In the old empire of Austria-Hungary, the village of Hafling was nestled in the Etschlander Mountains. Here, the Haflinger breed got its official start, although its unofficial history extends into an undocumented past, with multiple stories of its origin. Whatever the case, the Haflinger certainly emerged from a mountainous environment, making it a strong, sturdy, smaller horse capable of surviving harsh climates and working hard. These qualities remain in the breed today. The breed has very specific standards for its bloodline, with purebreds only possible if lineage can be traced to one of seven original stallions. Because of the unique environment in which the horse developed and the limited bloodline, the breed has maintained its unique shape and look through the centuries.