Black Forest Horse
Also called Schwarzwälder Kaltblut, St. Märgener & Wälderpferd, the Black Forest horse is a small, tough draft breed with a high fertility rate & a long life span. This hardy animal is bred almost exclusively in the Black Forest in southern Germany.
Thought to date back as many as 600 years, The Black Forest horse is a very old native. For many years the breed was used almost exclusively for forestry work, enhancing their already robust constitution. Similar in looks to a large Haflinger, or a small Noriker, they are well suited for the intense climate of their native highlands.
Standardizing the Breed
In 1896 an association was formed to standardize/ document the breed & it was established that only Belgian draft blood would be added to increase size. However, many locals continued to use native stallions, wanting to preserve the characteristics they found valuable on their farms. During WWI the authorities realized that the Belgians were not suiting the needs of the locals & the studbook was opened to local stock.
Decline in Numbers
As with many heavy breeds of Europe, their numbers have declined as their jobs became mechanized during the 20th century. The breed became endangered, with only 160 registered broodmares reported in 1981. At this point the government stepped in to help protect the Black Forest horse & only the finest stock was used to maintain the best qualities of the breed.
Average height 14.2 – 15.3 hands
Nimble & lively
Short, refined head with small ears & large eyes
Short, muscular neck
Shoulders are powerful but not too bulky
Broad, deep chest
Legs are trim & strong with little feathering
Good natured & gentle
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