If man makes efforts to breed specialized factory breeds of horses, then nature itself creates local or aboriginal breeds. Developing in the harsh conditions of the wild, these horses are the most adapted to a particular area. And although they often have a slightly odd appearance and short stature, they are distinguished by their incredible endurance and unpretentiousness. Sometimes these animals influence even the course of history and the development of nations. And this includes the Bashkir breed of horses.
An undersized Bashkir horse comes from the southern slopes of the Ural Mountains. The breed got its name from Bashkiria, where it is massively kept in herds. Today it occupies an intermediate place between the steppe and horses of the northern forest type. Therefore, animals get along well both in steppe conditions and in flatter zones. Today this horse goes equally well in harness and was used by locals as a pack animal under the saddle and for centuries.
The Bashkir breed is without doubt one of the most hardened horses in the world. She can live in open areas at a temperature of -30 and even -40 degrees. Snowstorms it also does not hinder the search for food. Hard hooves and strong legs allow you to break the snow to a depth of one meter. And Bashkir mares are famous for their milk production and in the lactation season they give up to 1500 liters of product.
Horse in Bashkiria
First of all, it should be said that this breed of horses was not specially bred; it was formed under the influence of natural selection. In Bashkiria, these racers have been widely distributed since the 17th century. A little later they were massively bred in the Orenburg and Ufa provinces for the needs of the local population. Such horses could be found in the Kazan and Perm provinces, and even on the postal treatises of Western Siberia. In particular, for postal purposes they used the Bashkir threes.
For residents of Bashkiria, stunted but hardy horses have become an integral part of life and agriculture. Some rich people in herds could keep several hundred animals. And such qualities of a horse as courage, gullibility, obedience, decisiveness made it indispensable during the war of 1812 and the Great Patriotic War. On their basis, the famous 112th Bashkir cavalry division was created. A valuable nutritious koumiss both earlier and today is the basis for feeding the population of Bashkiria.
The Bashkir horse originated in the lands of the Ural steppes back in ancient times. It is believed that the breed was improved by crossing steppe horses from Asia with local flattering ones. As a result, a more versatile horse appeared. Zoologists claim that today the Bashkir horse is the closest relative of the steppe tarpan. This is clearly seen in their appearance.
As is known, in Bashkortostan there is a rather severe continental climate, which played a major role in shaping the exterior of local horses. Over the years, animals have adapted to the harsh winters, have learned to look for food under the snow. Since the population of Bashkortostan is sedentary and engaged in farming, their horses also acquired a more agricultural type. As seen in the photo, they, unlike other aboriginal breeds, have a more developed core and not such a dry head.
This breed is small in stature - at the withers about 143-145 centimeters. However, the horses are bony, strong in build, broad-bodied, as in the photo. Their head is of medium size, but rather coarse. The neck is also medium and muscular. The back is straight and wide, which characterizes it as a representative of the working type.
As can be clearly seen in the photo, the croup of horses is round and slightly deflated, the chest is wide and deep. Legs strong, hardy, dry. Like most northern horses, the Bashkir has a thick mane and tail. With herd content in the steppes in winter, their body is covered with thick warm wool. The color is dominated by red, kauraya and savrasaya, but also often there are bay, brown and buckskin horses.