August 06, 2008 | | Comments 0

Byelorussian Harness Horse

The Byelorussian Harness: The Steady Worker

The name of the breed alone already reveals a lot about it. The Byelorussian Harness horse originates from the region of Byelorussia and is a horse that is best suited and is specifically bred to bear the harness. The breed goes by alternative names including Belorusskaya.

Not much can be said about the history of this humble beast. Unlike many European horses with ancient and glorious pasts, this horse breed has a straightforward and simple history. It is likely that breeding began precisely because of the local need for a harness horse. The base breeds used for breeding are the local horses that populated northern forests. To improve the bloodline, these local horses were paired with specific breeds such as the Ardennes, Barbancon and the Dole. To date, many Byelorussian horses bear greater influence from the Dole breed. Breeding is still the primary source of trait enhancement in this harness horse breed.

Byelorussian Harness breeders have been around for some time. Today, they continue to breed these horses in Pobeda and Zarechye. There are currently two types of Byelorussian Harness horses. The difference between the two is that one is larger than the other.

Despite the presence of a large type, Byelorussian Harness horses are generally mid sized. Its average sized head and neck length are in proportion to its maximum height of 15 hands. It has a thick mane and tail, a generous chest, a level back and solid muscles that are not bulky. It can weigh up to 500 kg. Common colors include chestnut and dun.

Because it is a harness horse, this breed is strong, quick and capable of enduring for long periods of time at a task. It can pull loads weighing 400 to 600 kg. It has also been known to work well in woody areas or in soft soil types such as that found in swamp areas. Of course, these horses are able to perform lesser tasks too such as pulling carriages. Being work horses, they are also typically mild tempered and can easily be managed.

Aside from being a harness horse, this breed has other functions. In its native regions it is also a popular breed used for producing milk. Mares can generate up to nine liters of milk which is more than other horses can produce.

One advantage of this breed is its fertility and long life spans. The Byelorussian Harness horse has been known to endure longer than other breeds and can remain fertile even past their second decade of life.

Although it is quite common for horse lovers to compare horse breeds, the Byelorussian need not be compared with others of its kind. This is simply because this horse has been especially bred to fit and function well under Byelorussian land, climate and work conditions. It is what might be considered a horse breed with a special function.

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