The Halflinger, a horse most noted for its golden chestnut color with long, flowy white mane ad tail, can be traced back to medieval times. It was versatile and most desired for its surefootedness over rough, mountain terrain where the slopes were steep and pathways narrow. The breed came from the Tyrol mountains of southern Austria in a village called Halfling (where it gets its name), and the mountains of northern Italy.
All modern Halflingers can trace their bloodlines back to 249 Folie, who was born in 1874, through seven different lines. The breed has gone through some setbacks during both World War I and World War II. These setbacks include alterations to the breed’s height and size as well as switching caretakers from Austria to Italy through the Treaty of Germain in 1909. During the war, they were bred to be more stocky and short in build to be used as pack animals. Since then the breed has been returned to its original desired height and size. After the war, the horse was returned to its original home of Austria where the Austrian government soon began continuing the breeding programs of the horse. The breed has endured. In 1958 the horse, nine mares, and one stallion were imported to a small farm in Illinois. From 1958 to 1978, 419 horses were born onto the Illinois farm. From then on the breed began gaining popularity in the United States.
Over time they have been admired by many and have worked their way into the hearts and homes across the country. Halflingers are versatile horses. They can be used as cart horses, dressage, pleasure, endurance, and jumping as well as therapeutic programs. They are sweet tempered, easy to manage horses that are both intelligent and graceful. This breed continues gaining popularity even in the modern day.