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This page has been sourced from REC.EQUESTRIAN, the body of the text has been unaltered as far as possible. The information is for use at own risk. Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1993 15:05:57 CET From: Dr. Lutz Massonne Newsgroups: rec.equestrian
The Oldenburg is the heaviest German warmblood breed. It was founded in the 17th century and was developed from the heavy Friesian horse as strong cart horse. Initially Spanish and Arabian blood was crossed in, and in the 19th century the breed was stabilised using Thoroughbred, Cleveland Bay, Anglo-Normandy and Hanoverian stallions. As the demand for cart horses decreased in the first half of this century, the breed changed over to a modern, powerful riding and sport horse by adding more Thoroughbred blood.
The Oldenburg is not only the heaviest German warmblood breed, but with 165 cm also one of the largest. Despite its size it is a compact horse, with short and heavy boned legs. It has a large barrel and a very broad back, and from its draft ancestors it has got the early maturity. It has a reliable, but sometimes daring, character. The common colours are black, dark bay, chestnut and grey. Today the Oldenburg has become popular again as a competition driving horse, which goes back again to the breed's roots.
300 years ago Duke Anton Guenther of Oldenburg practised a method of domestic horse breeding that can even today be called exemplary - and which led to success. The farmers got mares from the Duke's studs and the Duke's stallions were available for breeding. The desired horse type of those days was a driving horse with high knee action. The flashy trotting Oldenburg can be called the Mercedes of the time. But times change, carriage horses are in less demand and heavy riding horses are not wanted any more.
Thus, also the Oldenburg breeders had to change the breed into a lighter type, without destroying the stability of the rather small stock of broodmares. This change was successfully performed, without removing the proud appearance and the energy of the gaits from the now lighter Oldenburg. Exterior: Refined, noble head, high set neck, long shoulder, high withers, not too long, strong back and well-muscled croup. Correctly formed legs, muscular with strong joints. Colour: Bay, black, rarely grey or chestnut Size: Ideally 165 cm, +/- 5 cm Character: Calm, pleasant temper Usage: Sport and pleasure horse, also for driving. Much in demand as Combined Training horse
Oldenburger: warmblood breed, local in Oldenburg and Lower Saxony. Very old rural breeding which was early supported by far-seeing rulers. In the 17th century the rural breed was improved by Neapolitan, Spanish and Arabian stallions. The heavy warmblood horse for farming use as well as for stately carriages was until the mid of the 20th century one of the few breeds in Europe with a very constant and stable appearance. The Oldenburg type influenced may other breeds, many out-of-area breeding regions underline its qualities. The type change to a lighter riding horse started in the 1960's with a large influence of Thoroughbred stallions, followed by Trakehner, Anglo-Normandy, Hanoverian and Westphalian blood. The modern Oldenburg riding horse is well suited for showjumping and Combined Training. The breeding ,including the keeping of the stallions, is done mainly by farmers. The size of the Oldenburg lies between 160 and 170 cm, most common colours are bay and black.
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Updated: October 2005.