Eurasian - Russia
Photo supplied by
A. Baranauskas and A. Vienuolis-Zukauskas Memorial Horse Museum,
The Przewalski is believed to be related to the Asiatic Wild Horse and was
thought to be extinct due to over hunting by Mongolian tribesmen. In 1881 the Russian
explorer colonel N M Przewalski
found a small herd living at the edge of the Gobi desert
in the Tachin Schar Nuru Mountains. They became known as Przewalski horse.
It is possible to cross the Przewalski with the domestic horse. The offspring is fertile
and has 65 chromosomes. If the offspring is again crossed with the domestic horse, it had
64 chromosomes and very
little influence of the Przewalski remains.
In 1979 an international stud book for the Przewalski horse was set up in an effort to
preserve the breed.
heavily built, primitive, 66 chromosomes (instead of 64)
Head: large head; high set eyes rather to the side; long ears; no forelock; light colored
Body: heavy body
Mane: dark color, grows upright, sheds in spring
Tail: low set, dark color
Color: always yellowish dun; light coloured nose; dark dorsal strip and zebra markings on
Height: 12 to 13hh
Temperament: stubborn, cannot be trained for riding
Qualities: can endure extreme heat and cold; survives on minimum of food
Small herds of Przewalski horses still live in the wild. They can also be
found in zoos and private parks around the world.
Photo supplied by A. Baranauskas and A. Vienuolis-Zukauskas Memorial Horse Museum, Lithuania ©
The Tarpan is believed to be an ancestor of the modern horse. It survived
in its habitat of Eastern Europe and European Russia until the 19th century. It is
believed that the last true Tarpan died in captivity in 1919.
The Tarpan existing in Poland in reserves in semi wild herds today is believed to
have been re-developed from the Konik horse which shows strong resemblance to the Tarpan.
Crossing of Konik mares and
Przewalski stallions produced a horse which looks like the
original Tarpan. It is of lighter built than the Przewalski horse.
Only very few Tarpan horses still exist in the wild, the majority of the breed is owned by
dedicated breeders. In Europe some breeders cross the Tarpan with Thoroughbreds to produce
horses suitable for hunting.
In Canada they are often crossed with Welsh-Arabians
developing a new pony breed. With a lot of love and patience the Tarpan can be
trained for riding.
Head: large head; large jaw
Body: short, strong back; very low withers
Legs: strong limbs
Feet: very strong, don't require shoes
Mane and Tail: dark color
Color: brown, mouse dun; often primitive dorsal strip and
Height: about 13hh
Temperament: friendly, very calm, very intelligent, curious,
stubborn, self- relyence
Qualities: trainable, good jumpers, agile
Because of their very calm temperament the Tarpan is a good horse for
children and for the disabled. The sociable Tarpan is well suited to work with stock.