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Don Horse

Origin: USSR – Central Asia.

Height: 15.1-15.3h h.

Color: Any solid color – usually chestnut, bay, gray, or golden.Character: Energetic, calm, and consistent.

Physique: Medium-sized head of the Thoroughbred type, wide-set intelligent eyes, straight face, smallish ears; neck somewhat long and straight, good withers and rather an upright shoulder, roomy chest. Back straight and rather broad, with well-sprung ribs; hindquarters strong. Legs long and hard, though tending to be straight behind, pasterns often upright. Astonishing stamina and endurance. Action inclined to be a little short and inelegant.

This former Cossack horse was extensively used in the raids on Napoleon’sdefeated army during its long retreat from Moscow throughout the bitter winter of 1812. Food was scarce, and what there was of it was of poor quality, but though most of the French horses died of weakness the little Cossack horses galloped in again and again to the attack and when the French were finally gone were ridden the long way home to Moscow. It was an inelegant little animal, light-framed and tough and wiry; but for courage and endurance, it was equal to the Arab.

The Don was the favorite horse of the Cossacks, and as such was an important cavalry mount. It was not a pampered animal. It was (and still is)herded on the central Asian steppes, where it must forage for survival in the heavy winter snows.

Today the Don is taller and of better conformation. During the 19th century, Turkoman, Karabakh, Karabair, and other stallions of the Oriental pe were loosed to run with it on the steppes, doing much to¬†improve Don’s appearance. Subsequently, Thoroughbreds and stallions were red to it, which gave it height. The result is a quality saddle horse which
is unusual stamina.

See more: Dole Trotter Horse

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