Origin: USSR – Kazakhstan.
Color: Mainly bay, chestnut, gray or black. Sometimes odd-colored or dun.
Physique: Typical Central Asian pony, similar to the Mongolian, to which it is related. Short-backed, deep with very hard legs and feet.
Bred over a wide area, it varies in height and refinement of the type according to the severity of the climate. The more elegant Kazakhs owe their improvement to the introduction of Don blood. Some Kazakhs amble rather than trot, and these are especially valued as riding ponies because the gait is smooth and comfortable. These steppe ponies are exceptionally hardy, able to endure extremes of heat and cold and to forage for themselves in knee-deep snow, or pick a living on the edge of the desert.
Kazakhs come from a region in which the horse has always been important. Seventh-century burial mounds, recently excavated, show that Kazakhstan nomads were buried with their ponies. These men depended on their horses for food and drink as well as for transport, and a study of the bones discovered shows that the ancient Kazakhstani ponies were much like their modern counterparts in size and build.
Nowadays, Kazakhs are still used to producing milk, and a mare will yield roughly 10 liters a day. This is usually made into the alcoholic beverage Kumiss. Young animals are fattened up for meat and are generally slaughtered when they reach a weight of about 1,0001b.
Kazakhs are used as cow ponies. They also make good cavalry animals when crossed with quality horses such as the Don, Budyonny, or Akhal-Teke. Their endurance is such that they can travel 300 kilometers in 24 hours, and this accounts for their success in Russian equestrian sports such as the long-distance test which is called the taiga.
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