5 Better Than Just Different Breeds
 By CDS Horses   •   13th May 2010   •   8,265 views   •   9 comments
Some horse breeds you just can’t tell apart – they virtually look the same as each other. But, how about these? Well, you could probably easily pick a single one out in a herd of a dozen other breeds.

Let us ride off on a virtually impossible journey around the world to seek 5 most interesting horse breeds in five minutes, heading off from frosty Iceland, then Europe, eastwards through Asia and towards the very tip of America!

1) First off - The Icelandic horse is, rather obviously, the native horse of Iceland. They basically should be called a pony, judging on height, as many are hardly taller than 13.2hh, but maybe it’s because of the lack of word for ‘pony’ in Icelandic? The breed has a unique and VERY thick double coat that keeps them warm against the harsh Icelandic winters. There are also over a hundred words in the Icelandic language for the shades and patterns of Icelandic horse coats – impressive, huh? The Icelandic horse is also uniquely five-gaited, with an exclusive tölt gait shown in no other horse, known for its speed and exceptional power. It is amazingly smooth, and horses can go at the speed of a gallop without having the rider spill a single droplet from the drink in their hand - now that is what you call a 'smooth ride'!

2) If you ever happen to see a Norwegian Fjord, you may think it is quite strangely proportioned compared to other horses, or that they are so minorly deformed, they look out of proportion. For starters, their necks are extremely short, solid, hard and very thick. They have strong, bulky little legs and a very compact body – just like a proper draft horse, if they weren’t a measly 14hh on average! The purebred Fjord horse is also always dun, and primitive striped markings are very often seen on the legs. People also have a traditional way of clipping their two-tone coloured manes – many Fjords these days show off their Mohawks in style – a thick black stripe down the middle, with a cream coloured one on either side, all without a stray hair in place. Not surprisingly, it is a very good weight carrier!

3) Akhal-teke – these beautiful horses originating from Turkmenistan, central Asia and thought to be one of the oldest horse breeds, definately have a peculiar breed trait like no other. Akhal-Teke horses’ coats actually have a naturally strong metallic sheen – the most prized dun coloured coat catching the shine of the sun could match a newly minted copper coin! These horses have a characteristically thin skin and are true desert horses, but having been evolved in harsh climates, can survive the searing heat and freezing cold, making them an extremely hardy breed, despite what you may think! Also, because of their very thin skin, Akhal-Teke mares can often produce ‘naked foals’ where they are born genetically hairless, but this is a lethal syndrome and foals die within the first few weeks, sadly.

4) Marwari – now these are a truely unique breed! Take a look at those ears in the featured picture. The Marwari is a horse from India and are known for the way their ears are shaped. These hardy horses have ears that curve inwards, so much that the tips of the ears touch each other at the very top! The Marwari also can perform an ambling (four-beat gait faster than walk, usually slower than trot and canter) gait called the revaal, which can cover very long distances quite smoothly, but not all individuals can do it! They have a ‘sister’ breed called the Kathiawar, which is slightly smaller.

5) The American Bashkir Curly may just make you think “Oh, they have curly manes and tails!”, but in fact, their whole coat is curls! They have a special gene that makes the hairs curled, and people believe they are hypoallergenic because of their coat, which make them good for horse allergy sufferers. You can especially see the curls when they grow their winter coat! Some purebreds, however, can have 'extreme curls' and some, none at all. Most 'Curlies' have split manes (that hang on either side of neck), and some people even collect the kinked mane and tails of the Curly for spinning!

It's funny how horse breeds can differ so much in characteristic traits, isn't it? From having five gaits, to having dished faces, there will always be a trait that puts them out from the rest, but hey, as they say - everybody and every horse is different (or, unique, I like to say) and that's what makes each and every individual the best.
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Great article! I enjoyed reading it :D
  7 days ago  •  4,115 views
Valkyrie   MOD 
Fawny: Nah she's right in calling it a Marwari. There are two horse breeds with ears that turn in, the Marwari AND the Kathiawari.
  6 days ago  •  4,085 views
Undesired Humor  
First off all, I LOVE Marwaris! Second, I own two Bashkir Curlies. They are amazing! And Third, great job!
  6 days ago  •  4,093 views
Folie A Deux  
my mom saw a norweigan fjord at a show o nce, she thought it was a creamellow horse with black die in its mane and tail and used hair gel to make his mane stick up
  Jun 19, 2010  •  4,077 views
Apache Hills Valley  
Icelandics.. My Favourite Breed. XD They are adorable.
Great Article!
  Jun 28, 2010  •  4,129 views
the akhale teke is one of my favourites
  Aug 1, 2010  •  4,107 views
Inactive Member  
I have never heard of any of those breeds! It was fun learning some stuff about them, great article
  Aug 2, 2010  •  4,105 views
Castaway Wish  
You should see the Straight Egyptian Arabians. They are really different looking. My Avatar is a Straight Egyptian Arabian. They are my favourite breed. Along with Friesians.
  Oct 7, 2010  •  4,101 views
Castaway Wish  
You should see the Straight Egyptian Arabians. They are really different looking. My Avatar is a Straight Egyptian Arabian. They are my favourite breed. Along with Friesians.
  Oct 7, 2010  •  4,101 views
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