From Shires to Shetlands, Thoroughbreds to Welsh ponies, we’ve seen all kinds of breeds on the yard. But what about those more unusual breeds you don’t see out chomping in the fields? Here are a few of our favourite special breeds…
American Bashkir Curlies
We kick things off with a breed displaying an uncommon advantage. If you’re a horse lover that suffers from animal allergies then we may have just solved your problem! Introducing the rare American Bashkir Curly horse. This North American horse carries a unique gene leading to characteristics of curly hair, also meaning they’re hypoallergenic – every allergic horse owners dream! Their curly locks can range from a wavy mane and tail with curly fetlocks to full body curls with dreadlocked manes. Known for their amicable and trainable nature, they make ideal competition horses!
Akhal Teke Horse
Ever wanted to own a golden horse? Let us introduce the sleek Akhal-Teke Horse from Turkmenistan, Central Asia. This stunning breed showcases a distinct metallic gleam, although its unique look isn’t all there is to this breed. Despite being the national horse of Turkmenistan, the Akhal-Teke is an endangered breed. It is believed to be an ancient race horse – around three thousand years old! This ancient breed is bred for their speed, strength and size and are still raced in Turkmenistan to this day.
The Marwari horse is another rare breed originating from Jodhpur, India. Typically known for their unusual inward turning ears meeting at the tips! Another horse bred for their stamina and speed, records show the Marwari horse to have been bred since the 12th century! The Marwari horse is born with a ‘revaal’ gait. This is a fast four-beat gait thought to be smoother than a trot and used when travelling long distances through the desert.
The Przewalski’s horses hold little resemblance to our previous unusual breeds. Standing at 12 to 14 hands, Przewalski’s have a stocky and muscular, dun coloured body with a vertical dark brown mane. The Przewalski’s horses are a wild subspecies of Equus ferus native to Mongolia and although extinct in the wild since 1966, they have recently been re-introduced to various national parks in Mongolia. Descendants from ancestors that were never domesticated, Przewalski’s horses are considered to be the last truly wild horse.
The Caspian horse, although appear to have similar characteristics to our well-known breeds, are unusual in that they stand at 9 to 11.2 hands but are still considered to be a horse. It is therefore termed a horse rather than a pony not because of their size, but due to their resemblance to horses in terms of confirmation, behaviour and gait. The Caspian is native to Northern Iran and is thought to be one of the oldest horse or pony breeds in the world dating back to 3000BC!
As the name suggests the Peruvian Paso horse is native to Peru but descended from the Spanish horse brought over by Christopher Columbus. It is considered to be one of the purest breeds in the world due to its isolation for 500 years. The Peruvian Paso boasts a unique natural four-beat lateral gait which has two variants; the ‘Paso llano’ and the ‘Sobreandando’, instead of the well-known two-beat gait, trot. The Paso llano has four equal beats whereas the Sobreandando, although still a four-beat gait, isn’t equal following a 1-2, 3-4 rhythm. This gait is thought to be the smoothest gait in the world!
There we have our round-up of our favourite unusual horse breeds, what are yours? Let us know in the comments below!