Featured Breed- The Black Forest Horse

This working horse breed might be endangered now, but the people of Germany have relied on these horses for nearly 600 years. In the region now known as Baden-Württemberg, the Black Forest Horses have been documented as early as the 15th century through the records of the Abbey of Saint Peter in the Black Forest. These cold-blooded horses might not be as powerful as your giant draft horse breeds, but they are tough and strong and full of might.

As of 2017, it was recorded that there was a population of 88 stallions and 1,077 mares. Thankfully, these horses are reported to have a high fertility rate. And through careful breeding, there are hopes to see those numbers increase in the near future. There are many individuals dedicated to growing the breed’s numbers so they will never become a thing of the past.

On average, the Black Forest Horse weighs in around 1,250 to 1,400 pounds. Mares are typically 14.3 to 15.5 hands high; stallions can be up to 16 hands high. Black Forest Horses have immense strength, but they are also gifted with incredible patience and a gentle temperament. This makes them an ideal choice for first-time or novice horse owners. These gorgeous horses are typically used for driving, but many rely on them for pleasure, too, such as carriage riding.

The appearance of the Black Forest Horse is somewhat similar to a Haflinger or the Noriker, but these native horses of Germany are well-suited for the intense climate of their native highlands.

The world-famous Marbuch Stud horse farm in Germany has been in existence since the Middle Ages and is directly responsible for preserving this special breed of horse. Dr. Astrid von Velsen-Zerweck, who is affiliated with the prestigious stud farm, says: “Marbach is a very old stud with almost 500 years of history. We have not only been breeding Warmbloods and also Arabs, we are also involved in a breeding program for local horse breeds that are threatened—like the Schwarzwälder Kaltblüter (the Black Forest cold blood) and the heavy Warmblood, the Altwürttemberger. Marbach owns about 300 horses, and 200 horses are raised for breeders.”
Black Forest farmers sometimes refer to these elegant and beautiful horses as the “Pearls of the Black Forest”—and it’s easy to see why.