Early horse types
This horse, named for the era in which he existed, was the primitive Forest Horse (Equus robustus), from which evolved the coldblooded draught breeds. He was a heavy, thick legged horse covered in coarse hair, with wide, flat feet suited to the marshy forested land that spread throughout Europe following the lce Ages.
Przewalskl ‘ s Horse
Also known as the Asiatic Wild Horse, this is the only truly wild equine still in existence. Hunted by man for meat, he is depicted in cave drawings found in France and Spain that date back some 20,000 years. The horse features heavily in these drawings, so it is probably safe to assume he was found in abundance. Short and thickset, with erect mane and the ’primitive’ dun colouring — with dorsal (backbone) stripe and zebra markings on his legs — the Asiatic Vihld Horse was thought to be extinct, until the Russian explorer Colonel Nikolai Mikhailovitch Przewalski rediscovered two small herds living
in the Tachin Schara Nuru Mountains near the edge of the
Herds of the Przewalskl have been reintroduced.
lt is the only truly wild equine still in existence.
Gobi Desert. Since then, and after several abortive attempts, Przewalsk1’s Horse has been reintroduced to the wild. Due to the efforts of the Przewalski Foundation in the Netherlands and breeding preserves in Askania Nova, Ukraine, in 1992 two breeding groups of Przewalski Horses were reintroduced to Mongolia as closely monitored feral herds, with the ultimate plan of reintroducing the animals to the open steppes (plains). Although Przewalski’s Horse is widely believed to be the origin of the modern equine, it should be noted that he has 66 chromosomes, while all other breeds have 64. Furthermore, when bred to a domestic horse, the Przewalski produces fertile offspring with 65 chromosomes.
Equus caballus gmelini, the Tarpan, was a more lightly built pony type that ranged across eastern Europe and over the Ukrainian steppes, and from which many modern ponies have evolved. The last wild Tarpan, a mare, died in 1880,
but the breed has been ’reconstituted’ using Przewalski’s Horse, Icelandic Ponies, Swedish Gotlands and the Konik
The Konlk – which means ‘small horse’ in Polish-
has been used to reconstitute the Tarpan.
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