Russian Vs Caucasian Pony Breeds: The Penultimate Characteristics Comparison

In this guide, you will get a complete comparison ofta the Russian and Caucasian Pony breeds. We will share all the major characteristics, origin, height, colour, physique and additional useful information about each of those horse breeds.

Continue reading till the end to find out more about various characteristics of Russian and Caucasian pony breeds.

Russian Pony Breeds: Everything you need to Know in just 3 Paragraphs

Russian and Caucasian pony breeds are closely related horse breeds in the Baltic States are all highly hardy, frugal, and strong and very enduring. Most of them are partly descended from the Klepper, a light draught type pony from Estonia, and it comes as a curious jolt to discover that “Klepper” is apparently not. 

The name of a breed is the local word for “nag”. This is typical of the stumbling blocks encountered in trying to trace the history of all the purebred breeds. The confusion is increased by the intercultural smog that hangs over most former soviet (Russian) breeds that are seldom seen in the Western countries.

Information about the Baltic breeds often conflicts, but a picture emerges of several sturdy Northern forest types, very similar in appearance to the Polish Konik horse breed type. Among them are the two following breeds – Viatka and Zemaiutka pony breeds.

Viatka Pony Breed | Characteristics Traits and Origin

Viatka is one of the most common Russian horse pony breeds. In the table below, you can see what are its origin, height and colours.

Origin:Russia 
Height:13-14hh.
Colour:Dark colours. Dun, roan, grey is the most common. Many have a dorsal stripe, and subtle zebra stripes on forelegs are not uncommon. 
Origin, height and colour of Viatka pony breed

Physique of the Viatka Pony Breed

Viatka ponies have a longish head with a wide, slightly concave forehead. Muscular neck set into a strong and deep chest with sloping shoulders, which are broad.

Viatka ponies come with a straight back and well-sprung ribs. 

Viatka Pony Breed
Viatka Pony Breed

Oftentimes, the Viatka horse breed has powerful hindquarters. Their legs are short with plenty of bone, while the forelegs are set wide apart. The hind is often sickle-hocked. Viatkas have a thick mane and tail. They are action short and active, extremely frugal and equipped with great stamina.

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Use of Viatka Pony Breed

The Viatka is an attractive all-purpose pony, used mainly for light agricultural work and to pull troikas (sleighs drawn by three horses abreast). 

Originally from the Viatsky territory, it is now bred mainly in the Udmurt Republic and the Kirov district, where State studs control the purity of the breed. Minor variations, named for the regions from which they originate, are the Obwinski and the Kasanski.

Zemaituka Pony Breed | Characteristics Traits and Origin

In the next table, you can find the most common characteristics of the Zemaituka pony breed. Further below, in the article, you can find information about their character and pyisique.

Origin:Russia 
Height:13-14hh.
Colour:Generally, dun with dorsal stripes. 
Origin, height and colour of Zemaituka pony breed

Character of Zemaituka Pony Breed

Zemaituka ponies are highly intelligent, willing, energetic, and come equipped with vast stamina.

Physique of Zemaituka Pony Breed

When it comes to physical traits, Zemaituka ponies come with medium-sized heads, straight faces, wideset, intelligent eyes. They have rather small ears.

Other than that, their neck is often short but muscular, and shoulders somewhat upright. Zemaituka has a powerful front, straight back with well-sprung ribs, sloping quarters. Their legs are strong and clean, though the light of bone. Hard, well-shaped feet.

Zemaituka Pony Breed
Zemaituka Pony Breed

The origin of the Zemaituka pony breed is well known. The Zemaituka descended centuries ago from the Asiatic Wild Horse crossed with the Arab horse is one of the toughest ponies to be found anywhere. Yet, it can live on fodder that most ponies would not consider edible, survive the harshest climatic conditions, and still do 40 miles a day.

Bashkirsky Pony Breed Characteristics Traits and Origin Explained

In the table below, you can find some of the most common traits and characteristics of the Bashkirsky horse pony type breed.

Origin:Russia 
Height:Average 13.2hh.
Colour:Bay, chestnut, dun.
Origin, height and colour of Bashkirsky pony breed

Character of Bashkirsky Pony Breed

Bashkirsky pony breed horses are calm and good-natured. They are very hardy horse type ponies, with great endurance. 

Physique of Bashkirsky Pony Breed

Physique: strong, sturdy body, strong neck and prominent withers. Long back, low-set tail. Abundant mane and tail. Legs short and strong, feet small and hard.

There are two types of Bashkirs ponies: the Mountain and the Steppe, the Mountain type being very slightly smaller and more suitable for riding. The breed has been improved by crossing with riding horses (Budyonny and Don) in the south and with harness horses (Trotters and Ardennes) in the West and north. 

Use of Bashkirsky Pony Breed

Pony breed Bashkirs go equally well under the saddle or harnessed to sleighs.

Stallions and geldings are mainly used for these purposes, while mares are frequently milked for the production of Kumiss, a drink that is considered to have medicinal as well as alcoholic qualities.

Bashkirsky Pony Breed
Bashkirsky Pony Breed

In Bashkiria, they have been milked since the beginning of history, and modern mare yields about 2.000 litres (440 gallons) of milk during a lactation period of 7-8 months.

Bashkirs are famous for their powers of endurance. A troika of Bashkirs is reputed to travel as much as 75 miles a day over snow (even if this is a wild exaggeration, it must rest on a most impressive fact).

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Kazakh Pony Breed | Characteristics and Origin explained

The next few paragraphs, including a table directly below, describe the most common characteristics of the Kazakh pony equine breed.

Origin:Kazakhstan. 
Height:12.2-13.3hh
Colour:Mainly bay, chestnut, grey or black. Sometimes odd-colored or dun
Origin, height and colour of Kazakh pony breed

Character of Kazakh Pony Breed

Kazakh ponies are very willing and enduring. They are an ideal long-distance pony. 

