These different horses
The rider soared over the obstacle. The audience froze, leaned forward, as if hoping to help the brave man.
But the horse, without hitting unsteady poles, landed and galloped to the next obstacle. Jump, jump, still jump! Fascinating, exciting sight!
And is less interesting dressage – honed performance of complex exercises on the festive playpen rectangle?
With barely noticeable actions, the horseman makes the horse go from one step to another to a trot and a gallop, change the pace and direction of movement, perform the complex elements of a high school of riding: pirouette, passage, piaffe.
Yes! We love equestrian sport. And this is not surprising – a thousand-year tradition connects brave and skilled equestrian athletes with epic warriors, with mighty warriors of horse guards, with Cossack explorers and defenders of Russian frontiers. Throughout history, the horse helped a man in labor and on the battlefield, accompanied him during the days of folk festivals.
Taming horses began about 6 thousand years ago in different parts of Asia and Europe
The wild horses that the man tamed were not the same, as they lived in different climatic zones. Even more different were the conditions in which horses were bred by people who settled throughout the Eurasian continent. On the endless steppe and semi-desert plains, horses had to experience the scorching heat in summer and penetrating cold winds in winter, often content with scanty dry grass and drink brackish water.
In the mountains, horses required the ability to endure a lack of oxygen and not to lose balance on steep slopes and narrow paths. Finally, in the northern forests there could be only such horses that were well protected by thick hair. So in the course of evolution various types of steppe, mountain and forest horses were formed. A special type of dwarf horses – ponies formed on some European and Asian islands.
Within each type, the rocks associated with a particular terrain gradually separated. They are now called local or native breeds. In conditions close to natural, these rocks evolved mainly under the influence of natural selection, the role of man in their creation was small. The horses of the local breeds were used for riding, and under the pack, and in the harness. Hardy and unpretentious, they performed any work. But even in antiquity there was a need for stronger and faster horses for military purposes. People had to learn to select for breeding the best individuals for offspring with the necessary qualities for military campaigns. Specialized riding breeds were bred on the territory of the modern Central Asian Soviet republics and Iran, later they spread to other countries of the Middle East, hit the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, and then to Europe.
Horses from the East began to be delivered to Russia in very far times.
However, Russian horse breeding for many centuries used mainly local breeds. At the end of the XVII-beginning of the XVIII century, in connection with the wars and reforms of Peter I, the need for a large number of large riding horses and draft horses sharply increased, for which special farms were created in Russia – horse-breeding factories. Here breeding work was adjusted, purposeful training and testing of young stock was organized.
The plants selected the best local horses, which were crossed with oriental stallions.
Skillful selection of parental pairs and the strictest selection for further breeding only the best animals allowed us to breed new breeds, known as factory ones. These rocks, depending on their destination, are referred to as the top, up-and-down, and down-and-down types. Among the harness horses distinguish lightweight, trotters and draft horses.
There are over 250 different local and factory breeds in the world, more than 40 of them are bred in the Soviet Union.
We still have local horses of all types:
steppe – Don, Bashkir, Kazakh
mountainous – Kabardian, Karabakh, Lokai, Altai
forest – Vyatka, Estonian, Yakut and many others
At present in the USSR there are more than a hundred state stud farms, a lot of breeding farms on state and collective farms. We also breed the most ancient Akhal-Teke and purebred Arabian breeds, which played a paramount role in breeding many domestic and foreign horse breeds. There are congregations for breeding horses of a thoroughbred riding breed, the birthplace of which is England, and our Orlov trotters, famous throughout the world.
During the years of Soviet power, 15 new breeds and pedigree groups of horses were bred: the Russian trotter; Budennovskaya, Terek, Kustanay, New-Kyrgyz, Kushumsky, Latvian breeds; Anglo-Kabardian and Ukrainian pedigree groups of upper and upper-sled type; Belorussian and Tori harness; Soviet, Russian, Vladimir and Lithuanian heavy harness.
Most horses are used in agriculture for various jobs. In some union and autonomous republics, horses are bred as productive animals for meat and milk.