All horses are beautiful in my opinion. But there are some that are unique and catch your eye and hold your grasp. The Black Forest Horse of Germany is certainly one of these horse breeds that you cannot resist admiring. It’s characterized by a dense golden mane that pops against the rich chestnut color of their coat. Be prepared to fall in love with this light draft breed that’s evolved over centuries in the Black Forest of southwest Germany.
Horse With a Purpose
This working horse breed might be endangered now, but the people of Germany have relied on these horses for nearly 600 years. In the region now known as Baden-Württemberg, the Black Forest Horses have been documented as early as the 15th century through the records of the Abbey of Saint Peter in the Black Forest. These cold-blooded horses might not be as powerful as your giant draft horse breeds, but they are tough and strong and full of might.
Bred For Strength and Temperament
On average, the Black Forest Horse weighs in around 1,250 to 1,400 pounds. Mares are typically 14.3 to 15.5 hands high; stallions can be up to 16 hands high. Black Forest Horses have immense strength, but they are also gifted with incredible patience and a gentle temperament. This makes them an ideal choice for first-time or novice horse owners. These gorgeous horses are typically used for driving, but many rely on them for pleasure, too, such as carriage riding.
The appearance of the Black Forest Horse is somewhat similar to a Haflinger or the Noriker, but these native horses of Germany are well-suited for the intense climate of their native highlands.
Some other names for these horses are: Schwarzwälder Füchs, Schwarzwälder Kaltblut, Wälder Horse, and Saint Märgener.
Endangered Horse Breed
As of 2017, it was recorded that there was a population of 88 stallions and 1,077 mares. Thankfully, these horses are reported to have a high fertility rate. And through careful breeding, there are hopes to see those numbers increase in the near future. There are many individuals dedicated to growing the breed’s numbers so they will never become a thing of the past.
According to TheEquinest.com, an association was formed in Germany in 1896 to preserve and protect this rare breed of horse. The association standardized and documented this beautiful breed, and established that only Belgian draft blood was to be permitted when breeding to increase the size of the horse.
The world-famous Marbuch Stud horse farm in Germany has been in existence since the Middle Ages and is directly responsible for preserving this special breed of horse. Dr. Astrid von Velsen-Zerweck, who is affiliated with the prestigious stud farm, says:
“Marbach is a very old stud with almost 500 years of history. We have not only been breeding Warmbloods and also Arabs, we are also involved in a breeding program for local horse breeds that are threatened—like the Schwarzwälder Kaltblüter (the Black Forest cold blood) and the heavy Warmblood, the Altwürttemberger. Marbach owns about 300 horses, and 200 horses are raised for breeders.”
Black Forest farmers sometimes refer to these elegant and beautiful horses as the “Pearls of the Black Forest”—and it’s easy to see why.
Did you learn anything new and interesting about our equine friends? Share the Black Forest Horse with other equine enthusiasts you know so they can learn something, too.
Love looking at beautiful images of draft horses? See them here on iHeartHorses.com.