Oberlander Horse Facts And Information – Breed Profile

The Oberlander horse belongs to the category of draft horses. These workhorses are both sturdy and strong. This is the only breed among German draft horses which does not fall in the endangered category. The Oberlander is also called the South German Cold blood horse.

Horse At Night


Oberlander horse is a native of Bavaria in Southern Germany. This breed owes its origins to the warhorses of the Roman Empire. These horses are believed to have originated from the Austrian Noriker horses. This breed was introduced to Bavaria at the end of the 19th century.

A German Immigrant brought this horse breed to America in 1993.


Oberlander horses have a calm and kind nature. They are social. Oberlander’s can be mischievous. They have an even temperament and peasant disposition. Regular exercise is necessary to maintain the health of Oberlander horses. They require some grooming but they are low maintenance horses.


This horse brees will eat good quality grass or grass/legume mixture. These large horses need correctly balanced grain mixtures. They can be in a textured or pelleted form. These grains provide the animal with vitamins, amino acids, minerals and additional energy.

These breed of horses may have problems with the quality of their hoof growth. They can be given feeds containing methionine, biotin and zinc to solve these issues. Feeding a balanced diet is necessary to prevent problems in Oberlander horses.

These horses should be given free access to fresh clean water throughout the day.

Breeding And Uses

These tough horses have been used to transport packs and artilleries in the mountainous area.

The primary stud farm was set up in the year 1769. Here the best horses in the native stock in Bavaria were crossed with heavy animals from neighboring regions. This union gave rise to the foundation stock. Oberlander breed emerged from this foundation stock.

This form of cross-breeding came to an end in 1900. The studbook was shut to mixed breeds. Out of Oberlander horses found in Bavaria, 80 are certified stallions. These are owned by the private breeders or the Bavarian government. They represent the five bloodlines found in the breed. The Bavarian state has controlled the breeding of Oberlander horses since 1920.

The Oberlander Horse Association was set up in 1999. It was established in British Columbia, Canada. The aim of this association is to guide the breeding of Oberlander horses in North America using the standards used in Bavaria.

They have been successfully crossed with other breeds like Norman, Hungarian, Clydesdale, Holstein and Cleveland Bay. The result was a more agile and speedier draft horse.

Since 1880 the Oberlanders have been purely bred.


Oberlander horses have a huge body. They grow up to a height of 15-16 hands. The females weigh 500kg on average. Oberlander’s weigh around 1500 to 1600 pounds.

What Breeds Make Up The Oberlander Horse?

This strong breed comes from a foundation stock of horses. This stock includes breeds like Cleveland Bay, Oldenburger, Friesian, Belgian and Norfolk. Oberlander horses are related to Pinzgauer, Sueddeutsched Coldblooded and Noriker breeds.

Breeds such as Thoroughbred, Hungarian, Norman, Clydesdale, Noriker, Oldenburg and Holstein have contributed to the lineage of the Oberlander horse.

DNA analysis of Oberlander horses has concluded that these horses are distinct from German draft breeds. This difference is due to the mixing of the Thoroughbred and warm blood breeds on this breed. They are also different from the Salzburg and Carinthian Noriker horses.


These horses can be found in chestnut, bay and appaloosa colors. They often have blonde manes and tails.

What Do They Look Like?

Both the sexes have expressive eyes and medium-sized heads. The neck is of medium length and often covered with hair. Their backs are wide and long. Their legs are correct and clean cut with good joints. They have sturdy hooves.

They often have thick tufts of hair surrounding their ankles. Their coat and hair are dense. They are prepared for cold weather.

What Are They Used For?

These powerful horses have been used for heavy tasks like ploughing the field and pulling heavy loads. They can work in hilly areas as well as flat regions.

  • Pack animal
  • Show horse
  • Driving horse
  • Cattle Horse
  • Hunting
  • Riding horse
  • Agricultural work
  • Forestry

Where Do They Live?

Oberlander horses are found in Germany and North America. There are hardly 100 Oberlander horses in North America. There are around 4,000 Oberlander horses in Bavaria.

The population of Oberlander horses seems to have stabilized since 1997. In Germany, they are mainly bred in Bavaria and Baden Wurtemburg. These horses are found in the upper areas of Bavaria. They are also present in the Bayerische Wald. This is a forest region located near the border of Czechoslovakia.

How Long Do They Live?

Oberlander horses are vulnerable to illness like osteochondrosis and osteochondritis dissecans. Fillies are doubly affected than colts. The symptoms of this illness were noticed in horses who are more than a year old.

How Fast Are They?

These Oberlander horses are slower than the light horse breeds.

How Much Do They Cost?

The price of the horses also depends on which part of the world you live in. They cost less in Germany. They are expensive as they are rarely found in America. In America, its price starts at $15,000. Their price also varies according to their age and training.

Are They Good For Beginners?

Oberlander horses have a friendly nature making them a good choice for beginners. They are also suitable for riders who are on the heavier side.


The Oberlander’s are cold-blooded horses. This has nothing to do with their blood. The Oberlander’s are important in the list of cold-blooded horses. Many people have the mistaken belief that these giant horses can be tough to handle.

But the Oberlanders are gentle and easily adaptable. They are very friendly to humans. There is an urgent need to create more awareness about this unique breed. This sturdy breed is hardworking and an asset to its owner.

There’s a whole world of horse breeds out there to explore! Discover and find out more information by checking out our horse breed guides.