|Country of origin:||Soviet Union|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
The Bashkir Pony is an ancient breed developed in the mountain/steppe zone near the Volga and the Urals in the former USSR. They are probably related to the Steppe horses of Western Asia. They have developed to become a quite remarkable pony breed, highly adapted to their harsh environment and a central part of the local steppe people's lives.
The Bashkir has a heavy head with a straight profile, a full forelock and small alert ears. They have a short, strong neck, are deep chested with sloping shoulders, low withers, and a long, sometimes dipped back, with a low-set tail. Their legs are short and strong, cannon diameter averages about 8 inches, and they have very hard hooves. The Bashkir usually stands 13.1 to 14 hh, and is usually bay, chestnut, or palomino, although they can also be roan or gray.
The Bashkir descends from the steppe horses in Western Asia, and was developed by the Bashkir people, who came to the area of Asia now known as Bashkortostan during the 7th century. Ancestors of the Bashkir are found in plentiful numbers in ancient burial mounds in the Western Asian steppes. The Bashkir is believed to have been developed by crossing this steppes horse with the Bashkirian forest horse, and the resulting breed was influenced in their evolution by the harsh climate, which resulted in their hardiness and stamina.
To improve the breed, Bashkirs are sometimes crossed with riding breeds like the Don and the Budyonny or draft breeds like the Ardennes. They have also been crossed with other former USSR breeds such as the Russian Heavy Draft and Kazakh and Yakut horses. Most official Bashkir breeding stock is located at the Ufa stud.
The Bashkir is an all-purpose breed, and can be used for riding, light draft and farm work, and milk, meat, and clothing production. The curly, thick winter coat of the breed can be used to produce clothing. The mares have also been long used for their milk, which averages around 3,300 lbs per lactation period, with top mares producing around 5,950 lbs in seven to eight months of lactation. Two distinct types of the Bashkir have been developed: one a smaller, lighter mountain type used mainly for riding, and the other a heavier steppes type mainly used for light draft work such as drawing troikas. The Bashkir was used in war as mounts by Bashkir warriors and Orenburg and Ural Cossacks, and regiments mounted on the breed participated in the Napoleonic wars.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Bashkir". Oklahoma State University. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Bashkir". Equiworld. http://www.equiworld.org/breeds/bashkir/index.htm. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bongianni, Maurizio (1988). Simon & Schuster's Guide to Horses and Ponies. Simon & Schuster, Inc.. pp. 166. ISBN 0671660683.