August 06, 2008 | | Comments 0

Budyonny Horses

The Budyonny as Russian Competition Horses

The Budyonny was once a military horse. Today, with no need to mount horses for battle, the Budyonny enjoys a different function altogether.

Budyonny Horse History

The unique name of the horse comes from Marshall Semyon Budyonny. He was a hero of the Russian revolution who initiated the breeding of horses specifically intended for military use. It was after the revolution and the First World War that the breeding of Budyonny horses began in Rostov which then held a military horse breeding camp.

At first, the breeding program proceeded on trial and error. There were differences in the appearances and sizes of the horses bred which led to some form of categorization. Some horses looked slimmer and more elegant and were therefore better fit for military riding. Others were larger and were thus more able for carriage pulling.

The three major category varieties were likely the result of breeding different local horse breeds with Thoroughbreds. At first, the English Thoroughbreds were paired with four local horse breeds. Two of these breeds were the Chernomer and the Don. Kazakh and Kirgiz horses were also used. It was however the Don and Thoroughbred pairing that produced the best results. The pairing was also alternatively called Anglo-Don. Today, the Budyonny is bred in the Kazakh and in some parts of Ukraine.

Budyonny Horse Traits

The Budyonny exhibits largely similar traits to the English Thoroughbred. It is therefore a distinctly elegant and powerful looking horse. It has a finely chiseled head with a straight profile, a long neck, long legs and a long back. It has well-muscled shoulders and chest and compact bones. Like the Thoroughbred, it is also a tall horse, although it is not massive. It can stand to a maximum of 16 hands. The height of these horses alone promotes their regal bearing. Most Budyonny horses come in chestnut although other colors are possible.

Budyonny horses are mild tempered and patient. This however does not mean that they are less hardy than other horses. Budyonny horses have frequently exhibited their capacity for endurance, speed, spirit and courage. In one experiment in which Budyonny horses were left on their own, the horses were able to survive and prove that the breed was hardy enough to survive even in a difficult environment without human care.

Budyonny Horse Functions Today

The need for cavalry horses only lasted for several more years after the Budyonny breeding program began. Today, there are no more military exploits that require horse riding except possibly during display shows. Budyonny breeders have therefore had to look for new ways to channel the spirit and stamina of the Budyonny horses. Because of their traits, Budyonny horses have become perfect horses for riding, racing and other equestrian competitions.

Like other horses from other countries, the Budyonny has become a true Russian horse. The breed was internationally recognized in 1948.

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