Interior (horse)

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In horse breeding or equestrian sport, interior is the typical psychological characteristics and behavior of pedigree horses . In contrast, the physical characteristics are called exterior . The interior and exterior thus serve to characterize and assess a domestic horse and, as criteria, are part of aptitude tests in horse breeding.

Interior properties

A wide variety of behavioral and character traits are subsumed under the term interior. The most important ones include positive characteristics such as balance, calm, good-naturedness, strong nerves, temperament, alertness, general intelligence, comprehension and talent, social behavior or negative characteristics such as fear, nervousness, overreaction or so-called character defects such as biting, shying, hitting, refusing to jump or not pulling (carriage horses).

In performance tests, additional properties such as health, constitution, regenerative capacity or feed utilization are also counted among the interior properties. Which of these characteristics are desired or which occur more frequently in certain horse breeds depends on the defined breeding goal of the respective breed.


The performance tests of the federal states and the individual breeding associations also provide for an examination of the interior. The extent to which these characteristics are expressed is assessed using a value scale according to Section 57 Point 1.2 of the LPO ( Performance Examination Regulations ) with grades from 10 (excellent) to 1 (very poor) or 0 (not carried out). The interior test consists of an individual test of character (by a veterinarian), temperament and willingness to perform (by external riders). All three exams are included in the overall examination with 5% each.

Interior of draft horses

Horses that are well-balanced, hardworking and attentive are particularly suitable as draft horses in driving sports . Nervous, jumpy or jaded horses are undesirable.

Interior of therapy horses

Therapy horses are used in riding therapy in the field of hippotherapy (physiotherapy), in therapeutic riding and riding as a sport for the mentally and physically disabled. That is why the demands on the interior of horses for this purpose are particularly high. Horses who are good-natured and balanced and who follow the therapist's instructions without exception are suitable. Motivation, health, positive learning behavior and good social behavior are also essential. A harmonious and trustworthy overall impression is also desirable. Therapy horses must not be jumpy during work and, above all, must be able to tolerate uncoordinated and unpredictable behavior of the rider without any problems and calmly and calmly.

Individual evidence

  1. Assessment of the interior during performance tests (PDF; 11 kB) - Competence Center for Horse Breeding and Keeping State of Baden-Württemberg
  2. see for example: Implementation Ordinance ZSAA Stallion Line Examination ( Memento of the original of August 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Breeding Association for Sport Horses of Arab Descent eV) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. - assessment criteria interior / exterior for carriage horses
  4. Project holistic riding  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. - Requirements and requirements for a therapy horse@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  


  • Ulrike Thiel: The horse's psyche. Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-440-10929-8
  • Susanne Bauer: Behavior of the horse (interior) - PDF document for a presentation as part of a VDF trainer course
  • H. Sommer, S. Barz, A. Lindner (University of Bonn): Application of interior tests on horses. Tierärztliche Umschau, 10, 1996, pp. 641-643