Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grand Prix Freestyle: Haflinger

Wow, I give the rider and the horse/pony a lot of credit -- a Grand Prix freestyle that is fun and a joy to watch, on a Haflinger that is utterly adorable.  Haflingers, I'm told by folks who breed them, can be strong-willed, and this rider has total compliance from her partner. This video should stop ANY of us from complaining our own horses don't  have the conformation or uphill build to do upper level work. It can be done...


  1. Wow! That was way beyond cool! That little guy didn't put a foot wrong from what I could see. That was an amazing ride. Wonder what the score was. And it was not easy choreography, either.

    I agree. Goes to show you do not need a huge, fancy mover to do the job. I remember some very disparaging remarks from a clinician I once rode with about how my horse would "never be able to do Grand Prix."

    OK, so perhaps not World Cup Grand Prix, but why not all the movements? Is every horse a ten? I don't think so.

    Love this video!

  2. Go Haflingers! This is what my pony and I are aiming for as well. Haflingers are SUPER smart, and if the rider holds, nags, or pushes too much, they tend to shut down until you can ask in a much lighter, or more creative way - I think this is why people think they can be strong-willed. With consistent training they can be feather-light, off the forehand, and will try their hearts out for their riders - just like Star Wars does.

    Gotta love the golden horses with the golden hearts!

  3. I think I've seen this video before, but it still amazes me. The strength in that woman's legs must be enough to strangle a hungry lion!! Just watching that, I get the feeling I know exactly how the rider feels. I have two downhill-built pony crosses. Well, okay, the Friesian cross is more levelly-built and flat-backed. I have adapted to the type of riding I have to do to get both of them light as opposed to a horse built for lightness. When I hear a friend complain that his bitty-boned, forward, uphill TB won't engage and it's making his legs hurt REAL BAD, I just bat my eyes and say, "Really? Tell me about it ... "

    I've always thought I'd like a Haflinger. They are surprisingly talented little draftie ponies sized JUST right for dwarves like me ... and I've even seen them event above novice. Spectacular. Thank you, Stacey! :)

  4. Fantastic! When he first came in I thought, "Oh, it's Barbie's horse," and while he is a little squirrely, he has so much personality in his gates, and he is collected through his topline beautifully. The tempi changes to the music beat was my favorite part.

  5. Are Haflingers generally a "downhill-built" breed? I don't know very much about them.


  6. Stacey ... next spotlight, Fjords?
    This one has the same haircut as his rider ... I think. ;)


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