By PetMD Editorial on Jan. 3, 2010

The Kazakh, also known as the Kazakhskaya, originated from certain parts of Kazakhstan, which is a former part of the Soviet Union. Specifically, this horse breed is commonly found at certain places along the western part of Kazakhstan. The horses of this breed can be used for either riding or carrying loads; they are also used in meat and milk production.


Physical Characteristics


The Kazakhskaya has strong-looking jaws. This trademark Kazakhskaya characteristic is believed to have evolved from the horse’s long history of eating wild grass. The coat of the Kazakh is also somewhat special; it is actually water-resistant. This protects the horse from the cold especially during rainy weather. The dominant colors of the Kazakh breed are bay, dark bay and red. The Kazakh horse stands at about 13.2 to 14 hands in height (53-56 inches, 134-142 centimeters).


Care and Health


The horses of the Kazakh breed are resistant to harsh weather conditions. They can survive with only wild grass or Artemisia for food. During the hard times of the year – when food is scarce and the cold is extreme – the horse stops growing to conserve its energy. Growth is resumed when food becomes plentiful again.


History and Background


The Kazakh Horse breed has been around since 500 B.C. There have been reports that the Russian Kazakh is actually related to the Chinese Kazakh; this is surmised due to the similar strains found in both horse breeds. The Russian Kazakh and the Chinese Kazakh are not identical, however, mainly due to the cross-breeding efforts that the former has undergone.


There are two types of Kazakh horse that have developed over the years. They are the Jabe and the Adaev. Kazakh horses were bred using a handful of breeds. They were the Mongolian, the Arab, the Karabair, and the Akhal-Teke. Kazakh breeding was far from finished, however, until the 20th Century when the Russian Kazakh horses were crossed with the Thoroughbred, the Orlov Trotter and the Don horse breeds.


The Kazakh is now a common breed. It is estimated that around 300,000 Kazakh horses can presently be found in Kazakhstan.

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