By PetMD Editorial on Jan. 3, 2010

The Karabair horse is a result of a combination of various breeds such as the steppe horses, Arabs, Persians, and Turkmenian horses. It originated from a region in the former Soviet Republic, which is now shared by Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It is primarily a riding horse but is also used for farm work and sports.


Physical Characteristics


A Karabair horse’s physical characteristics depend on its particular strain. It stands from around 14.2 to 15 hands high (57-60 inches, 145-152 centimeters). Karabair horses, in general, are lean, medium-built, muscular horses with a straight, clean head cleanly attached to a high-set neck that is of medium length. They have a wide jaw, relatively long withers, a sloping croup and a well-developed chest.


Karabair horses have short but wide backs, long polls, well-develop loins, well-developed forequarters, and cow-hocked hindquarters. A thin layer of hair covers the Karabair’s tail and mane – this characteristic is probably from their Turkmenian ancestors. Most Karabair horses are chestnut and bay in color, but some have gray or even black coats.


There are three types of Karabair horses; they are the Basic Karabair, the Saddle Karabair and the Heavy Karabair. The Basic Karabair is the most widespread strain; it is used mainly as a riding and harness horse. The Heavy Karabair, on the other hand, is massively built; it is used primarily in cotton-sown areas where strong horses are required for hauling and pulling. Lastly, the Saddle type has muscular conformation; it is known for its bursts of speeds that make it an effective race horse over short distances.


Personality and Temperament


Many use the Karabair as a riding horse, as a farm horse and as a sports horse. The Karabair is ideal for all three functions because it has great stamina, and is energetic and lively.


History and Background


The Karabair is one of the oldest existing horse breeds in Central Asia. It originated from a region which is now part of modern-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. This region is known for producing and breeding horses for more than 25 centuries; it is also known for horses of exceptional quality. In fact, it has been recorded that various strategies, both diplomatic and violent, have been employed by other countries to obtain these horses. The Arabs, in particular, were able to seize some of these horses between 900 and 1000 AD; they used them for cross-breeding with their local horses. Such activities resulted in the creation of not only the line of Karabair, but other horse breeds like the Dawan and the Parthian.


Today, Karabair horses are bred in stud farms in Jizak, Navoi and the Gallyaaral State Farm.

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