Origin: Caucasian and eastern European, latterly Poland.
Height: About 13hh,
Color: Mouse dun to brown, with a dark brown dorsal stripe. The wide, dark stripe down the center of the mane and tail with lighter hairs on each side, gives a variegated “streaked blonde” effect depending on which way the hair falls. Zebra stripes may appear on the forelegs and inner thighs, and there are sometimes stripes on the body. Winter coats are occasionally white, as in feral Arctic animals, when living in a very cold climate.
Character: Independent, brave (Tarpan stallions will attack domestic stallions that threaten their mares and fight to the death, often successfully), intractable, tenacious.
Physique: Long, broad head; slightly concave face, widening at nostrils.Longish ears on a short, thick neck stemming from good shoulders. Backlong, quarters thin and sloping, legs fine and hard. Tarpan is extremely hardy and exceptionally fertile. Never known to abort, never seem to catch common diseases, and when injured will heal without infection.
The Tarpan is a controversial breed since some people feel that it became84 extinct at the end of the last century. It is reported that the last wild Tarpan was killed in 1879, near Askania Nova, Russia, and that the last Tarpan in, the activity died in 1887. It is also reported that around 1887 the Polishijovornment, dismayed at the passing of the Tarpan, collected several animals that appeared extremely Tarpan-like from peasant farms and wined these animals lose in the forest reserves of Bialowlieza andl’opielno. Thus there is an argument about whether the breed has been”preserved” or “restored”.
The appearance of the Tarpan suggests that the breed is probably pure, so close to purity as makes no difference. It is an Ice Age horse. Eons ago was widespread in Europe and western Asia, and it is therefore the base of many of the primitive breeds of horse and so is the ancestor of the more.. sophisticated breeds which were developed from primitive crosses. Thus, Przewalski’s Horse became the foundation of the modern warm-Hoods.
It seems that the Tarpan divided into two groups, one wandering in Eastern Europe and the other grazing the steppes of Ukraine. Thousands,i1 years ago both groups were hunted for food; much as deer were hunted, hot with a good deal more ruthlessness because the Tarpan stallion would. fli. ick, his domestic rival ferociously. Tarpan meat was regarded as a great, delicacy, so much in demand that by the end of the 18th century the breed had been hunted almost to extinction. Meanwhile, peasants who wanted loop ponies had started to catch and train the Steppe Tarpan.
Today, Tarpans survive in a semi-wild state at Popielno, where a famous domesticated herd is kept, and are sometimes found in zoos or wildlife parks in various parts of the world.
There is a Mongolian legend of Tarpan dealing with Torguls, a human tribe descended from a Tarpan stallion. On the day of the birth of Torgut, son of lovely Irgit and magnificent Tarpan, stallions, mares, and foals come from all points of the compass to witness the event. After a fierce fight with wolves, in which the stallions rout 20,000 of them, Tarpan, immortalized, trots proudly away with the young prince on his back.
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