August 07, 2008 | | Comments 0

Caspian Horses

Caspian Horse

Rediscovering the Caspian Horse

The Caspian Horse breed has one of the most beautiful stories to tell. Aside from being an ancient breed with a long, noble history, they also seem to have almost risen from the dead.

The Rebirth of the Caspian

The first Caspian Horses were found thousands of years ago in Iran. Evidences suggest that these horses were both prized by royalty and the common folk. Hence, the small horses were both ridden by royals and used as work horses. They were however regarded as likely to be extinct for close to two thousand years. Sometime in the 1960s however, Louise Firouz, an American who had a riding school in Iran made a wonderful discovery. While out looking for ponies for her riding school, she discovered a small workhorse that was as small as a pony. It was later established that what she had discovered was the descendant of the ancient small horses of Iran. Thus began the rebirth of the Caspian Horse.

During the revolution in Iran, the survival of the Caspian was again doubtful. From the time of the horses’ rediscovery however, efforts have been increased to promote the survival of the Caspian Horse. A breeding program was established in Iran. The horses were also bred overseas in the U.S. and in England. Although they have been saved from completely disappearing, these horses are still quite rare. This is especially since Caspian mares do not become fertile continuously.

Since the horses were thought long gone, it is possible that the present breed may not entirely be pure. Before the breeding programs, they were often used as ordinary workhorses that were allowed to mix with other breeds. This intermingling is the most probable explanation to the differences in height among Caspian horses.

Caspian Horse Traits

The Caspian is a well proportioned horse with a fine and elegant figure. This is why a Caspian will look much like other elegant tall horses when viewed from afar or in static images. A close look at the Caspian however will give you the impression that it is either a pony or a horse that has not fully matured. The Caspian stands at only a maximum of more or les 12 hands with some growing no taller than 9 hands. Although their height qualifies them for pony classification, they are regarded as true horses.

The Caspian has a small body and head. Like other elegant horses however, it has a slim neck and sloping shoulders. Their bones are compact and they possess strong legs. One distinct trait of these horses is that they have oval hooves that are so durable that they may go without horse shoes.

Because of their small size, Caspian horses make perfect first horses for young students learning to ride. Their size however is not the only thing that commends them to children. They are also gentle horses that can bond with their human riders when treated well.

Despite their reputation however for being teaching tools in riding schools, they are also swift horses. The build of their bodies allow them to make longer strides and ideal gaits.

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