This carefully bred German Warmblood has been refined by the increasing use of the Thoroughbred cross, and is probably the best cross-country prospect. Holsteiners are excellent dressage horses and impressive show jumpers. The origin dates back to the 17th to 19th centuries.
During the 17th century, the Holsteiner was in high demand as a heavy but pleasant looking coach horse. The horses of that time were rendered from a mix of German and Spanish blood; there was also some Oriental influence. In the 19th century the Yorkshire Coach Horse was introduced, after which increased emphasis was placed on producing a riding horse and reliance was placed on Thoroughbred crosses. They are often used under-saddle.
The modern version has correct, straight and rhythmic paces; some knee action is acceptable. The heaviness that was typical of the older Holsteiner has since been bred out. They are intelligent, reliable, and bold jumpers. They stand between 16 and 17 hands. There should be a clean throat with no fleshiness in the jowl. The neck is long and slightly arched. The shoulders are not widely spaced and the withers are relatively high. Breeders pay strong attention to correct legs and good hoof structure. The tail is carried well, but is not set too high. All solid coat colorations are possible.
The substance, bone, size and strength came by way of the Yorkshire Coach Horse. Attributes of the Thoroughbred include courage, speed, and improved action.