Golden Hair Horse Breeds Of Breathtaking Beauty Of The Nature


Donsky Horse Breed

This well-known breed is ranked now as a high-class saddle horse and is found in the districts bordering the Don and Volga Rivers. It was originally a small breed, but efforts to increase its size and improve on its conformation were achieved by the introduction during the 19th century and onwards of Persian and Karabakh blood. Whole studs of these Karabakh horses were from time to time purchased in the Caucasus and driven overland to the banks of the Don River for the purposes described.

The amazing powers of endurance of the Donsky horses are almost unbelievable. It was with these incredibly tough horses that the Cossacks harassed Napoleon’s ill-fated army in 1812, marching not only on Paris but afterwards back across Europe into Russia again, a feat unequalled in cavalry history. The Cossacks, who originally guarded the Russian frontiers from nomadic Tartar invaders, maintain their horses in the traditional droves that still roam the plains today.

Many Donsky horses are of the much-admired golden colour inherited from the Karabakh breed. Different types are discernible, but together with the golden coat colour, the most sought-after are those showing Persian characteristics – noble expressions, fine heads, and elegance of conformation: in short, they are the Russian saddle-horses of perfection. Height 15.1 to 15.3 hands.

Karabakh Horse Breed

This beautiful breed is found in the Caucasian districts and has greatly contributed in the past to the improvement of the Donsky horses. They are similar to the highest class of Persian horses, that is to say, that they are predominantly Arabian in conformation, and with the dished face of the Arab as opposed to the straight profile of the Persian.

Their characteristic golden color is also to be found in another Russian breed, the Akhal-Teke. This most admired color, together with admirable conformation, makes the Karabakh breed one of the most beautiful in the world.

Palomino Horse Breed

The term ‘Palomino’ as applied to this beautiful horse of North America, appropriately known as ‘the golden horse of the West’, is not yet strictly a breed, but a colour. This colour is literally gold, though variations from a soft cream or light blonde chestnut to darker shades are admissible. At its best, the coat has been described as metallic in sheen comparable within a few shades to a United States gold coin. The mane and tail should be very light, almost white, and except for white on the face and legs no other colours or markings are admitted; albino and pinto parentage are forbidden. The eyes are dark, and blue or chalk eyes are not accepted.

The ultimate origin of this attractive colouring goes back to remote ages, its being mentioned in Homeric times. For practical purposes, however, it appears to be of Spanish origin from Saracen and Moorish stock, and there is no doubt that the type contains Arab and Barb blood. Horses of this colour became highly prized in Spain, and Queen Isabella, the sponsor of Columbus. Encouraged their breeding. It is possible that such animals were taken to the West Indies by Columbus, but it is on record that Cortés had them in Mexico in 1519. In Spain, these horses were called ‘Ysabellas’ in honour of the famous queen. It is said that they take their present name from one Juan de Palomino, to whom Cortés presented one of them.

They were rediscovered about a hundred and fifty years ago when the United States took possession of California in 1848 after the Mexican war. Then Palominos were used extensively as saddle horses and for the parade and spectacular purposes, and also for racing until ousted by the speedier Thoroughbred. Their vogue then declined until recent times, when they were rediscovered and taken up for their appearance and excellent riding qualities.

Apart from the colour the following are the main physical characteristics of the Palomino. The general appearance is of Arab or Barb type, only larger and more solid. The height is from 15.2 to 16 hands, and the weight is from 1,200 to 1,600lb. Only horses of over 14.2 hands are admitted into the register. For the rest, they have the normal points of a good horse, with a fine showy action under saddle, a mild, amenable disposition and good movement.

The breeding is generally a cross between Palomino and light chestnuts of the light horse breeds, and also Palomino to Palomino. A cross between a chestnut mare with light mane and tail and a Palomino stallion will usually produce a Palomino foal in 80% of such crosses. Foals are usually true Palomino at birth, with blue eyes. The colour changes somewhat with age, and the eyes darken. Manes and tails start by being chestnut but whiten with age.

Breeding is from any type of recognised light horse breeds, but the infusion of pony or draught blood is barred. The three main types are the Parade (or Show) type; the Bridle Path type, a general utility saddle horse; and the Stock Horse for ranger work.

So far as the British Isles is concerned, not until recent years has any effort been made to foster the Palomino, and today the body which is concerned with its future is the British Palomino Horse Society. At varying times classes have been held for them at horse shows and they have appeared in parades. It is satisfactory to note, however, that today there is a marked advance in the number of Palominos to be found here, with the consequently added number of shows which welcome the attractive horse.

Even more satisfactory is the fact that the conformation of the Palomino is greatly improved and the true colour more firmly fixed. There seems to be a good market for a horse which can claim, after all, that were colour is concerned, he stands unbeaten for beauty.

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