Last Updated on December 2, 2021
The stunningly beautiful Arabian horse has been crossed with many other breeds over the centuries, often with spectacular results. But what about a Haflinger Arabian cross – what would it look like?
When it comes to crossbreeding, it can be a bit of a gamble, especially when crossing two purebred horses. Let’s find out all about a Haflinger Arabian cross and see if this is a good crossbreed!
What Is An Arabian Horse?
The Arabian horse breed originated thousands of years ago and is thought to be one of the oldest breeds still in existence. Bred for surviving the hot desert climate of the Arabian Peninsula, this elegant horse is renowned for its stamina and beauty.
The Arabian horse has been bred with many other breeds over the centuries, and many modern-day horse breeds have Arabian bloodlines. In fact, nearly every lightweight horse breed in existence has Arabian blood in its veins!
However, the bloodlines of the Arabian horse itself have been kept pure and true to the horse ridden by Bedouin tribes thousands of years ago. The Arabian studbook has very tight rules around the registration of purebred Arabian horses.
Compared to many other riding horse breeds, Arabians are relatively small in size. They stand between 14 and 16 hands high and are fine-boned and elegant. The Arabian horse has a beautiful movement, appearing to float above the ground.
The Arabian horse is also famous for its long, arched neck and a small head. The face is dished with flared nostrils, and they have a very high tail carriage.
Arabian horses might be lightweight, but this does not affect their athletic performance! They have incredible stamina and are popular for equestrian sports such as endurance riding.
The Arabian horse has a reputation for being flighty and is not always a suitable mount for a novice or inexperienced rider. Their behavior can be unpredictable, and they have very high energy levels. If you are an Arabian horse owner, you will know that there is never a quiet day with this excitable breed!
What Is A Haflinger Horse?
The Haflinger horse is a small but athletic warmblood originating from Austria. Although this breed is small in size at 13 to 15 hands high, it is generally referred to as a horse. This is because it has all the characteristics of a horse, not a pony.
The foundation stallion for all Haflingers was a colt born in 1874, named Folie. Folie’s dam was a tough mountain mare, used for carrying packs and riders across treacherous high passes. His sire was half Arabian.
All Haflingers can be traced back to Folie, and they all share very particular characteristics. This is a strong and compact horse, that is hardy and nimble-footed. The Haflinger is multi-talented and athletic and can excel in a wide range of equestrian sports.
The Haflinger is very unusual in that it only comes in one coat color – flaxen chestnut. This means that the coat is always brown, although this can range from a light golden brown to dark liver chestnut. The mane and tail of the Haflinger are always a pale blonde color.
Haflingers are sturdy but pretty horses, with large eyes and an elegant, curved neck. They are popular as both adult’s and children’s ponies and can often be used for both in the same family!
What Does A Haflinger Arabian Cross Look Like?
So, what happens when you cross a Haflinger with an Arabian? Luckily, we don’t need to take a guess here, as a breeding program has been in place for some time now!
Remember that all Haflingers have some Arabian bloodlines already, although they are more closely related to Austrian mountain horses. Some Haflinger breeders wanted to emphasize the Arabian traits of the Haflinger and set out to create a new crossbreed.
Over three generations, Haflingers were crossed with Arabians, to create a horse that was more refined and athletic. The resulting crosses were very successful, creating a more elegant version of the Haflinger.
If you are thinking of buying a Haflinger Arabian cross, you might be wondering what they look like? This crossbreed has the physical characteristics of the Haflinger, but with features that resemble an Arabian. The head is smaller and more dished, and the limbs are finer than the Haflinger.
In terms of size, they are midway between the two breeds. This makes them a great family riding horse, suitable for both adults and children. The Haflinger Arabian cross has an even temperament and is calm and gentle to handle.
Other Popular Arab Cross Horse Breeds
The Arabian studbook has very strict rules about registration, and only purebred Arabians are permitted. However, these elegant horses are often crossed with other breeds to create a desirable crossbred, and many other registration societies have arisen as a result of this.
Here are some of the most common Arab cross horse breeds:
- Thoroughbred crossed with an Arabian, called Anglo Arab or Anglo-Arabian. This crossbreed must contain no less than 25% and no more than 75% of the bloodline from each breed.
- Arabians are often crossed with draft horses to create a more refined version of these gentle giants. The Percheron famously has Arabian bloodlines.
- Morab; an Arabian crossed with a Morgan horse.
- Pony of the Americas – this famous designer breed is a cross between a Shetland pony, an Appaloosa, and an Arabian horse.
- A Quarab is an Arabian crossed with an American Quarter horse; these are two of the fastest horse breeds in the world!
- A Pintabian is an almost purebred Arabian, which must have over 99% Arabian blood. This crossbreed will have tobiano coloration – either piebald or skewbald.
- American Saddlebreds were crossed with Arabian horses to create a new breed, the National Show Horse.
- A Welsh pony crossed with an Arabian horse is referred to as a Welara.
- An Arabian-Appaloosa cross is called an AraAppaloosa.
So, as we have learned, a Haflinger Arabian cross is a good multi-purpose and athletic riding horse with the best features of both breeds. Arabian horses have also been successfully crossbred with many other breeds, including draft horses and Shetland ponies. The pure bloodlines of the Arabian horse are highly sought after to add refined elegance to cold and warm-blooded horse breeds.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about the Haflinger Arabian cross! Does this sound like the perfect horse for you? Or do you prefer a different type of Arabian crossbreed? Add a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
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Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE