The Oldenburg horse was first bred in Saxon, Germany and they get their name from the man that laid out the foundation of the breed, Count Johan Von Oldenburg. He began to breed them in the late 16th century, starting with Friesian mares being bred with Danish, Turkish, Neopolitan, and Andalusian stallions. Later his son traveled across Europe and brought back the best Spanish and Italian stallions for the purposes of adding speed and strength to the breed. After a time, Oldenburg horse became popular coach horses and then Thoroughbred blood was introduced to add a refinement to these horses. Then in 1820 it became illegal to use any stallions that weren't approved by the government in the breeding process.
It wasn't until 1861 that the Oldenburg studbook was established. After this, in 1897 breeders began to bring horses in from all over to improve the Oldenburg; horses such as Thoroughbreds, Cleveland Bays, Yorkshire Coach Horses, Normans, and Hanoverians. Although this horse was very popular for being used as a coach horse, it was replaced by automobiles. Thus, breeders began to breed them for all around common horse back riding. Because the Oldenburg is a sport horse, it must undergo a common series of inspections, tests, and evaluations in order to be registered. The registry however keeps an open mind and thinks that any sport horse should have the chance to be registered with them, particularly warmbloods and thoroughbreds.
In the 1950s, a new line of Oldenburg stallions had been formed; it was by the Thoroughbred "Lupus" and the Anglo-Norman "Condor". With these tow horses came the introduction of the mares that were a bit heavier but still agile and elegant none the less. The Oldenburg actually is one of the oldest warmbloods in all of Europe.
The Oldenburg is one of today's most successful riding horses, with a few notable horses in its history. "Weihaiwej", "Lady Weingard", "Donnerhall", and "Bonfire represent but a small portion of today's well known Oldenburg horses.
Like many of the sport horses in the world, the Oldenburg has the potential to be a great hunter; it is a very common goal in the breeding process. To make the ideal sport horse, the Oldenburg mares were bred with the top European Thoroughbred stallions.
The Oldenburg horses of the 17th century or the "old types" met many needs when it came to working on a farm, but however, when the invention of machinery became more popular they became less used. So as a result they were infused with a heavier blood making them more useful for cavalry work. Time did however catch up with them again and they once again weren't able to perform a lot of the required tasks, so Thoroughbred and Anglo-Norman blood was infused and produced today's modern Oldenburg; they have become quite skilled in the competition ring particularly in dressage and driving.
The Oldenburg horse is in fact, the tallest and heaviest of all the German Warmbloods. Also for being as big as it is, the Oldenburg matures rather early; they are kind yet are very bold.