Physique of Kazakh Pony Breed

As a breed, Kazakh ponies are a typical Central Asian pony, similar to the Mongolian, to which it is related. They are short-backed, deep-chested, with very hard legs and feet.

Bred over a wide area, Kazakh pony varies in height and refinement of the type according to the severity of the climate. The more elegant Kazakhs owe their improvement to the introduction of Don blood.

Some Kazakh ponies are amble rather than a trot, and these are especially valued as riding ponies because the gait is smooth and comfortable.

These steppe ponies are exceptionally hardy, able to endure extremes of heat and cold and to forage for themselves in knee-deep snow or pick a living on the edge of the desert.

Use of Kazakh Pony Breed

Pony of Kazakhs come from a region in which the horse has always been important. Seventh-century burial mounds, recently excavated, show that Kazakhstani nomads were buried with their ponies. 

These men depended on their horses for food and drink as well as for transport, and a study of the bones discovered shows that the ancient Kazakhstani ponies were much like their modern counterparts in size and build.

Nowadays, Kazakh pony breeds are still used to produce milk, and mares will yield roughly 10 litres a day. This is usually made into the alcoholic beverage Kumiss. Young animals are fattened up for meat and are generally slaughtered when they reach a weight of about 1,000lb.

Kazakh ponies are used as cow ponies. They also make good cavalry animals when crossed with quality horses such as The Don, Budyonny or Akhal Teke.

Their endurance is such that they can travel 300 kilometres in 24 hours, and this accounts for their success in Russian equestrian sports such as the long-distance test, which is called the taiga.

Tarpan Equus Przewalskii Gmelini Ant | Caucasian pony type breed

Origin:Caucasian and eastern European, latterly Poland.
Height:About 13hh.
Colour:Mouse dun to brown, with a dark brown dorsal stripe. The wide, dark stripe down the centre of the mane and tail with lighter hairs on each side, giving a variegated “streaked blonde” effect depending on which way the hair falls.

Zebra stripes may appear on forelegs and inner thighs, and there are sometimes stripes on the body. Winter coats are occasionally white, as in feral Arctic animals when living in an icy climate.
Origin, height and various colours of Tarpan pony breed

Character of Tarpan Equus Przewalskii Gmelini Ant Pony Breed

Tarpan ponies are independent and brave. For example, Tarpan stallions will attack domestic stallions which threaten their mares and fight to the death, often successfully.

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They are intractable and very, tenacious. Be very careful when in their area, and if they do not know you yet. They may harm you.

Physique of Tarpan Equus Przewalskii Gmelini Ant 

Long, broad head; slightly concave face, widening at nostrils. Longish ears on a short, thick neck stemming from good shoulders.

Back long, quarters thin and sloping, legs fine and hard. Tarpan is extremely hardy and exceptionally fertile. 

Tarpan Pony Breed
Tarpan Pony Breed

Never known to abort, never seem to catch the common diseases, and when injured, heal without infection.

Controversy of TARPAN Equus Przewalskii Gmelini Ant 

The Tarpan is a controversial breed since some people feel it became extinct at the end of the last century. However, it is reported that the last wild Tarpan was killed in 1879 near Askania Nova, Russia and that the last Tarpan in captivity died in 1887. 

It is also reported that around 1887, the Polish government, dismayed at the passing of the Tarpan, collected several animals that appeared extremely Tarpan-like from peasant farms and turned these animals loose in the forest reserves of Bialowlieza and Popielno. 

Thus, there is an argument about whether the breed has been “preserved” or “restored”.

The appearance of the Tarpan suggests that the breed is probably pure or so close to purity that it makes no difference. It is an Ice Age horse. Aeons ago, it was widespread in Europe and western Asia.

It is, therefore, the base of many of the primitive breeds of horse, and so is the ancestor of the more sophisticated breeds developed from primitive crosses. Thus, with Przewalski’s Horse, it became the foundation of the modern warmbloods.

Use of TARPAN Equus Przewalskii Gmelini Ant 

It seems that the Tarpan divided into two groups, one wandering in Eastern Europe and the other grazing the steppes of Ukraine.

Thousands of years ago, both groups were hunted for food, much as deer were hunted, but with a good deal more ruthlessness because the Tarpan stallion would attack his domestic rival ferociously. 

Tarpan meat was regarded as a great delicacy. It was so in demand that by the end of the 18th century, the breed had been hunted almost to extinction. 

Meanwhile, peasants who wanted cheap ponies had started to catch and train the Steppe Tarpan.

Today, Tarpan survive in a semi-wild state at Popielno, where a famous domesticated herd is kept and are sometimes found in zoos or wildlife parks in various parts of the world. 

There is a Mongolian legend of Tarpan dealing with Torguls; a human tribe descended from a Tarpan stallion. 

On the day of the birth of Turgut, son of lovely Irgit and magnificent Tarpan, stallions, mares and foals come from all points of the compass to witness the event. After a fierce fight with wolves, in which the stallions rout 20,000 of them, Tarpan, immortalized, trots proudly away with the young prince on his back.

Where are Tarpan Ponies today?

Today, Tarpan survive in a semi-wild state at Popielno, where a famous domesticated herd is kept, and are sometimes found in zoos or wildlife parks in various parts of the world.

There is a Mongolian legend of Tarpan dealing with Torguls, a human tribe descended from a Tarpan stallion.

On the day of the birth of Turgut, son of lovely Irgit and magnificent Tarpan, stallions, mares and foals come from all points of the compass to witness the event.

After a fierce fight with wolves, in which the stallions rout 20,000 of them, Tarpan, immortalized trots proudly away with the young prince on his back.

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