The State Research Institute of Horse
Breeding, formed in 1930, began with a ten-year investigation of all Russian
breeds, plus an assessment of the effect of imported horses on Russian ones.
Sturdy native Kirghiz were crossed with Dons and Thoroughbreds to produce the most distinctively saddle-horse type of the Russian mountain breeds. Like the Lokai of Central Asia, the Kirghiz came of Mongolian stock and possesses great stamina for its size.
There are aristocratic Arabian horses in Russia called Strelets, named after the stud where they were bred. These horses, now breeding true, originated with selected native mares of the mountainous regions of the Ukraine, crossed with Turkish, Persian or principally, pure Arab sires, some of them supplied by the British Crabbet Park and Hungarian Babolna studs.
The arduous work and harsh environment of the north Russian forests have produced several similar types of small, hardy, very shaggy horses, with layers of subcutaneous fat to withstand the winter's snow and frosts, and thick skins, impenetrable by the summer's hordes of insects. Despite mechanization, many horses are still used for the "izvoz," transport of merchandise over snow-covered roads by sledge, and to haul timber deep in the forest.
The Toric is one of the best-known working harness horses of the far north. (I believe this is the same as the Tori.)
A number of alien breeds are bred in the Soviet Union, and perhaps the most popular is the Trakehner. Racing is popular also, and there are many studs of Thoroughbreds descended from imported animals.
Despite the fact that many of the breeds below are also mentioned above, I have decided to include this entire paragraph from The Empire of Equus to avoid missing any. Breeds from Russia, then, including Asiatic Russia and the former U.S.S.R. would include the following:
The Amur (Siberian) horse, Viatka pony (two types), Strelets horse, Bachmatten horse, Baschkiren horse, Bitjug (Woronesch) draft, Buratish horse, Jomuden horse, Kabardin (Caucasus) horse, Don (Cossack) horse, Akhal-Tekin (Central Asian desert), Lokai horse (Central Asia), Kazakh (nomad) horse, Orloff trotter, Baluchistan horse, Kalmuck horse, Karabagh horse, Karabair (Uzbekistan), Kirghiz horse, Kokand or Bucharest horse, Kurdish horse, North Russian forest horse, Iomud (north Turkmenia), Dagestan horse, Azerbiajan (Caucasus), Megrel (Caucasus), Shav (Caucasus), East Siberian horse, "Schwarzerdegebiet" horse, Siberian forest horse, Adayev (south Kazakh steppes), Transbaikal (far east, endures 40 degrees below zero), South Russian and Ukrainian steppe horses, Turkoman horse (5 breeds), Central Kazakistan horse, Altai horse, Assinsho-Tschiliker horse, Najman horse, West Siberian horse, various draft and semi-draft breeds, Toric horse, Lithuanian, Latvian, Kustanair, M'eh's trotter, and the above-mentioned Vladimir draft!
As always, and especially for this page, as I have a great interest in Russian and former Russian horses, if you have any information on any of these breeds or pictures I can use of them for this site, please contact me! Thanks!
The Beetewk or Bitjug (Woronesch) horse mentioned
above is a medium-heavy, active, Russian draft breed. It originated in the
time of Peter the Great (1672-1725) with the importation of Dutch stallions,
which were crossed with native Russian mares. Later, some Orloff trotter
blood was added. These powerful horses are among the most favored breeds
on Russian farms.
The Klepper is a breed of ponies or small horses native to the U.S.S.R.'s Baltic provinces of Estonia, Livonia, and some of the islands of that region. They exhibit the characteristic primitive coloration of dun with black points (mane, tail, and lower legs), along with a dark mid-dorsal stripe (often termed eel-striping). In common with other pony breeds of northern regions, the Klepper is able to remain strong and enduring while subsisting on a meager food supply. Height: 52-60 inches.
Russia today (1974) has perhaps fifty breeds or types of horses. Most of these are used for riding, some for general utility, and some for draft, both light and heavy. A breed named the Russian Saddle horse, or Orloff-Rostopchin horse, was developed by crossing the Orloff trotter with the Rostopchin Saddle horse, the latter being an Anglo-Arab breed. At one point at least, efforts were being made in Russia to evolve a breed comprised of 3/4 Russian Saddle Horse, 1/8 Arab, and 1/16 English Thoroughbred. Presumably the other 1/16 was contributed by several existing Russian breeds.
The Strelets is a Russian riding horse, predominately of Oriental type, produced by crossing Ukrainian mares with Anglo-Arab, Turkish, Persian, and pure Arabian stallions. The Strelets horse (so-named from the stud farm of that name) is of about the same size as the Gidran.
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