|Country of origin:||Albania|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
The Albanian is a small horse which belongs to the Balkan group. It is hardy and very efficient. The Myzeqea type is larger and can grow up to 13.2 hands high, while the mountain type ranges from 12.2hh to 13.2hh.
There are two types of native Albanian horse, referred to as Mountain and Myzeqea ('plains'). Due to recent interbreeding between the two types, the distinction is becoming less clear. The Myzeqea horse is exceptionally strong for its size and has an easily-ridden ambling gait, making it useful as a long distance horse.
During the reign of the Ottoman Empire in Albania, a great deal of Arabian blood influenced the local horses. The indigenous stock were thought to be various combinations of Tarpan, Turkmene and Mongolian horse stock.
Since 1980, there has been a great increase in the number of horses in Albania. In the early 1990s, measures were taken to promote and increase the number of Albanian horses and to improve them for agricultural work. The improved horses are concentrated at large breeding centers such as the Zootechnic Station at Shkodër and at specialized farms where stallions are produced for improving local horses.
The goals of Albanian breeders today are to increase the number of horses and improve their quality. Purebred Arabian, Nonius and Haflinger horses are crossed with the Albanian and several improved types are emerging.
The main reason for this crossbreeding is increased size for better agricultural work. The Haflinger pony was imported from Austria to help improve the working abilities of horses in hilly regions of the country.