The Trakehner: The noble and versatile riding horse

11 min.

In the earlier days the Trakehner was bred for the purpose of creating a superb riding horse. It is still to this day, where the breed can be found in showjumping, dressage and everything in between. Let us take a closer look at the story of the elegant and versatile warmblood horse with the fine temperament and great gaits.

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The Trakehner’s roots run far back in time. The name Trakehner dates back to the Trakehehenn Stud, which was founded in 1732 in what was then, East Prussia in Germany. Today, the breed can be found in virtually the entire world as a versatile and stable riding horse.

Originally, it was breed because of the desire to create a noble riding horse, which appeared elegant in both appearance and in relation to the movement pattern. In time, both Arab and English thoroughbreds began to be bred into the Trakehner to get a faster and more agile horse. This could also make the breed better suited for hunting and not least for use in the cavalry.

When the Trakenehner Stud was at its highest, they had more than 300 breeding mares. All of which had been chosen for their good qualities as riding horses in terms of both body and temper. These mares were often used for hunting around the stud. Whereas the stallions were selected at a special test station to test their characteristics.

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Although the Trakehner can be traced back to 1732, it was not until 1780 that pedigree records began on the Trakehner. In 1787, they began to brand the horses with an elk shovel on the right thigh to ensure the quality of the breed. But it was not until 100 years later that pedigree records were also made from the entire East Prussian area.

After World War II, there was a drastic decrease in the number of Trakehners. One had to be extremely selective in relation to the horses that were bred on, which gave some extremely hardy horses. There was a particular decrease in the horses from the original main stud. This led to the result that today only a minority of horses originate from the original main stud. This started a kind of rebuilding of the breed, and an attempt to start a new pedigree.

When you look at the Trakehner’s pedigree today, it therefore goes no further back than 1945. After a period when the horses had been scattered around the world as a result of World War II, there were only a few stallions and mares that could be used for breeding and who came from the original stud.

It took a lot of work to continue the breed after the war. But the stud farm Kirow in southwestern Russia managed to gather and breed further on the breed. Therefore, the horses from there are of extremely high quality.

Although the Trakehner is bred to be calm, they should not be mistaken with a lazy horse. Photo: Archive.


The Trakehner has always been bred for the purpose of making a noble riding horse with a beautiful and expressive head, well-set ears and large eyes with an intelligent and calm expression. Their bodies are shapely and muscular, yet the breed appears elegant and light. Its neck is often well-raised. They have a good saddle bearing with room for everything from a showjumping saddle to a dressage saddle.

Characteristics like an elegant body combined with a very cooperative temper and rhythmic movements means that a Trakehner can be used for many different disciplines. Although the Trakehner is bred to be calm, they should not be mistaken with a lazy horse. They will basically be energetic and intelligent from both the ground and with a rider. This means, they also require a rider who is calm and can read the horse correctly.

If you know it as an owner, you get in the Trakehner an extremely charming and confident horse. One can build an exciting collaboration with the Trakehner across the disciplines. It will do much to collaborate with its rider and deliver a good performance.

There are many Trakehner Breeding Associations around the world. A lot of the are present on Instagram, where you can get a good sense of how elegant a horse you get if you choose a Trakehner:

• The ideal height for a Trakehner is between 160 and 170 cm at the withers.
• The Trakehner comes in all pure colors such as brown, black and fox, but it can also be seen in a variegated version.
• The breed is bred to have energetic, steady, and spacious movements based on good shoulder freedom and propulsion from behind.
• Although the Trakehner may have a bit of a temper, it is almost always cooperative and intelligent, and the breed is also known to be extremely hardy.


Dyrlæ The Trakehner Breed description of the Trakehner

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