Other than good cheese and knives, Switzerland also has its own unique horse breeds. The most common Swiss horses are Einsiedler, Franches-Montagne and Freiberger.
Keep on reading to learn more about the differences between these 3 magnificent Swiss horse breeds and their origin.
Table of Contents (Horspedia)
Einsiedler Swiss Horse Breed | Related to Anglo-Norman Horse
Also sometimes known as the Swiss Anglo-Norman, this is a dual-purpose horse closely related to the Anglo-Norman.
Its name derives from the stud of Kloster Einsiedel. The Einsiedler is a versatile horse, of good temperament.
Einsiedler Swiss horse has active and true paces making it a good all-rounder for riding and driving. It was particularly noted as a cavalry mount.
The Einsiedler conformation is usually good, with plenty of depth through the girth, powerful quarters and strong legs.
Einsiedler Horse Breed from Switzerland (Quick Facts)
- size: 15.3-162 hh (157-165cm)
- main colours: all solid colours, although chestnut & bay are most common
- characteristics: good al-rounder
- uses: riding and driving
Swiss Horse Breed Franches-Montagne (Heavily Built with Powerful Body)
The Franches-Montagne horse is a heavily-built cob-type with a powerful body set on short, strong legs, and invariably possesses a good temperament.
This small draught horse came originally from the Jura region of Switzerland when Anglo-Norman stallions were imported and crossed with local mares in the nineteenth century.
There may also have been some infusions of English half-bred hunter and Ardennes blood during the early days of the Franches-Montagne horse breed but since that time, the breed has remained remarkably pure.
Being small, active and sure-footed, the Franches-Montagne horse is ideally suited to working on the hill farms of the region and is a popular and versatile agricultural horse.
Franches-Montagne Horse from Switzerland (Quick Facts)
- size: 15 h.h. (150 cm)
- main colours: all solid colours,
- characteristic: good temperament
- uses: light draught work
Freiberger Swiss Horse Breed (Perfect for Mountains)
The Freiberger horse breed is a mountain-bred horse that has been developed in the Jura region of western Switzerland.
The Freiberger has a strong Norman background with many of the breed tracing back to Valliant, born in 1891, who was a great-grandson of Leo I. a half-bred German hunter.
Valliant’s grandmother on both sides was of Thoroughbred/Anglo-Norman stock.
The Freiberger is an attractive riding horse with an Arabian-looking head, good shoulders and hindquarters, a short back, a deep girth and strong legs with plenty of bone.
As a horse breed, the Freiberger is an active, intelligent horse and is renowned for its great powers of endurance.
Freiberger Horse from Switzerland (Quick Facts)
- size: 15 – 16 h.h. (155-160 cm)
- main colours: all solid colours
- characteristic: stamina
- uses: harness