The Abtenauer horse is a breed of horse that originated in the valleys of northern Bavaria. It is thought to be one of the oldest breeds, and its ancestors are believed to have been brought over by the Celts around 2000 BC. The breed was originally called “Altbayrisch”, meaning “old Bavarian”, but they were renamed Abtenauers after the isolated valley in Austria.

The Abtenauer was a horse that originated from the Austrian mountains. It was bred and raised to help with hauling loads up the mountain. According to records, about 100 mares were bred, and they were used for pulling heavy loads up the mountain.

The Abtenauer is the oldest recorded horse. It is a cold blooded draft breed that was first bred in 1898. Some believe it to be a variant of the Noriker horse, but this breed is smaller than the typical Nokier. In addition, unlike Noriker horses, foals are covered in curly hair until they are around one year old when their hair is shed.

The Abtenauer originated in the isolated valley of the same name in Austria. Studies have shown that they are a cross between Austrian and other European breeds. In summer, they graze on high mountain pastures with salt added to their feed once a week to prevent them from becoming feral. In winter, they are rounded up and protected from harsh weather.

The Abtenauer is a hardy horse that is used for draft and riding purposes. At Southern Germany they were bred to be used in rugged terrain and cold weather. At one time, the breed accounted for nearly half of all draft horses in Germany. However, today’s population of these horses has plummeted due to limited breeding efforts.

The Abtenauer horse is a strong and sturdy breed of horse that does not require special care. Efforts must be made to save this breed from extinction, because it is extremely useful and can withstand rugged terrain and cold weather.

Abtenauer Horse Physical Appearance

  • The Abtenauer Horse is about 144-155 centimeters tall, making it a small, stocky breed.
  • The head is well-defined with powerful, muscular legs with feathering on the backs and great balance.
  • Because of Its agility, strong, and surefooted,  it can traverse mountainous terrain with ease.

Abtenauer horse showing its physical appearance

  • The Abtenauer is an average of 14.2 to 15.1m in height and weighs about 1,100 pounds.
  • The most common color is black; however, they also come in chestnut, grey or blue roan.
  • Leopard spotting is not preferred on this horse breed.
  • The abtenauer has curly hair when it is born, but this is shed along with its baby hair.

Abtenauer Horse Behavior and Feeding

The Abtenauer Horse is docile, hard working, obedient, and undemanding. They are the perfect breed of horse for heavy labor because they are cold-blooded, which makes them able to withstand colder temperatures. Additionally, because they are a cold-blooded breed of horse, the Abtenauer has a more docile temperament and is calmer than lighter horse. They also have a quiet and willing disposition. They are very energetic and ready to work.

Abtenauer displaying its behaviour

The Abtenauer Horse been a light-boned horse breed from the Northern region of Austria has a true to type build and is well adapted to its environment, which consists of poor soil. The horses love to eat quality hay, fresh grass, veggies, some fruits and grains.


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