The pride of the Belarusians is the Belarusian dredged breed of horses, which has found application in sports, for work in the plow, in skating young children, for horseback riding in the woods. This is one of the oldest horse breeds in Europe, and so far the only one bred in Belarus. It is distributed in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, partly in Georgia and Kazakhstan.
History of origin
The breed originates in the western part of Belarus, the settlements of Desna and Vilia.
Breeders tried to bring unique animals that will be endowed with endurance, speed, strength and high performance. Scientists crossed local horses with:
- horses of the Ardenic breed;
- Polish horsemen;
- horses of the north-swedish breed;
- horses goodbrandedal breed.
Soon, all of the above qualities and received the horse Belarusian breed. And already 10 years after breeding, in 1812 the first equestrian plants were built, containing more than 100 breeding stallions and about 1,000 thoroughbred mares.
Official recognition and factories
Despite the fact that the Belarusian sledding dogs were bred in the early 19th century, the breed was officially registered on May 20, 2000.
But Belarusian sledges always pleased the breeders with their stunning success. Since the 1900s, 500-1000 heads were exported from the country every year. Residents of neighboring countries eagerly bought these horses for long-term work in the mountains and transportation of heavy loads.
The most distinguished stud farm in Olszew. They sold the best and most efficient horses, which fully meet the standards. For a time, the breed was even called the “Olshevo sledding breed”. But after a few years, the old name was returned and fully consolidated.
To date, there are only three plants left for breeding Belarusian draft horses - in Baranovichi and Smolevichsky districts, the city of Lida.
Now the improvement of the breed of Belarusian draft horses is the method of breeding along the lines. There are only six of them:
- Orlyk the First;
- Bayan First;
- Anode First;
- Forest Eagle;
- Cherished First.
The most common line is Orlyk's stallion. He lived only 20 years, but was able to leave a large offspring. All horses from Orlik differ energetic temperament, good physique and compliance with all standards. The most prominent son of a stud stallion was Nord. He was able to show excellent results at the All-Union trials and repeatedly won at exhibitions.
The most enduring horses are individuals, obtained from Anode I. Most foals from him were born through artificial insemination. The Anode itself and many of its descendants were able to establish a good time on the test of endurance at the All-Union competitions. He set 2 records. First: the delivery of goods in increments, passing 2 km in 14 minutes 46 seconds. The second: the transportation of the largest cargo in 20 tons 3 kg.
Horses, obtained from Bayan I, are distinguished by a massive body, strong constitution, endurance, increased efficiency and activity. Most often they are used in sledding for the transport of heavy loads. It was Bayan's son, the Petrel, who broke the record for cargo delivery. The distance of 2 km he ran trot in 5 minutes and 1 second.
Less popular is the famous Line of the Covenant. There are very few descendants of this horse. They are less massive and not fully fit all standards. Most often horses in the line of the Covenant are used for agricultural work.
Two more lines - the Pigeon and the Forest Eagle, have completely "died out". Not a single stallion was left from these horses, which would continue to exist in the future.
Purebred Belarusian horses are lightweight, have a powerful body, a long mane and tail. The legs and neck are short, due to which the horses are very hardy and able to run (or walk) long distances.
Some breeds have a so-called "brush" - the villi of the hoof. The profile of the muzzle is often straight, without bends. On the back sometimes - a black belt. This is a special strip along the spine, often characteristic of stallions.
Growth by standards:
- up to 152 cm - in mares;
- up to 156 cm - with stallions.
- chest girth - 193 cm for stallions, 189 cm for mares;
- pastern circumference - 22 cm for stallions, 21.5 cm for mares;
- slanting body length - 162 cm for stallions and mares.
Permitted suits of Belarusian sledding:
- Solovaya (light red);
- buckskin (claret-brown with black tail and mane);
- cream (light yellow shade);
- bay (brown with black tail and mane).
Less common are gray, black and white horses in apples. Piedies do not occur (white to brown spots and vice versa). In case of revealing a "ticked" horse loses its pure blood.
Belarusian sled horses are considered long-lived - often live to be 30-35 years old.
