The Knabstrup horse got its name as its birthplace was the Knabstrup farm in Denmark. It is also known as Knabstrupper. The new breed was created from a chestnut mare that had some white hair in her coat. This mare was left by a Spanish officer in Denmark after his war imprisonment. Most of these horses are blessed with wonderful colors. Knabstrup horses generally live from 20 to 35 years.
History of Knabstrup Horse
It is believed that Knabstrup horses originated from the spotted Spanish horses of the ancient period. This horse is among the oldest breed registries in Europe. During the period of the Schleswig war (1848-1850), these horses were easily spotted and targeted by the enemy because of their attractive colors. Once a loud-colored mare managed to escape and in the following years raised offspring.
Knabstrup stables met with an unavoidable downfall during the seventh decade of the 19th century. The Lunn family maintained a herd of between 40 and 50 spotted horses during the Schleswig-wars. Great difficulties were caused by this interbreeding in terms of maintaining quality and color. Thus, the breed has degenerated. During a fire in the year 1891; twenty-two Knabstrup horses were killed. Problems of inbreeding with this fire decreased the number and importance of the breed.
Physique of Knabstrup Horse
The Knabstrup horse has clean and dry limbs. It has large and strong hindquarters. The head is tiny and refined.
Height of Knabstrup Horse
The Knabstrup horse reaches a height of 15.1 to 16 hands high on average but there are Knabstrup horses of the pony size also with a height less than 14.2 hands high.
Body Color of Knabstrup Horse
Knabstrup is exclusively a spotted horse, marked in the usual Appaloosa patterns on a roan base. Other than this, various color patterns are exhibited by this horse breed. Other than the mentioned one, the most famous is the leopard pattern on the white background of this horse’s body. Bay, chestnut or black spots cover his body. Other body patterns of this horse are the snowflake, the snowcap, the blanket, and the few spots. The last one is an almost completely white horse. When this horse is led into breeding, it always produces a foal with a spotted sample of some kind. Still, some Knabstrup horses have solid colors like chestnut, grey, or bay by birth.
The temperament of Knabstrup Horse
Knabstrup horses are appreciated for the kind temperaments they have. They are also admired for their high rank of trainability, power, endurance, and good health.
Uses of Knabstrup Horse
The Danish Knabstrup Association, also known as the KNN, classified the Knabstrup horses into four types- Classic, Pony, Sports horse, and Mini. The Classic type is greatly famous as a classical or at times as a circus horse. The Pony type is well-liked by children throughout Europe. The Sport Horse type has expertise in dressage, show jumping, and eventing. These horses have also been used in the cavalry as post and milk wagon horses.
Unfortunately, Knabstrup horses have been carelessly crossed in recent times with efforts being extended towards good spotted patterns only and little regard is paid to the conformity of type. It is therefore doubtful whether it can any longer be called a breed. At its best, it was and is still an only hope as a horse that is very similar to the Frederiksborg, though lighter in build.
See more: Karabair Horse