Horses have fascinated people since ancient times. They are beautiful, gentle creatures who are freeing to watch gallop about the field or fascinating to see in shows. While all breeds of horses tend to be stunning, some stand out above the rest. One of these breeds of horses is the Knabstrupper.
Now, if you have never heard of them, then odds are you have at least seen pictures of them or their image on ranches, farms or in shows. While rare, these horses are one of the best horses to own and train. This article will tell you everything that you need to know about the Knabstrupper.
What Is a Knabstrupper?
First, the Knabstrupper is a horse. The best way to describe it is to go back and look at its history. This is actually one of the most interesting stories when it comes to talking about the breed. Its history comes with an interesting story. First, it is thought that the Knabstrupper has been around since about 1671. Only, back then, it went by a different name. They used to be called tiger horses, and they were a popular Spanish breed. Due to the spread of the gray gene and its dominance in horse coloring, the breed actually began to die off.
Obviously, this was not the real end of the Knabstrupper. Another reappeared in about 1812. The owner of a manor called Knabstrupgaard bought a mare from a local butcher. Now, the description of the horse is one of the most important attributes. She is a dark red, with a white mane and covered in white snowflakes and brown spots on her blanket. What is believed to have happened is that a Spanish officer brought the horse to Denmark during the Napoleonic wars. From there he sold her to a butcher. Then, V. Lunn purchased her for his land.
Now, as that story goes along with this particular mare, a carriage struck and ran over her owner leaving him severely injured. It was a farmhand who took a team of two horses 30 kilometers in 105 minutes to fetch the doctor. This is a long journey, much too fast for most horses to handle. One of the horses did not make it back without injuries beyond repair. However, the other horse – the mare – didn’t have any injuries. In fact, she went back to work the next day. Now consider that this horse was 15 years old by then. Her performance impressed everyone. Then, her progeny performed just as well and just as hard. Not to mention, every one of her progeny had beautiful coloring and the spots to go with it.
This is what the Knabstrupper is. It is a hard-working horse with beautiful coloring that has more endurance than most of its class.
Why You Should Consider a Knabstrupper
The Knabstrupper is an obscure European horse with beautiful coloring. In North America, it is hard to believe, but these horses have only been around since about 2002. The breed itself is not old compared to others.
It has also nearly reached extinction due to its rare coloring pattern and other genes being more dominant in horses. While beauty is a big part of why people want these horses, it’s not the only thing that makes them worth having.
In fact, what makes the horse a great horse is its personality. If you are a beginning rider or if you have children, then you need to have a horse with a consistent temperament. Horses that are difficult to control or train are not horses you want to expose your children or unskilled riders to while they are learning. If you do that, someone is bound to get injured or be too afraid to continue learning how to work with horses. In addition, if you want a horse with a strong work ethic and incredible endurance, the Knabstrupper qualifies.
Not only are they capable of high performance, but these animals are also beautiful, eye-catching horses that will stop people in their tracks every time.
Everything You Need To Know About the Knabstrupper
The Knabstrupper is a fascinating horse with a lot to learn about it. If you’re considering one, then it’s best that you have all the information possible before making your decision. As with all horses, they come with distinct traits, and while each horse has a personality that is all its own, there are a few characteristics that they share in common.
The Knabstrupper is a striking, eye-catching horse. When you see one, the first thing that you’ll notice is its unusual color pattern. They are spotted horses whose colors vary from chestnut to bay to black. Their spotting can range from blanket spotting to leopard patterns across their entire bodies. When it comes to spotting, there is no way to control the color of a Knabstrupper. Even if you have two spotted horses, you cannot be sure that they are going to make a spotted foal. This makes coloring and spot patterns difficult to predict.
Here is what the spotting patterns look like:
Most people prefer the leopard spot patterns and have preferred this pattern since the beginning of the breed.
An interesting fact to note is that we used to think that these spotted horses were only in modern history. However, an old cave painting from 25,000 years ago depicts a horse with leopard spots. It seems like those types of horses disappeared, only to reappear in modern times due to crossbreeding. The spotting nearly disappeared entirely.
As far as size is concerned, they are not large horses. In fact, they only stand about 64 to 72 inches tall. They are warmblood horses, which is to say that they have a middleweight, originating in Europe with the goal of being sport horses. Warmbloods generally are breeds that crossed between thoroughbreds and draft horses. Knabstruppers have strong legs, short backs and long, elegant necks. As far as movement is concerned, they are quick but not difficult to ride. One of the requirements of the breed is that they have to have consistent stamina and handle heavy loads, difficult terrain and hard workloads.
These horses are beautiful, no doubt, but it isn’t the only reason that they are so well loved in the equine community. They also have a kind, easy temperament. While brave and smart, they have a kind, gentle nature. Most riders and handlers call them delightful and find them to be one of the friendlier horse breeds. This is perfect for a beginning rider or someone who wants a gentle horse to show or ride. Their smarts, talent and gentle nature often have them working shows or circuses.
Types of Knabstrupper
The Knabstrupper is not a one-size-fits-all type of breed. Due to breeding, there are three different sub-types. Each of these has a different purpose, but you won’t see much variation in their temperament or abilities. They are still calm, diligent workhorses with a kind nature.
Here are the three subspecies:
Pony Type Horse
The pony type is a smaller subtype. These horses have the same gentle and loyal temperament. Their appearance is the same as larger Knabstruppers, with the same colorings and markings. Most families with young children prefer this version because they are smaller and easier to handle. This is a great horse for beginner riders.
Baroque Type Horse
While not as short as the pony type, this is a short version of the Knabstrupper. It has a broad, strong build, however. They tend to look like horses that mean to haul carriages or other heavy equipment. These are stronger than their sporty counterpart. Gentle like the others, this horse is calm and works hard.
When it comes to sport horses, they are supposed to compete. Bred for sporting events, they do well at show jumping, dressage and other events. While most of these horses still have similar temperaments, their size and physical capabilities make them better suited for different tasks.
Conclusion: Knabstruppers Have Remarkable Looks and Athletic Ability
Of course, when you see the Knabstrupper, you are going to notice its looks first. It is one of the most striking horses, and because it is rare, it does stand out. One thing to remember when you are thinking about it, is to think about how hard of a worker it is. This loyal, gentle horse is easy for beginners and experts alike to handle. Throughout the history of the horse, it has a reputation for having stamina, endurance and being able to hold onto its consistent energy no matter what obstacles you put in its way.