Character and temperament
They have a warm temper, they make contact with people. Sometimes they show themselves from a not very favorable side - they don't let a person in, bite, kick, try to throw off. Most often this is the behavior of young stallions or horses, which in childhood received a serious mental trauma.
Circled horses are suitable for inexperienced riders or small children. For riders with experience are not suitable.
Other horses are indifferent. Do not rush. Often love to be alone, inactive. But they require space. You can leave some to walk in the paddock or corral.
Lynx and canter soft, clear. The step is very wide. Jumping with stocks.
Belarusian sled horses are suitable for hippotherapy - a method of psychological rehabilitation using riding.
Scope of application
Belarusian sled horse is now more often used in equestrian sport. Despite the powerful build of these animals, they often show excellent results in jumping jumps up to 140-150 centimeters in height, in the Small Prize dressage and triathlon.
A special place is occupied by cross-country cross-country (included in triathlon). The horses of this breed easily overcome the "dead" obstacles, again showing shocking results in time and endurance. The duration of the route often reaches 40 km. Pass at a gallop.
For rural work, Belarusian horses are also not outdated. Suitable for carrying heavy loads and working in a plow.
In addition to all this, in Belarus, this breed of horses is used to produce horse meat and a drink from horse milk - koumiss. Since these products are not distributed throughout the country, they are exported abroad and sold there.
Often, the Belarusian sledging race, competing with other heavy trucks (and more often with Russian, Soviet, Shire and Percheron), wiped their noses to their competitors.
A more famous example is the "race" in 1968. Participation took Belarusian horses and Russian heavy trucks. The task is to walk 120 km. The winner was the one who quickly gets to the finish line. Lynx and gallop were forbidden to run, otherwise removed from the distance.
The first came the Belarusian horses, having overcome the way in less than 8.5 hours with an average speed of 13 km / h. Opponents also passed only 70 km and got out of the way, refusing to go further. Moreover, they covered this distance in 9 hours, not having reached 50 km! The average speed of the Russian heavy trucks was 8 km / h.
But what is interesting is that the pulse and breathing of the Belarusian sledges almost did not change. With the same ease they could walk another 100 km and not a bit tired.
They also showed themselves perfectly in sports. Two competitive stallions are separately noted - Grozny and Yenisei. For more than 10 years, both have won prizes for jumping at international competitions on routes with barriers up to 140 cm.
Unfortunately, they did not bring any world records, but they were able to prove to everyone that even heavy trucks are able to show themselves in sports.
Advantages and disadvantages of the breed
Of the benefits are the following indicators:
- completely universal, used in all areas of equestrian sports;
- unpretentious in care, there is no inclination to diseases;
- hardy, can do without food and water for a long time;
- able to spend hours without getting tired of walking or running at a trot;
- have good soft gaits;
- good-natured to people, get on well with small children, suitable for amateur riding hobby class.
The disadvantages of the Belarusian sled horses are many times smaller. Of these, only two are distinguished - poor frost resistance and low adaptation to a new climate (for example, to sudden changes in temperature or moisture).
Care and maintenance tips
Belarusian harness is almost unpretentious in care and maintenance, but you still need to know a few important rules:
- Due to the fact that the horses of this breed have a thick mane, parasites - carriers of infections often live there. Therefore, it is required to cut it annually. Better - at the root or in the form of a mohawk.
- In summer, the wool should be trimmed so that in winter the undercoat is thicker and warmed. In winter, cutting is not desirable.
- Do not leave in the cold. Frosts do not tolerate well, so the winter stall is warmed, for example, with foam plastic, before winter (in mid-November).
- The size of the stall is at least 14 square meters. With a smaller area of the horse will feel discomfort.
- On the day the animals drink up to 50-55 liters of drinking water.
- It is better to feed 5-6 times in small portions no more than 1-2 kg of food (hay, grain, root crops, compound feeds, bran, vitamin and mineral supplements). Or 3 times a day for 4-5 kg of food, but the duration of feeding should be at least 2.5 hours so that the horses can be fully fed.
- Horseshoes are necessary (no matter where the horses are used), as the hooves easily deteriorate and rot.
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