The Truly Elegant Holsteiner

The Holsteiner is one of the most beautiful and elegant horses there are, and we think that it deserves to be much more well-known!
The Truly Elegant Holsteiner

Last update: 13 January, 2020

Horses are intelligent, affectionate, elegant, and above all, majestic animals. The Holsteiner has all these qualities and more. Today, we’re going to tell you all about its beauty, elegance, and history. Read on to find out more about the truly elegant Holsteiner!

This breed of horse has a very long history in exhibitions, dressage, jumps, and competitions, and it deserves to be more well-known.

All about the elegant Holsteiner


The origins of this horse are in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. It’s one of the oldest known breeds, heralding from 1225 to be exact. The monastery of Uetersen won the right to breed horses and this began the history of the Holsteiner.

However, it wasn’t until 1460 that people first officially recognized the breed.

The elegant Holsteiner taking part in dressage.
Source: Alexander Kastler

Back then, people used them for riding, pulling, and agricultural work. Breeders crossed them with other breeds as they pleased, believing that this way they could get the horse they needed, regardless of the work.

For example, horses with Spanish and Neapolitan blood were mixed with the Holsteiner, creating a strong and sturdy animal for war. Later, breeders wanted a lighter horse because there was a greater demand for them in agriculture, and they did so using pure horses with English blood. These crossbreeds have since disappeared.


According to the guidelines of the Federation of Holsteiner Horse Breeders, the Holsteiner should be athletic in appearance, have skills for sport, and have the elegance and qualities for dressage and exhibition.

They should also have a good, balanced character, being always active and ready for work.

They measure between 5 ft. 4 in. and 5 ft. 8 in. tall, and they should have an arched neck with a straight, raised shape. They also have a small head with large, expressive eyes. They’ll be easily recognized by a branding of a capital H enclosed in a shield with a crown.

The permitted colors are black, brown, and dark brown. They may have some markings, but they shouldn’t exceed 15% of the body, otherwise, they’re not accepted as a thoroughbred.

Special skills

The Holsteiner is used for equestrian sports and exhibitions.


In the past, the Holsteiner was heavy, as it was “created” for agricultural use. As a result, they were not very good for this discipline. However, this ended with changes made to breed in the 60s, making them lighter with a leaner composition.

The ability to jump is now innate in this horse.


For both the gallop and dressage, the Holsteiner’s elegance is obvious. It walks lightly, elegantly and is dynamic and balanced at the same time, unique in such an imposing and majestic animal.

A Holsteiner jumping a fence in a race.
Source: dregsplod


Everybody knows what a horse’s character is like. But, in the case of the elegant Holsteiner, its balance, calmness, reliability, and courage make it stand out. However, there are those that claim that the hard jumping training that these horses have received has made them surly and difficult to ride.

Whether this is true or not, we don’t know. However, the results that this breed achieves in sporting events suggest that the effort and training have all been worth it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this wonderful breed. We believe it deserves to be recognized as one of the most beautiful horses in equestrian history.

Source of images: Biso, Alexander Kastler, and dregsplod

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