave the appearance of the latter a gloss and mobility. A longer neck, a high withers and slanting shoulders - this is how the Holstein breed of horses looked like in the 18th century. Features of the best carriage horses, such as a good and confident gait, a high step amplitude, were firmly fixed in hardy holstein.

The structure of horse breeding as a livestock industry is changing. And now it’s not the farmers, but the breeders who are engaged in improving the exterior of the Holstein. The first plant, which declared itself in 1860, was located in Trafental. Today it no longer exists, and the main stud farm in Germany, specializing in the Holstein breed of horses, is located in Elmshorn.

In the middle and end of the 20th century, the blood of the breed described improved thoroughbreds from France and other countries. And its modern representative enters the arena.


Look at the photo of a Holstein horse and you will see an athlete with a pronounced aesthetic appeal. These are high horses (at the withers up to 175 cm) with a curved neck and proudly set head, proportionally balanced in relation to the proportions of the body.

The humpback Greek profile and large smart eyes, combined with a straight back and slanting shoulders, give aristocracy and gloss to the breed. Suffice it to say that in the stables of the Danish and Swedish king, the Holstein breed of horses is used for ceremonial trips.

Balanced proportions and muscular legs make the animal's gait special - with roundish movements and large amplitude. The horses in the gallop look the most profitable; they have soft and light. Lynx is not a strong point of this breed.

A powerful torso and strong legs allow the horse to perform technical and accurate, with a clear trajectory jumps. Leap is Holstein's trump card. It is accurate and powerful, but incredibly flexible.

Color standard - from black to red and gray. Small spots of lighter color are allowed.

Golshtinsky breed of horses: characteristic

Incredibly loyal to man. The will to win and the excitement of the competition made this breed one of the most successful in equestrian sports.

The named horses are equanimous, kind and peaceful. Persistence in character gives them confidence.

These are studious horses that tolerate long trainings. They love sports, and leadership qualities push them to victory.

Holstein horses: use

The leadership of the breed in sports is undeniable. They are in the top five in show jumping. In dressage in the top ten there will certainly be horses of this breed. In the history of the Olympic Games there are enough eminent Holstein. One of them is bay Meteor, the owner of three Olympic medals in show jumping (1952). Good Holstein horses in driving.

Because of the incredible desire to win, this particular breed of horses is used in stylized knightly tournaments. The horse helps the rider, and sometimes wins almost for him.

Their character is good for breeding, and for sports victories.

Legends of breeding

Uterine families of the Holstein breed of horses are known to connoisseurs and connoisseurs. One of the most productive is the uterine family 275, which began with the maternal line of Landgraph I (born in 1966). This horse became a legend of Germany during his lifetime. Today, his life-size bronze statue adorns the equestrian center in Elmshorn.

He could be a winner in the show jumping, but the horse-makers participate exclusively in exterior competitions. But the children glorified him in sports. The horse was remarkably calm in nature and conveyed this quality to all his descendants. For thirty years of his life, he gave birth to 128 licensed (approved for breeding) horses. Of the nearly six hundred of his daughters, 420 are listed in the stud book of the Holstein breed of horses. One hundred and three mares received the state honorary title of Germany - the dream of any horse breeder.

To list all the champions in sports, the descendants of the legendary horse, is pointless. It is enough to note that his children won more than three million marks in the races. His blood flows in the veins of today's champions.

Names that left a mark

One of the heirs to this horse was Luch, winner of the USSR Cup in 1975 and absolute champion in 1977. Athletes did not want to give him up for breeding at the Kaliningrad stud farm and secretly castrated, hoping to win the Olympic Games. Luch did not become a champion, and the line of the Holstein breeding horse was lost forever.

In addition to the Meteor, which was already mentioned, Holstein entered the history of equestrian sports with these names:

  • Feine Dame - bronze medalist in show jumping,
  • Almox Classic Touch, who took gold in jumping over an obstacle at the 1994 World Cup in Barcelona.

Another manufacturer is Caletto II. For four years of participation in breeding, before the tragic death during the fall, he became the parent of 7 stallions, all of whom became champions. But most importantly, he is the father of Almox Classic Touch.

Today it is one of the most promising breeds in equestrian sport. Look at the photo of the Holstein breed horse, select the characteristics of these horses and you will see for yourself.