The Holstein is a very old breed of German warmblood, tracing back to the
fourteenth century war horse. The early Holsteins were a heavier stamp of
horse than the Hanoverian, with German, Neapolitan, Spanish and Oriental
blood. Later in the nineteenth century more Spanish and Oriental blood and
some thoroughbred made it a lighter breed of horse. The Yorkshire Coach
Horse was also crossed with the breed giving it a distinctive high knee
action and making it a tough and admirable carriage or riding horse with a
willing amiable temperament.
More thoroughbred has been introduced since World War 11 in order to produce
more of a sports horse for competition. It is an excellent dressage and show
Standing at between 16 and 17 h.h. All solid colours are permissible. It is
powerfully built with a handsome head of medium size, with large intelligent
eyes and ears; long muscular neck; good sloping shoulder; strong back; deep,
wide chest; deep, strong body with strong loins and a deep girth; muscular
hindquarters with well muscled thighs, stifles and gaskins; short strong
cannon bones, large hocks and flat knees; good, sound, hard feet.
Holsteins make bold show jumpers with plenty of scope, they have excellent
paces and are ideally suited for dressage. They may still be seen shown in
harness and some have made World class competitors, winning at top level in
dressage and show jumping.