What breeds of horses are in Russia and the history of their breeding, a list of the best

What breeds of horses are in Russia and the history of their breeding, a list of the best

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There are hundreds of horse breeds in the world. They all have remarkable qualities. In the list of beautiful animals, Russian, unique breeds of horses, stand apart. The history of the existence of these horses is marked by a number of tragic events. Despite the difficulties, Russian horses continue to live and delight connoisseurs of these beautiful animals.

History of horses in Russia

The history of horse breeding goes back many centuries. As early as the 13th century, people were engaged in horse breeding. Warriors brought thoroughbred horses as prey, after successful battles with numerous enemies.

During the invasion of the Golden Horde, preference was given to heavy horses. Only with the onset of the era of Ivan the Terrible did the eastern breeds of horses begin to gain popularity. Times have changed, the fashion for horse breeds has changed. The names of Count Orlov, Rostopchin, Budyonny have forever entered history. Enthusiastic people have presented the world with wonderful horse breeds. Many of them have become the pride of the country.

Tragic events in the history of Russia were accompanied by the death and miraculous revival of unique horses. Today, Russian experts breed a wide variety of horse breeds.


By appointment, representatives of the equine family can be divided into 3 groups:

  • riding horses;
  • harness horses;
  • heavy horses.

There are universal horse breeds, for example, the Don horse. The animal is used as a harness or riding horse.

Breeders divide horses into categories:

  1. Aboriginal. Perhaps the strongest, healthiest animals. Horses have long adapted to the harsh climatic conditions. Nature itself has taken care of the formation of strong immunity in horses. They endure frost and strong winds without loss. Effortlessly make their way through deep snowdrifts. These types include Vyatka, Yakut horses, as well as horses from Central Asia or the Caucasus. The unique properties of native animals are used to breed new horse breeds.
  2. Transient. These horses combine the best qualities of aboriginal horses and the dignity of stallions brought from afar.
  3. Factory. The result of a complex, painstaking and long-term work on the development of a new breed. Russian breeders have bred such breeds as the Oryol trotter, the Budyonnovskaya horse and other types of horses.

Main breeds

Russian horse breeds are not that numerous. Some of them are basic.


Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny made a lot of efforts to breed the ideal horse breed for the Red Army. They took the Don breed as a basis. Having crossed a horse with a thoroughbred riding stallion, experts have obtained a universal harness-riding breed. The Budennovsky horse can not only walk under the saddle, but also serve the needs of people as a draft force.

The growth of the animal reaches 165 cm. The long neck of the horse reminds of the ancestors - the Akhal-Teke. The horse differs from other stallions by its massiveness and some angularity. A powerful croup and a broad chest speak of the horse's strength and endurance. The dry, broad-browed head is beautifully set. Large expressive eyes speak of intelligence and good character. The elongated body and strong legs give the animal an imposing appearance. Budennovsky horses can be recognized by the "branded" bay suit. Today the army does not need cavalry troops, so Budennovists are used in sports. Horses successfully participate in dressage, show jumping and horse racing competitions.


One of the oldest breeds bred by man. The ancestors of the Don breed are aboriginal steppe horses. For many years, the horses have been crossed with stallions of Persian, Turkish and Arabian blood. The soldiers brought in abundant horses after numerous battles.

In the 19th century, Don horses were divided into 2 types:

  1. Old breed. The animal strongly resembled the steppe ancestors. A small stature (146-155 cm) and a nondescript appearance compensated for the agility and endurance of the horse.
  2. A new type of Don breed. In order to give the horse an attractive appearance, the horse was crossed with stallions of English blood. Gradually, the situation changed, and smart and hardy horses came to serve the people. The stately stallions are strikingly different from their predecessors.

Oryol trotter

The breed was created thanks to the efforts of Count Orlov. Many years of breeding work have led to the birth of a unique horse. The graceful, strong horse has a surprisingly soft gait and a long flexible neck. The growth of a large stallion reaches 170 cm. The combination of grace and power makes the appearance of the animal unique.

The horse's weight reaches 500 kg. A small, dry head, intelligent eyes and pointed, sensitive ears look harmonious. A muscular body, slender dry legs and a lush mane complete the portrait of the animal. Energetic, agile trotters are distinguished by a docile character and quick wit. Orlov stallions can be seen at spectacular sporting events.

