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The Black Forest

A breed above the rest

The Black Forest Horses are indeed a rare and protected breed originating from the Black Forest in South West Germany.

They make great family horses. They are pretty, safe and friendly with a sensible temperament.

Their increasing use as riding and carriage horses in the leisure sector has contributed to their popularity. In addition to the beauty and the dark fox-colored coat with a light mane & tail; toughness, unpretentiousness, endurance, longevity, fertility and good-naturedness combined with an uncomplicated character are the essential characteristics of the Black Forest cold blood horse.

A beautiful ‘mid-size’ horse (standing between 148-160cm = 14.3-16.0 hh). 

It is a ‘lighter weight’ heavy horse, with clear dry joints, correct conformation and for a heavy horse, large ground covering paces.  The Black Forest horses make stunning driving and riding horses.  


The Black Forest Horses are usually light to dark chestnut coloured with magnificent big blonde manes and tales which definitely catch the eye.  Other colours are rare.

The breeding goals as defined by the association owning the studbook include:

  • Physical appearance and beauty

  • Strength and Sturdiness

  • Calm and balanced temperament

  • Kindness and Commitment

  • Fertility and Longevity

Their looks certainly draw the attention and daily life with a Black Forest Horse means:

  • They love their work (riding, driving or draft horse work), 

  • Even riders with long legs look good on them and can easily do up to Elementary dressage or small jumps.

  • They can run like the wind whilst keeping a calm and relaxed temperament. 

  • They are interested in new things and are not easily spooked by them.

  • They love to be part of the human and horse family from early days on

  • And don't worry, if you don't have time to ride or drive for a while, they are happy on the field and will pick up work again without any fuss.

Licensing for brood mares and stallions

Black Forest foals previously received the brand (a Black Forest tree) if their parents are both registered in the studbooks, now approved young stock area simply microchipped and provided a society passport.  For registration, the stallions and mares have to pass a licensing test, which will be described in the following.

Young stallions can only be considered for licensing if they have the brand, i.e. both parents are registered and their dams will have to have passed their licensing test with a mark of 7.0 and better (out of ten).

At the licensing test, the Black Forest horse needs to pass a draft and a driving test.  The horses will be judged according to the breeding goals which include performance, willingness to work, correct conformation, elastic and ground covering movements and also by a good character.


Foals are usually presented at the recognised shows, the most important one takes place once a year in October in St. Märgen, the “birthplace “of the Black Forest horse.

Foals will be presented and in accordance with the breeding goals they are rewarded points and “gold or silver foal”.  The mares who are registered can be presented for “state prime/premium mare”, and the stallions can be winner of their licensing group.  

Whilst conservation of the original horse is paramount, modern requirements are also considered and the breed is allowed to develop within certain boundaries.

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