I love them. Mine is now 9 and he has been part of my life since he was a yearling. Absolutely fabulous. He loves people and is very smart. That can sometimes lead him getting into trouble, but its all fun.
Especially now that he is mature he is very reliable and he doesn't spook even when the other horses are bolting. Even just last week he stayed in place while my husband's draft cross took off after turkey flew up in front of us.
When they are younger they need to be started properly. They are so willing that people sometimes skip steps in their training and that can show up later. As long as they are trained right they can do anything. They are very smart so they learn quickly. But that also means they can pick up what you don't want them to learn just as quickly - so be consistent with them.
At the World Equestrian Games there was a haflinger demo put on by the Haflinger Owners of Wisconsin group. They had haflingers jumping, driving, doing dressage and even vaulting. They are really versatile horses.
I just use mine for trails and its great to have a shorter horse out there so its easier to go under trees and such. Even though I am far from skinny and I am pretty tall for a woman - I fit just fine on him at just under 14 hands. His barrel is wide enough to take up my legs and he is easily strong enough to carry my weight. He has plenty of go on the trails and usually out-goes the bigger horses we ride with.
They are easy keepers so I either use a dry lot or a grazing muzzle to regulate weight during the summer.
I <3 Haffies! They can be sweet, yet stubborn, but are generally good natured. At least that is the dozen or so that I've been around. Friends of ours have many and they love them because they are so easy to break... they have said most of their horses act like they've been saddled a million times when they first saddle up and hop on. I am helping friends with a green-broke Haflinger of theirs, and she is a doll. Acts like she was born on the trail and has only ever bucked once (out of excitement, not malicious at all) the first time she was asked to canter under saddle! I want to fill my barn with them... My only complaint is that most are under 15h, and I feel like an Oger on them because I'm on the tall side!
I LOVE my Haflinger! I'm in love with the breed. She's a bit of a brat when it comes to breaking things and can be pushy on the ground. But it's not easy to find a horse that is so willing under saddle. She does what I ask her to when I ask her to. She's perfectly small enough to not cost so much to feed but just the right size to carry me. When I come out of the house in the morning or get home from work she's the one who calls out to me. If I holler for her she comes running. Like I always say "two quarter horses couldn't make a Haflinger". I'd be happy with a barn full of them.
I My only complaint is that most are under 15h, and I feel like an Oger on them because I'm on the tall side!
That is just a misconception people have of thinking bigger is better. I see these tiny little girls on +16 hand horses and just shake my head. A short but sturdy haflinger can handle weight much better than many of the taller but leaner horses. And who the heck wants the feed bill for one of those mammoths? LOL Nothing against those that like big horses - its just my view. I prefer short horses even though I am 5'9. Even my husbands 15.2 hand draft cross seems insanely huge to me. I really hate to ever see haffies over 15 hands, though that is the rumored trend.
I absolutely adore Haffie's! Met quite a few at the barn I used to ride at and every single one was so intelligent and kind-natured.
Of course, that may not be the case for all of the Haflingers out there but I think it takes up a good majority. It is definitely a dream of mine to own one.
I absolutely love haflingers! I have 3 myself. Two geldings and one mare. They are just an absolute joy to have! Very willing. My one gelding, Sonny, is my big baby. He'll do anything for me, he puts his heart in soul into it. His full brother Nik, is just a big sweetie. He wants the attention from everyone. He's our shortest haffie but he looks just like a shorter version of a belgian : ] and our haflinger mare is just a joy! I love my miss Daisey K. She rides (though not fully broke, she will not buck or do anything to put you in danger) and drives (and is just a joy to drive and can really go) and she is always loving. Here are my babies :