Haflingers are an amazingly versatile breed once mistaken as a mini-draft type after WWII. The hardiness and durability of these small horses have been attributed to their burgeoning success.
Did you know how fancy their footwork could be? Haflingers have been gaining increased notoriety in the dressage ring. These adorable small horses executing fancy upper-level movements beside their giant, warmblood counterparts are stirring hearts around the world.
The breed originated in Tyrol, Italy and now has hoofprints on all continents of the globe according to the official Haflinger breed website. Most famously known for the sunlit hues of their golden coats, acceptable breed colors range from pale chestnut to dark liver. The breed has been selected for well-muscled yet elegant movement including a supple four-beat step.
Deer Haven Farm was founded in 1999 in Lexington, Kentucky and the farm played an influential role in the development of the breed in America. Founder Rachel King passed away in 2013 after a difficult battle with cancer, leaving behind an unforgettable legacy and an amazing rider who pursues upper-level competition astride her golden mount under the tutelage of esteemed trainer Ruth Hogan-Poulsen.
Emilie Goddard, Midway College graduate and former head trainer of Deer Haven Farm currently rides and trains her young Haflinger Abercrombie out of Ruth's farm in Plainfield, VT. 'Apple Crumble' as he is playfully known is a 14.2hh Haflinger gelding bred and born at Deer Haven, according to their official website Because Pony. What he lacks in size he makes up for in talent and the team hopes to one day compete at the Grand Prix Level.
Watch as this inspirational pair executes a beautiful Third-Level test at a local show, receiving a 66%, well on their way to bringing exceptional Halfinger fame to the world of dressage.