The Oldenburg was developed in the 17th century as a coach horse because of its ability to cope with rough roadways. They were also used for a number of agricultural jobs. Since then, controlled breeding has been implemented to meet changing requirements. Currently the most powerfully built of the warm bloods, the Oldenburg is a competition horse that is suitable for dressage and driving. The origin dates back to the 17th century.
This Friesian based breed originated in the provinces of Oldenburg and East Friesland, now in Germany. The breed was originally achieved by crossing Spanish and Neapolitan blood. Over the next two centuries, the introduction of Half-breed English stallions, Thoroughbreds and Cleveland Bays had occurred. They are used for both saddle and harness.
The modern Oldenburg is an impressive horse with correct, rhythmic paces while retaining some knee action. The breed matures early, which is surprising for such a large-framed horse. They generally stand between 16.2 and 17.2 hands. The head is straight in profile and inclined to have a Roman nose; there is some thickness in the jowl. The strong neck and long shoulders show inclination towards coach horse conformation. The chest is broad and wide, the body is exceptionally powerful. The hooves are uniformly well-shaped and proportionate.
The base stock came from the hardy and economical Friesian. The Norman provided qualities of the English half-breed stallions. The Thoroughbred was introduced in attempts to lighten the older, heavier versions of the Oldenburg.