The Oldest Horse Breeds From Around The World
Horses come in all different shapes and sizes, we hundreds of different horse breeds, below we take a look at some of the oldest horse breeds still in existence.
The Caspian Horse
The caspoan breed of horse is a direct ancestor of the well known Arabian horse, small in size this breed dates back to around 3,000BC. The Caspian horse is thought to be one of the first horses ever to be domesticated and had a major impact in all the modern hot blooded horse breeds of today. Caspian horses were thought to be extinct, but in 1965 American horse breeder Louise Firouz discovered an ancient breed in Northern Iran. Louise worked hard to reinvigorate the breed but sadly since her death in 2008 her numbers have dropped again and is now an endangered horse breed.
A breed that dates back more than 12,000 years the Icelandic Horse is the oldest known horse breed, these horses featured heavily in Viking mythology and modern Icelandic horses are carefully monitored to ensure bloodlines are kept pure. The Icelandic horse breed has two different gaits the tolt and the pace, these paces give the rider a very comfortable ride. The Icelandic horse is small in stature, usually around 13hh in size, they are very strong and can carry much larger riders than you would expect. Iceland is a cold and harsh land and to help survive in this harsh environment they grow an extra layer of coat during the winter months to help them fare better in the Norwegian snow.
The Arabian horse origins is not 100% certain but their are many myths and origin stories surrounding this horse breed, including they originated from horses owned by the Prophet Mohammed. Originating from the desert they are a hardy breed of horse known for there stamina and resilience. Arabian horses have been very important in the breeding of other horse breeds, in fact every thoroughbred racehorse in the world can trace their pedigree all the way back to three Arabian stallions imported into the UK.
A breed that originates from the Akhal oasis at the foot of the Kopet Dag mountains, these horses were used by the Teke Tribesmen, and then centuries later would be used by Turkomen warriors as cavalry horses. These horses would be sought out by many other armies including that of Alexander the Great. As with the Arabian horse the Akhal-Teke horse are also known for possessing fantastic stamina, endurance as well as being very sure footed able to traverse rough terain, Akha Teke Horses are highly sought after for endurance riding.
Another ancient Scandinavian horse breed, the Norwegian Fjord is a highly durable breed, with pictures of this horse type being found on ancient cave pictures that date back more than 30,000 years, the Norwegian Fjord is a descended from the prehistoric Przewalski horses. Archaeological finds that have been discovered show that the Norwegian Fjord have been domesticated since 2000bx. It is believed than many of Europes mountain and moorland breeds are descended from the Norwegian Fjord.