The Haflinger Adventure Trail
A theme walk all about Haflinger horses
Haflinger Adventure Trail
The Haflinger Adventure Trail
The Haflinger Adventure Trail

The Haflinger Adventure Trail

A theme walk all about Haflinger horses

The Haflinger Adventure Trail - a theme walk dedicated to the Haflinger horse - is particularly suitable as a family hike on the high plateau of Hafling-Vöran-Meran 2000. Designed to be suitable for prams, even the smallest ones can take part in the themed hike, which is entirely dedicated to the Haflinger horses. Foly, the mascot of the Haflinger Adventure Trail, accompanies the hikers on the various stations with information that is explained especially for children.
Everything about the Haflinger horse
What does a Haflinger horse look like and what does it like to eat? Where do Haflinger horses come from and what makes them so special? The answers to these and many other questions are provided at the twelve stations of the Haflinger Adventure Trail. As the name suggests, it is mainly about the Haflinger horse.

How strong is a horse?
A lot of interesting information about horses in general is conveyed here in a playful way. Find out how strong a horse is or what the working steps of a farrier are. Recognise the different gaits of horses by the sequence of hoof prints and tap out their rhythm on a large drum.
Popular hiking tip for school classes
A different kind of biology lesson: The Haflinger Adventure Trail is a popular destination for primary school classes. The kids learn about horses in a playful way and deepen what they have learned through active discovery with all their senses.
The App Challenge

With the accompanying App-Challenge, you can not only listen to exciting stories, but also take part in a challenge. Answer all the questions about the Haflinger horses and collect as many (horseshoe) points as possible. Afterwards you can pick up a surprise at the information office in Hafling (nearby the station 8).

How it works:
> Get the Locandy app from the Google Play Store (Android) or Appstore (Apple).
> Scan the QR code at the first station with the Locandy App



The Haflinger adventure trail begins in Hafling village and leads past the town hall along the old "Bürgeleweg" road no. 2. Shortly after reaching the road in the direction of Falzeben, a traffic-calmed road branches off to the left; at the end of this road is the destination of the Haflinger Adventure Trail in the district of St. Kathrein.
The topics
History and development of the Haflinger breed
The origins of the Haflinger horse can be traced back to 1874 when a magnificent colt known as “249 Folie” was born in Schluderns. He was the foal of the oriental stallion “133 El Bedavi XXII” and a local mare of Galician origin.

In those days these small horses were mainly bought by the farmers and dealers on the Tschögglberg - the plateau between Bolzano and Merano that is home to the villages of Hafling, Vöran, Mölten and Jenesien - and eventually over time the name “Haflinger” became established for these easy-to-keep, robust and versatile horses.

Over time, the Haflinger breed evolved seven bloodlines, all of which without exception can be traced back to Folie the stallion.
Features of the Haflinger horse
Fact file
> Horse family: pony
> Size: 1.38 - 1.55 m (withers)
> Weight: 400 – 600 kg
> Age: 20 - 30 years
> Features: what is known as chestnut colour, smooth white long hair (forelock, mane and tail); a noble head with friendly, large eyes and small attentive ears; a physique of harmonious proportions
> Character: good-natured, strong nerves, reliable, hard-working, lively and powerful
> Movement: elastic, expansive, sure-footed and tenacious
> Use: an all-round horse, i.e. suitable for leisure, mass sports and for cultivation

When new Haflinger foals are appraised, entered into the stud book and selected as stallions, they are evaluated according to typical breed characteristics and - if they meet the strict criteria - are branded with an “H” in an edelweiss.
How was the Haflinger horse used in the past?
In the past, as a working horse the Haflinger needed to meet the following basic requirements: it had to be reliable, sure-footed, robust, tenacious, calm and hard-working. Its origins as a mountain horse also meant that the Haflinger was easy to feed and enjoyed good health.

