Like so many others, we have been very saddened and concerned by the stories and plights of Ukraine’s refugees over the past several weeks. We’re of course also keenly aware of the fact that this crisis is affecting not only people, but also pets and wildlife. Ukraine is home to a few specific breeds of cats and dogs, and one absolutely beautiful horse: the Ukrainian Saddle Horse. A Westminster, MD vet offers some information on the breed below.
The Ukrainian Saddle Horse is a somewhat new breed. They trace their family tree back to the years just after World War II, when a Ukrainian stud farm developed the breed’s progenitors. Those first foals were the results of crossing Hanoverian, Thoroughbred, and Trakehner stallions with various mares, including the Hungarian Furioso, Gidran Arab, and the now-extinct Orlov-Rostopchin. There are now seven distinct lineages of the breed. (It’s worth noting that, of these various lines, the Bespechny has the closest links to the Orlov-Rostopchin.)
Ukrainian Saddle Horses typically have very good body conformations. They’re quite muscular, with broad chests and straight backs. The stallions get to be about 16.2 hands high, and the mares about 15.7. They usually weigh about a ton. As far as color goes, bay, brown, and chestnut are the most popular, but they can also be black or white.
The Ukrainian Saddle Horse was originally used as a harness horse. Today, they excel at many events, including show jumping, dressage, racing, competitive riding, and three-day eventing. They are also wonderful riding horses in general. They have won or come in second at many top-level equestrian events, including the Olympics.
The Ukrainian Saddle Horse actually has several names, including the Ukrainian Riding Horse, Ukrainian Saddle, Ukrainian Saddle Horse, Ukrainians, Ukrainisches Riding Horse, and Ukrainian Saddle Horse. While all horses are unique individuals, Ukrainian Saddle Horses usually have wonderful temperaments. They’re quite calm and friendly, but are also super smart and extremely trainable.
How To Help
Many people, countries, and charities are helping Ukrainian’s refugees. There are also some that are specifically focused on helping animals. If you want to help out, consider making a donation to one of them. Whether it’s helping people or pets (or both), every little bit matters!
Do you have questions about your horse’s health or care? Contact us, your local Westminster, MD animal clinic, today!