Most often the Avelignese is also called Haflinger. The country of origin is Austria and Northern Italy. The name of the breed comes from the town, Hafling in Italy, where the first foal of this breed was born. Compared to its size, it’s considered as a small horse breed and only chestnut coat color is accepted in the breeds’ associations. Other distinctive characteristic is their gaits, which is energetic but smooth.
The ancestries of the Haflinger are dating from the period the Middle Ages (5th- 15th century) but as a distinct breed it was developed in the 19th century. The main goal for founding this hardy breed was navigating through mountain terrains. All traces follow to 249 Folie that was born in 1874 and foaled from Shagya Arab and a native Tyrolean mare. He’s considered as the foundation sire and as we can see the Arabian’s and Tyrolean’s bloodlines influenced the current conformation and appearance. To save the breed from extinction and adjust it for certain uses, as packhorses in the military, during the World War I and World War II, they were crossed with lower-quality animals and thus had influence to the breed. But since 1946 a closed stud book was created where any other outside bloodlines are not accepted and only pure breed Halfingers are allowed to be registered. Today there are around 250,000 members of the breed existing all over the world.
The Austrian government supports the breeding programs since 1899 in order to keep and promote the quality of the breed. Horses that didn’t meet the quality standards were used as packhorses. The World Haflinger Federation is made up of 22 national registries and was established in 1976 and contains strict system of inspection by meeting high standards for only good quality stock. Haflinger mares must certain inspection standards, so as the foals, which can be registered after six months of birth. The accepted Haflingers are branded with a firebrand in the shape of a mountain flower –edelweiss. The Austrian Haflingers have the letter –H- in the center of the brand, while Italians – the letters –HI-. The first exports of the Haflingers from Austria were in 1958 and since then they are spread all over the world.
The breed has a refined, well shaped head that shows Arabian influence. Muzzle is small; eyes are wide, friendly and alert; neck is long and elegant. The body is broad, robust and muscular with a deep girth. Legs are clean, short and strong with healthy and hard hooves. The coat color of the breed is always chestnut, from chocolate to blond with luxurious, flaxen and long mane and tail, thus the similarity in color and profiles are very notable. The desired average height of the Haflinger is between 13- 15 hands. It has very distinct, rhythmic gaits and relaxed but energetic walk.
Interesting fact about the Haflinger is that it became the first cloned horse (2003), resulting in a filly named Prometea, which also gave birth to the first offspring, resulting in a colt named Pegaso. These horses are not registered in the American Haflinger Register and other registers haven’t yet decided. In the past and still today the Haflinger is used by the armies as pack horse and for work in rough mountain terrains. Today it is used as light draft horse, capable of carrying and pulling great heaviness. On the other hand, a mixture of physical beauty, human-loving character and hard working nature makes them one of a kind. Beside the farm work, they can also show their skills in the dressage ring, endurance riding, equestrian vaulting, therapeutic riding and a wonderful pleasure horse.
Solve this horse puzzle by replacing the pieces, fix them on their exact place and see a gorgeous, graceful, willing, surefooted and highly versatile horse breed. This gentle, eager and friendly Haflinger will win your heart