As a result the Haflinger horse was particularly useful to humans for the following work: logging, field work, hay-making, as a draught horse, as a pack horse and last but not least for riding.
The Menu
The hard living conditions in the South Tyrolean mountains ensured that the Haflingers developed an excellent metabolism meaning that they could survive even in times of need with very little food.
> Hay: approx. 1.5 kg per 100 kg of body weight per day; so for a 400 kg Haflinger that would equate to approx. 6 kg of hay
> Water: approx. 30 - 50 litres / day
> Concentrated feed according to the demands of work /training
> Fruit (e.g. apples) and vegetables (e.g. carrots) only occasionally in small quantities
From working animal to leisure horse
As the demands placed on the breed have changed, over the course of time the Haflinger horse itself has changed too. And so in recent decades breeders set themselves the ambitious goal of adapting the breed to the modern requirements of mass sport and leisure riding - with success. They have striven to gradually produce a somewhat lighter, somewhat longer and somewhat taller horse.
The Smithy
The old smithy in Hafling was built in 1932 and operated until approx. 1990. It was a typical hammer forge or hammer mill, with a hammer powered by water.
The tasks of the blacksmith included a wide variety of repair work on agricultural machinery, the production of horseshoes, rails and crosses as well as agricultural and forestry tools and, of course, shoeing the horses.
The Haflinger horse with its hard, small hooves is well-known for its excellent sure-footedness. Since time immemorial many Haflingers have spent the summer months in the alpine meadows on the Tschögglberg at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres above sea level. Whilst they are still foals they learn how to move about safely on the steep terrain and grow into healthy horses that are ready to work.
About the origin of the horse’s name
In days gone by it was mainly the farmers and traders on the Tschögglberg and from Hafling who bought these robust and versatile little horses, so that over the course of time the name “Haflinger” - which originally did not denote the breed, but instead the type of use of the horses - became part of the vernacular.
In total there are 7 Haflinger blood lines (A-, B-, M-, N-, S-, St- and W), from which all other Haflinger horses originate. Every male foal is given the initial letter of its father.
The fillies, in contrast, have, since 1977, been named according to their year of birth, using the Italian alphabet. 2016 was represented by the initial letter “Z” and in 2017 they began again with “A”.
The prevalence of the Haflinger worldwide
The Haflinger breed is now one of the best known in the world and has not only become established throughout Europe, but is also found in America, Australia and even in southern Asia and Africa. The likeable appearance of the Haflinger, its versatility and suitability as a horse for all the family make it an extremely popular companion. In 1980 there were Haflingers in over 30 countries, now they are found in over 70.
The different gaits
Generally with Haflingers there are three different gaits: walk, trot and gallop.
When walking the horse placidly places one hoof in front of the other - this is how horses like to move best in the wild. When picking up speed a horse trots - to do this the legs diagonally opposite one another move forward at the same time. The gallop is the horse’s fastest way of moving - when it does this it almost “jumps” forwards and even has all four legs in the air for a brief moment (the “suspension phase”).
The versatility of the Haflinger
Without a doubt the Haflinger can be described as an “allrounder”, although it requires proper training in each area.
The breed produces excellent horses for competitive carriage driving, where it scores points with its pleasant nature, fearlessness, readiness to work hard and stamina. For equestrianism too the Haflinger has shown that it can hold its own in every discipline right up to the foremost tournament classes - and that is true not only of dressage, but also show jumping, where it is encountered increasingly often.
In addition, the Haflinger horse is well suited to distance and trail riding, equestrian games, horse racing, skijoring, Western riding, equestrian vaulting and therapeutic riding.
What is horsepower?
Horsepower (HP) as a measure of the output of a machine goes back to James Watt (1736-1819) from whom people only wanted to purchase a steam engine if they were definitely superior to the horse. Apparently Watt determined the output of a horse in a coal mine, where the animals pulled coal from the depths to the surface via a pulley without a break. The idea of the unit of “horsepower” was to indicate how many horses 1 machine could replace.
Walkable from spring until autumn.
Use of the adventure trail at your own risk.
Parents are responsible for their children.
Dogs on a leash.
The Haflinger Adventure Trail is regularly maintained. Should you notice any defects, please report them to the Hafling-Vöran-Meran 2000 tourist office.
As the Haflinger Adventure Trail was planned and designed with a lot of love, we ask you to treat all the stations with care and not to leave any rubbish behind.

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