PetMD Editorial

Published Jan. 3, 2010

The Groningen is a typical draft horse used to pull heavy carts and carriages. This breed is often associated with other Dutch horses.


Physical Characteristics


The typical Groningen horse has a head with a long structure. Its eyes are lively; the ears are somewhat long in length; the neck is broad and muscular; the withers are distinct while the back is straight; the croup is even and the tail is set high. The thighs are brawny, while the legs are sturdy with flexible joints and the hooves are well-formed. The chest is quite broad and profound. Most Groningens have solid coat colors like black and bay. Others are predominantly brown.


Personality and Temperament


The Groningen is the type of breed that possesses great beauty and delicate movements. They are considered submissive animals, easy to train and have dedication and excellent stamina. More often, they are used as carriage horses because of their fine elegance. They also have exceptional jumping skills.


History and Background


This breed originated from the province of Groningen, Holland. Breeders teamed up to combine the Friesian and Oldenburg breed, and thus, the Groningen was developed. Around thirty years ago, the Groningen was near to extinction. Luckily, the remaining stallions and mares were preserved, and pure-breeding and cross-breeding were implemented.  In order to minimize the production of bad offspring, the breeders make sure to cross-breed only from the bloodline of the Friesian and the Oldenburg.


Groningen horses are slowly declining in number. They are one of the rarest breeds in Holland.  For many years, they have served their purpose as riding horses, so many breeders contribute ideas for solutions to preserve this exquisite breed for generations to come.

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