The Holsteiner horse
For centuries, the Holsteiner horse has been bred by farmers. The breed originated in the marsh lands of the river Elbe and the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. Then bred as an agricultural horse, the breeding goal included particular traits like the characteristic breed type which could be described as expressive, with a lot of frame, substance, and bone due to the selective insertion of Thoroughbred blood.
At that time, Holsteiners used to have predominantly bay coats and were noted and appreciated for their performance traits well beyond the borders of the country. Particularly as exclusive driving horses, highly impressive for their type and their typical Holsteiner, ground-covering and high striding gaits, the breed attracted attention during the 18th century. But also among farmers, the Holsteiner horses had a reputation for their performance attitude and hardiness, traits they had been highly selectively bred for owing to the difficult soil of the Holsteiner marshes.