PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial
Published: December 2, 2009

The Avelignese horse breed is originally from Italy. In fact, it is the country's most populous and widespread breed.


Physical Characteristics


Despite its small size -- standing at 13.3 to 14 hands high (53-56 inches, 134-142 centimeters) -- the Avelignese is an ideal mount and light draft horse. It displays its thick and heavy mane, which has a golden chestnut color, proudly; its tail, meanwhile, is white or flaxen in color.

Its head shows a lot of Arabic influence, though it often has white markings on its face. The horse's body, on the other hand, is chunky and muscular, with short, strong legs, and resilient hooves -- all of which make it perfectly suited for farming or drafting in mountainous terrains.


Personality and Temperament


Because of its good work ethic, the Avelignese is considered one of the most reliable horse breeds.


History and Background

The Avelignese probably developed in Italy over a century ago. In fact its name is derived from the root word "Avelengo" (Hafling in German), a small area on the Alto Adige, an Italian region since 1918.


Although no official records were kept for this particular breed before 1874, experts believe that the Avelignese and the Haflinger share the same ancestry. In fact, some claim that the Avelignese and the Austrain Haflinger are identical. However, there are many physical characteristics that differentiate one breed from the other. This may be due to the fact that the Avelignese bloodline is kept pure in Italy.

Today, the Avelignese is mainly used for riding and light draft work.

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