The Haflinger: a South Tyrolean
The blonde horses in their native land
Haflingers are said to originate from San Genesio. The inaccessible high Alpine pastures and forests on Monzoccolo called for a particularly agile, robust and light-footed horse. In the middle of the 19th century the “blonde” horses became characteristic for San Genesio and Monzoccolo. The horses got their name from the Monzoccolo community of Avelengo, Hafling in German. In 1904 the 1st Haflinger Breeders Association was founded in Meltina. The book of dams and stallions created for this purpose includes 250 Haflingers. The statutes and the book of dams and stallions prove that Haflingers were formally bred as early as around 1900. Some criteria, such as name, date of birth, markings, height, waist and shin as well as references to the owner and to covers are in parts still used today.
The Haflinger with its characteristics of being surefooted, robust, content, with plenty of stamina and affable was bred as a general utility horse to reach even the most remote farms on bridle paths and to assist with the work in the fields, on the farm and in the woods. From the beginning Haflingers were also companions to people.
When agriculture became more mechanized the Haflingers became part of tradition and of the leisure and festival culture.