A couple in Goshen, N.S. is raising and breeding a rare type of Danish horse, called the Knabstrupper.

“The breed are very old Danish breed, and this is a very rare race. There are only 500 over all the world,” says horse breeder Elfie Rank.

Knabstruppers are famous for their various coat patterns, and date back to 1812 in Denmark. The horses can be solid colored, or spotted, with many variations in between.

“The guarantee to have spotted horses is high, if I make a cross of two, one-coloured horses, a black and a white,” says Rank. “They are very, very friendly horses and I can use the horses for all kinds, for dressage, for driving, for show jumping, and for therapy.”

The eye-catching horses have an even temperament and kind nature. It’s been said they're selected as much for the attitude and ability, as for their beauty.

Rank and her partner, Jorg Lechner, came to Canada five years ago to begin breeding the animals. They fell in love with the Maritimes, and the opportunity it presented them and their horses.

“Where I have a big property, where they can go to the pastures and can run and can enjoy the nature like me,” says Rank.

“It's a good life for me,” says Lechner. “In 30 to 40 kilometres, I can make a trip to the ocean and I like fishing and I like the lifestyles, seafood, all is here.”

In addition to the 17 horses they already have, Rank expects four foals to be born in the next two months and six stallions will be coming over from Europe next spring.

The couple is working to clear away more land on the property. They're hoping to make it more accessible for anyone who may want to come and see the horses.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh