The Vyatka, sometimes known as Viatka, is an endangered breed of horse that is native to Kirov Oblast, mainly in the Udmurt Replublic, Russian Federation. It may have been developed in the 1500s by settlers to the region, who imported Estonian horses for working in the mines. It may also have Konik pony blood.
In 1917, the Vyatka was almost extinct, but preservation efforts were implemented and the breed increased to 560 in 2003. In 2007 the Vyatka was placed on the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization endangered list.
It is known for its endurance, hardiness, stamina, speed, has a good temperament and can be easily trained. It has a small head with a thick, muscular neck. The shoulders are strong with muscular quarters. In the winter it grows a thick coat to protect it from the elements. The normal colors are chestnut, bay roan or dun with a dorsal stripe and sometimes has zebra markings on the legs. The average height is 53.2 inches and the average weight is 880 pounds.
The Vyatka originally was used as a draft horse but by the 1800s it was used more often for pulling, and some were exported to other regions including Poland. It is also used for riding, driving and light agricultural work.
Image Caption: Vyatka Horse. Credit: Лена/Wikipedia (public domain)