2 and half years ago I rescued an unbacked 5 year old mare when I went to buy her foal, I had always wanted a haffy since I was a child but had had arabs and tbs. She has repaid me a thousand fold and is the sweetest, kindest horse I know (except for her daughter who is the same). She learns fast and will turn her hoof to anything
Just to add, my haffies are not bolshy or difficult to handle, but Hattie would halter bolt fromme until she learnt to trust me. They learn fast which is why I think some people find them difficult as they can learn the bad as quickly as the good.
My Haffie seems to be similar in nature to Clava's. He is the least pushy horse ever. He's very obedient and respectful, but also a bit shy. When I first bought him, he was more nervous and spooky than I expected from a Haflinger, but he has come a long way.
Bolting can be a bad haffie trait. I know I used to have issues with mine and he would drop out under you with his front real low before dashing sideways and bolting away. About impossible to stick unless you were expecting it and holding on. Took a lot of work to get him over that drop, spin, and bolt. Some like to try to bolt when working on the lunge and just "check out" and take off. Strong necks really work in their favor and they can get away easier than most other horses.
Again - its based on individual horses and not all of them do it. But when one learns this bad trick it is hell to get them corrected from it because their necks are so strong and they are smart enough to know they can. Not sure if the modern-type would be so bad - their necks don't look as thick and strong as the older types. Just best to not let them learn these type of things. Sadly they are promoted so much as "beginner" horses and many times the haflinger is still quite young (because they do have a willingness and calmness at a young age that makes people believe they are more mature than they are - its all an act! LOL) that it readily leads to these issues.
Now mind you - a good mature haflinger that has been handled well all its life and never had an opportunity to learn bad habits is worth its weight in gold and will be an amazing horse for a beginner.
'Bolting can be a bad haffie trait. I know I used to have issues with mine and he would drop out under you with his front real low before dashing sideways and bolting away. About impossible to stick unless you were expecting it and holding on. Took a lot of work to get him over that drop, spin, and bolt. Some like to try to bolt when working on the lunge and just "check out" and take off. Strong necks really work in their favor and they can get away easier than most other horses.'
Yes! The ducktwistieneckgoingoutfromunder maneuver! God...my hip still hurts from the last one! Lol Posted via Mobile Device
I've not owned one myself but have a student that has 2. I absolutely adore them. Very willing, quiet - not once have I seen either buck, spook, blow up but they are VERY food motivated. She's a little rider and it took a bit of work at first, particularly with the older mare to end the "ooh, there's a blade of grass" duck and snatch. Both are very smart/easily trainable. They pick up quick, good and bad. I like hers enough that I do plan to buy one for my daughter eventually - eventually only because she already has 6 kid broke horses here to choose from now.
Not spending all the time with them though, I absolutely can see some of the less desirable traits discussed being possible without a shadow of a doubt.
I had all mine on webshots but since they switched to a different name and are now charging I didn't bother uploading more of my haffie since I don't have him anymore. Maybe tonight I will upload a couple of my favorite shots to photobucket and post them here.
My first horse was a Haflinger that my neighbors had purchased at auction. They only had her for about a year before they needed to sell her and my parents surprised me by buying her for my 15th birthday.
I received Cloey when she was approximately 4 years old. She didn't look like the traditional Haflinger, so we assumed she was probably a cross (the auctioneer himself had owned her and swore she was pure but we believe that was highly unlikely). She had a very gentle eye, like most Haflingers do, but was spunky and clever unlike no other. She certainly proved to be a fun challenge for me as my very first horse. We learned a lot together and I swear we formed a very special bond. To this day she can still be stubborn and crafty, but she will do almost anything that I ask of her. She's my go-to mount for trails and adventures and I love her dearly. I worked hard to be able to keep her all of these years and I wouldn't trade her for anything.
About little over a year ago I got married. My dream as a little girl had always been to get married atop my very first horse. Many people tried to talk me out of it saying that horses are too unpredictable and what if something were to go wrong? But I knew my old girl Cloey well; I trusted that bond we worked so hard at developing over all those years. She certainly came through for me with flying colors on my wedding day and she will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
So to answer your question and what practically everyone else has been saying is this: Haflingers are a very special breed of horse and they will steal your heart forever. "There's a warning, you'd better take heed. In this barn lurks that Haflinger breed. And the tug they will bring on your every heart string, will make owning one simply a need" - Brenda Strack