By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 15, 2009

The Heihe breed originated (both etymologically and literally) from the Heihe City in China. Its structure is well-suited for long and taxing work. Because the Heihe breed is usually subjected to varying temperatures, to which it has been able to adapt, it has developed a relatively strong endurance against diseases.


Physical Characteristics


The head and neck of the Heihe breed are both medium in size and length. It is known for its big eyes and elongated ears, which are emphasized because of the medium-sized neck. Its forelegs are much more pronounced than its cannons. The hock, meanwhile, is usually bent and unpronounced. In addition, the withers of the Heihe are usually high and sloping downward to the croup, which is much lower.

The usual coat color for the Heihe is bay, though it can also be seen in chestnut, gray, or black.


Personality and Temperament


The Heihe breed’s nature is very compliant and yielding. It is usually employed for pack and draft work. It is relatively enduring, which makes it perfect for long and tiring travel. In Heihe, it is still used for farm work.




Heihe is a place where the temperature is rather unpredictable. This has made the Heihe breed relatively adaptive to sudden shifts in temperature. The Heihe breed is enduring so it doesn’t require a lot of care and attention from its owner.


Since the Heihe breed is well-adapted to variable climates, it can combat diseases well. Unless overtaxed and overworked, the Heihe breed will stay strong and healthy.


History and Background


The Heihe horse breed has its roots in Heihe City in China. Heihe is situated alongside Heilongjiang, a well-known river basin. The primary sources of livelihood for the inhabitants of Heihe include transportation and agriculture -- horses are important in the accomplishment of both tasks. The development of the Heihe breed, therefore, came as a result of practical and utilitarian reasons.


The development of the Heihe horse breed was documented through the Longsha summary. Mongolian horses, according to the summary, were initially sent to Heihe city by the Soulun nation. This was followed by Russians sending horses of an unknown breed after 1910. Orlov trotters were the next breed of horses sent to Heihe city, followed by Anglo-Norman stallions, Anglo-Arab stallions, and the Percherons. Crossbreeding of these horses (although not all at the same time) resulted in the Heihe breed.


The Heihe breed, however, was not fully recognized as an actual breed until the formal establishment of farms, such as the Keshan stud farm and the North Horse farm in Heihe city. Today the modern Heihe breed is still used for riding, draft, and farm work.

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