August 10, 2008 | | Comments 0

Kustanai Horse

Kustanai Horse

Improving the Kustanai Breed

The Kustanai horse breed is one that has only been recently introduced. Unlike other ancient breeds, this one only has a little over a century of history to trace. It has both an uncomplicated and an unassuming breed history.

The Beginning of the Kustanai Breed

The Kustanai breed was born in Kazakhstan. The Maikulski stud was first established followed by the Kustanai stud. The year of origin of the breed is set at 1887. It was however decades later in the early 1950s that the breed was officially recognized. This is most likely because the breeding program did not always run very smoothly and did not always produce the desired breed traits. In fact, it was only in the 1920s that breeding procedures, regulations and standards were improved. In the 1900s, two improved systems were used. Among the improvements introduced included revised grazing and pasture schedules, improved hay and food quality and careful keeping during bad weather. One group of horses received more stable time than the other group.

At the beginning, the breeding program brought in influences from Don, Astrakhan, Kazakh, Thoroughbred and Stralet horse breeds. Eventually though, more Thoroughbred blood was infused for more desirable results. This improvement, combined with two different systems for improved breeding and care led to the development of ideal saddle and steppe horses. Steppe horses had more local blood influence while those intended for the saddle had more foreign influence from the English Thoroughbred. Today, the Kustanai breed is expected to last long. Its mares have a high fertility rate and all horses, regardless of gender tend to live over two decades.

Kustanai Horse Traits

A casual look at a Kustanai horse will reveal that its proportions are well balanced. They are neither too large and stocky nor too small and lean. They therefore occupy the middle ground between imposing draft horses and refined sports horses. Like many well-bred horses, they are muscular and have sloping shoulders, good joints, long backs, long necks, deep chests, sturdy hooves and sloping croup. Their colors include roan, chestnut, black, bay, brown and gray. Kustanai horses have sizes that are a little over 15 hands.

Because of the two systems for breeding and care, some Kustanai horses are more ideal for hard work than others. Those that may not be best for light farm work may be more suited to the saddle. Despite this distinction though, all Kustanai horses are considered hardy and lively. They are also generally calm though which makes them easy to manage while riding.

The story and use of Kustanai horses may currently seem limited. This breed however is still relatively new compared to the more established breeds. It is hoped that succeeding decades of breeding will lead to more improvements in the traits and functions of the Kustanai horse.

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