Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Black Forest Horse: Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide (With Pictures)

Black Forest Horse

The Black Forest horse is an endangered animal that was originally developed in Germany. These horses are most notable for their contrasting coat, mane, and tail, but they have more to offer than just their looks. This is a draft breed that displays a gentle and cooperative temperament.

They have been known to work as carriage horses, farm help, and riding companions. However, few of them exist in the world today because the demand for their services declined when machinery and technology started evolving. Are you interested in learning more about this majestic animal? Read on!


Quick Facts About the Black Forest Horse

black forest horse head shot
Image Credit: Uli Ebner, Pixabay
Species Name: Equus ferus caballus
Family: Horse
Care Level: Low
Temperature: Moderate
Temperament: Friendly, inquisitive, cooperative, hard-working
Color Form: Chestnut body, blonde mane, and tail
Lifespan: 25-30 years
Size: 57-62 inches tall, up to 1,400 pounds
Diet: Hay, grass, grains, vegetables, fruits
Minimum Field Size: ½ acre
 Compatibility: High

Black Forest Horse Overview

As their name suggests, these horses used to live in the black forests of Germany, where they were used to haul goods and help farm food plots. Because they are so rare today, the few still alive are typically kept as companion animals. However, some may still be used to drive carriages and wagons in Germany.

These are medium-sized animals that can weigh up to 1,400 pounds as adults. They display elegance while moving and have a long, sleek stride that offers a comfortable ride. They also show great intelligence when interacting with their human companions.

How Much Do Black Forest Horses Cost?

There is no market price for the Black Forest horse because they are not commonly sold to the public due to their endangered status. There are not as many breeders out there who are breeding and selling these horses for profit as there are for horse breeds like American Standardbreds and Palominos.

Therefore, you should not expect to get your hands on one of these horses for your own. The best that you can hope for is to meet one or two when visiting the Baden-Wurttemberg region while in Germany. These animals are not the typical pet for households anywhere else.

horse shoe divider

Typical Behavior & Temperament

These gorgeous horses are well known for being friendly, interactive, cooperative, and affectionate. They also have an independent side that makes them a great all-around companion for work or play. Black Forest horses are gentle when interacting with humans and robust when doing a job.

They may not be as big as other horses, but their muscular build gives them an edge when it comes to stamina. Their strong will and independence do make them a challenge to train, but patience and a firm but loving hand can get trainers the results that they are looking for.

Black Forest Horse
Black Forest Horse (Image Credit: Monika Kind, Rickenbach (Pottok at de.Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

Appearance & Varieties

The Black Forest horse has chestnut-colored body hair, along with a mane and tail that are vibrantly blonde. Their manes are usually straight, but some are gently wavy, giving them a mystical look. They have strong, well-built bodies full of muscles that can handle a variety of laborious tasks. These horses sport erect ears, long, slender faces, alert eyes, and huge hooves. They are gorgeous horses that deserve more attention than they currently receive around the world.

hoof print divider

Taking Care of Black Forest Horses

Black forest horses are generally easy to take care of. They require at least an acre of land to roam if they are kept in captivity. They should be brushed or combed regularly, and their hooves should be checked for built-up rocks, sticks, dirt, and debris occasionally. Here is what else should be known about caring for Black Forest horses.

Habitat Conditions & Setup

Black Forest horses can free-range happily, as long as plenty of food is available to them for grazing. If they are kept in captivity, they should have at least an acre of fenced, grassy area to live in. These horses should be provided with a farm or similar shelter for protection from the outdoor elements.

What Do Black Forest Horses Eat?

These beautiful horses are used to eating whatever plant life they can get their mouths on, whether that’s grass, weeds, wild dandelions, shrubs, or even fresh wild berries. In captivity, they will eat these same things, but if the options are limited, they should eat about 2 pounds of hay per pound of bodyweight each day.

They can also eat a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, kale, and bok choy. Fruits, such as wild berries, are typically enjoyed as a snack. Horses kept in captivity can enjoy fruits like kiwi, banana, orange, melon, and apples.

Do Black Forest Horses Get Along With Other Animals?

Black Forest horses will get along with just about any friendly animal that they find themselves in the vicinity of. They are not shy or intimidated even by the biggest horses or bulls. They can get along well with farm dogs and cats too. These animals do not seem to mind the company of any other animals that are hanging around. However, if they are born and raised in isolation or just with other horses, they may not take well to other animal species when introduced to them at an older age.


horse shoe divider

Are Black Forest Horses Suitable for You?

The truth is that the Black Forest horse is not a suitable pet for most households, simply because they are not available for sale in a general sense. You would have to be great friends with an owner of one of these horses in Germany who would be willing to give the horse to you. However, this breed is every bit as worthy of learning about as any other breed of horse in existence. What is your favorite aspect of the Black Forest horse? Let us know what you think of this horse breed in the comments section.

Featured Image Credit: Schlumpf98, Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets