The Bashkir horse is best known for its curly coat. This striking characteristic is their main distinguishing feature. They have a very friendly disposition and sound temperament. This, coupled with their fluffy appearance easily makes them one of the cutest horse breeds.
The Bashkir horse breed is originally from the Russian Federation from the region of Bashkortostan. They are amazingly hard-working horses and are much loved as they adapt easily to a number of different environments.
These horses will quickly become your new favorite furry friend.
There are many discrepancies surrounding the origin of the Bashkir horse breed. One perspective is that the Bashkir horse originated in Russia and was initially bred by the Bashkir people. They were thought to use the Bashkir mares for their milk. The horses were also bred for their meat.
Experts theorise that the Bashkir horse breed originally descended from the Steppe horse breed. The Steppe horses originated in West Asia. The Bashkir horse’s origin is not entirely certain but there are informed links back to these early horse breeds.
The breed of horse became valued in the 19th century after people realized they were good for milk and meat production. Their resources plus their incredible work ethic made them very desirable so the Bashkir people began them.
The Bashkir horse is most known for its curly coat, mane, and tail. The Bashkir horse’s winter coat is really soft and curly. They shed their coat for the summer months which leaves their coat looking smooth, more like typical horse breeds.
Their mane and tail have a dreadlocked appearance, which also distinguishes them from other breeds of horses.
The Bashkir horse breed does not need any specific diet. It’s perfectly fine to feed them what you would feed any other horse. Experts recommend the best quality such as Timothy Hay as a favorite among the Bashkir breed.
It is also essential that the horse has access to fresh, clean water. The water must never be contaminated or allowed to freeze. In the freezing environments of the Bashkortostan region, this is highly likely. Owners and breeders there need to be extra careful.
Breeding And Uses
Bashkir horses are bred for their good work ethic and trainable temperament. In 2003, the Curly Sporthorse International (CSI) was formed. The CSI is a registry dedicated specifically to the breeding and training of curly-coated horses for their sporting abilities.
They are great competition horses, especially in endurance events such as hunter-jumper events. Bashkirs have won multiple awards for dressage too, making them the ideal horse for show jumping general riding.
Typically, the Bashkir horse grows to around 15 hands high. This equates to approximately 1.5 meters. Bashkirs are considered to be medium-sized horses. These horses weigh about 360kg.
What Breeds Make Up The Bashkir Horse?
The Bashkir horse is represented by two main physical differences. These are split into two main groups, a lighter mountain type breed that is typically used for riding and a heavier steppe type.
Most think the Steppe horse gene exists in the Bashkir horses as this breeding makes them extremely hardy. They can survive cold temperatures and harsh environments. For example, these horses can survive in temperatures up to -40 degrees celsius.
There were supposedly breeding centers set up in Bashkiria, in the Russian Federation, as early as 1845. It was here that breeds such as the Russian Heavy Draught were used. The USSR breeds were incorporated to enhance Bashkir’s workability as well as its uses for milk and meat production.
The Bashkirs are a diverse breed of horse and come in a variety of colors that are found in most horses. The initial color for Bashkir horses was roan with a dorsal (along the spine) eel-stripe with zebra markings across the body and on the shoulders.
This made the horse a unique specimen in the equestrian world and caught the attention of breeders. Other colors that the Bashkir is found in the modern-day world are chestnut, grey, brown, piebald, and black, which shows the incredible diversity of this animal as it has been bred through the generations.
What Do They Look Like?
Aside from their very distinct curly and fluffy coats, the Bashkir breed is known for its long stride. They have an athletic build and tough hooves which is why they are so well suited to endurance events and sports.
They are also characterized by their large heads and meaty necks. Bashkirs typically also have short legs for their size, which makes their long strides quite a surprising characteristic.
What Are They Used For?
There is a massive drive to continue to breed these horses for endurance sports given their hardy and friendly nature. Traditionally the Bashkir mares have also been used for their milk production.
They are also an exceptional breed of horse for driving. Some reports say that a troika, a Russian vehicle driven by three horses, can cover between 120 and 150km per day when driven by a Bashkir horse.
Where Do They Live?
There are large herds of Bashkir horses that live in the wild in the Bashkortostan region in Russia. There are still breeding facilities here too, especially in Ufa which is the region’s breeding capital.
How Long Do They Live?
The average lifespan of a Bashkir horse is around 25 years.
How Fast Are They?
Bashkir horses can reach speeds of up to more than 80km per hour.
How Much Do They Cost?
Anyone interested in investing in a Bashkir horse can look at paying anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on the horse’s age and whether or not the horse is saddle broke.
Are They Good For Beginners?
Due to their friendliness and sound temperament, they are the ideal horse for beginner riders. They are also easily trainable and not prone to getting spooked.
Bashkir horses are a very special breed of horses. They have the ideal disposition for horse owners and are also known for their work ethic. Their intriguing appearance and soft, curly coats are unique to the Bashkir breed.