Russian horse

The Russian riding horse appeared as a result of the merger of the Oryol breed and the Rostopchin horses. During the hard times of the Great Patriotic War, the breed was almost destroyed. The pitiful remnants of the former luxury disappeared during the reign of Khrushchev. Through the decades, thanks to the efforts of enthusiasts, the Russian horse breed was recreated.

The height of the horse reaches 165-170 cm. Elastic, well-developed muscles, broad, muscular back and slender legs distinguish the Russian horse from other breeds. The horse has a receptive mind and willful character. The animal is used for dressage and triathlon.

Soviet heavy truck

A short, strong harness horse. The breed was bred in the middle of the 20s of the last century. The draft horse appeared as a result of the crossing of local draft horses and Brabancon stallions. These European horses have remarkable strength, because their ancestors served faithfully to heavy knights.

A Soviet heavy truck is like a small bulldozer. The powerful animal is used for heavy work, as well as a source of meat and milk. The growth of a heavy truck is relatively small - 160 cm, but its weight reaches 700-1000 kg. The broad back, powerful drooping croup and strong legs give the animal a monumentality. The knight is more often of a red color. Sometimes you can find a bay-colored heavy draft.


Aboriginal animal, adapted to severe frosts and poor nutrition. A thick undercoat and long coat allow the horse to easily endure the hardships of the climate. Due to their unpretentiousness, horses are kept outdoors throughout the year.

Small, massive animals rarely grow more than 142 cm. The muscular neck and broad back speak about the remarkable endurance of the horses. The Yakut horse boasts strong legs and well-developed joints. Stallions are used as riding horses, as well as for children's equestrian sports.


The native horse is widespread in Tatarstan, Bashkiria and the Sverdlovsk region. The breed was born as a result of natural crossing of steppe horses and forest-type horses. Unpretentious animals are kept on pastures all year round. The main advantage of the breed is the ability to tirelessly overcome tens of kilometers.

The indefatigable horse is only 145 cm tall. A small broad-forehead, short neck and wide back - this is a portrait of a wonderful horse. Due to their friendly disposition, stallions are used in children's equestrian sports. The animals are often raised on dairy farms.


The unique breed was bred in the 40s of the last century thanks to the crossing of the surviving streltsy stallions with horses of Arab blood. As a result, the Terek breed appeared. Due to its many advantages, universal horses participate in all types of equestrian competitions. Amazing learning ability allows horses to be used in circus performances.

It was on the Tersk stallion that the legendary Marshal Zhukov hosted the victory parade. Most often you can find a horse of a gray suit. Bay horses are less common. The horse is beautifully built. A short, straight back, flexible, long neck and slender legs give the animal an elegant appearance. The animal has a small head. Sensitive movable ears and shining eyes complete the portrait of the horse.


Forest, aboriginal horse. The northern beauty is widespread in the Kirov region, as well as in the farms of Udmurtia. The animal is energetic, obedient and hardy. An unpretentious horse is easily content with a poor diet, tolerates frost and rain well. The docile nature allows the use of Vyatka in children's equestrian sports and tourism.

In the past, the Vyatka assistant was used for postage. The main distinguishing feature of a short worker is a dark stripe running along the back of the animal. Vyatka grows up to 150 cm. Legs are short. The thick skin protects the horse from insect bites.

Russian trotter

The breed appeared as a result of crossing the legendary Orlov trotters and animals of American selection. Horses are distinguished by graceful forms and calm character. The narrow muzzle and prominent withers give the horse a unique look. Strong legs and a muscular torso speak of the animal's stamina. Elongated, mobile ears and dark eyes are the hallmarks of the Russian trotter.

The horse is used as a lightly harnessed animal. Peaceful disposition and high intelligence make it possible to use horses for hippotherapy.

Don riding horse

A versatile breed. The Don horse is successfully used as a harness and riding horse.

The elongated body, dry legs and small head lend elegance to the animal's appearance. The height of the horse is 165 cm. A well-developed ridge stands out on the neck. The tail and mane are dark and thick. The docile nature of the animals makes it possible to use horses to teach children how to ride.

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