These horses are bred and developed in the Stavropol region and the Kabardin Republic (North Caucasus) of the former U.S.S.R, as the result of crossing English Thoroughbred stallions with Kabarda mares. This breed, which shows some quality and is of good conformation, is capable of extreme endurance.
Having very good action, the Kabarda was considered superior to all-mountain riding horses, and the crossing with Thoroughbreds was done to improve the breed. The resulting Anglo-Kabarda, a strongly built horse standing about 15 hands, is now used to improve other breeds, which abound in large numbers in this vast area of the Caucasus. It enjoys an excellent reputation.
Kabarda Horse Breed
These horses are found in the mountainous regions of the Caucasus and are the result of crossing the native Mongol stock with Eastern sires of Persian or Arab blood. They are used both for saddle and pack work and are exceptionally sure-footed and agile. They are now bred by ‘selfing’, and bred mostly true to type, but occasional horses deviating from the pure Kabarda type are crossed with English Thoroughbred and Arab sires with good results. They are strong, rather ‘harnessy’ horses, with a distinctive convex profile, and most bay in color without white markings.
Bred amongst mountains, the Kabarda horses are extremely sure-footed, and will ford dangerous rivers and cross precipitous ranges with great courage and sagacity, while their rugged independence is very marked.
Highland Horse Breed
The largest and strongest of the mountain and moorland group of breeds of Great Britain, the Highland pony is to be found in the highlands of Scotland and certain adjacent islands. The Highland is of great antiquity. It is said that after the Ice Age in Europe there was a movement of ponies towards the west from Northern Asia, the larger ones keeping to the north, now represented by the Scandinavian and Highland ponies, and the smaller going to the south, becoming known by the general term of Eastern breeds.
Today the Highland pony may be divided into three types: the smaller ponies of Barra and the outer islands standing from 12.2 to 13.2 hands; the second class is the well-known riding-pony of some 13.2 to 14.2 hands; the largest and strongest are known as ‘Mainland’ ponies, and stand about 14.2 hands. Highlands ponies have had an infusion of alien blood, mostly Arabian.
As a worker, the Highlander is immensely strong and very docile. He has always been used to carrying the deer for stalkers in the Highlands and has been a great stand-by for the crofters in those parts. The pony is first-class for hill work on account of its sure-footedness and is a well-balanced walker. It is pleasant to ride at its natural paces, which are walking and trotting, but many tend to be on the ‘forehand’.
Description: Head, well carried, attractive, and broad between prominent, bright eyes; short between eyes and muzzle, with wide nostrils. Ears short and well set. In profile, the breadth, rather than the length, of the head and jawbone should be pronounced. Neck, strong and not short, crest arched, with flowing mane; throat clean, not too fleshy.
Shoulders well set back; withers not too pronounced. Body: back short, with slight natural curve; chest-deep; ribs deep, well sprung, carried well back. Quarters and loins powerful, thighs short and strong. Tall, strong, and well set on, carried gaily, with a plentiful covering of hair almost to the ground.
Legs, flat in the bone, flinty to the touch, with a slight fringe of straight silken feather ending in a prominent tuft at the fetlock joint. Forelegs placed well under the weight of the body; forearm strong and knee broad. Oblique pasterns, not too short; and broad, firm, horny hoofs. Hocks, broad, clean, flat, and closely set. Action-free and straight. Colour, black, brown, fox color, with silver mane and tail; varying dun or grey with no white markings. The eel stripe along the back is typical, but not always present.