The Bashkir Pony is an ancient breed of the former Soviet Union (USSR). The breed was developed by the Bashkir people during the seventh century and believed to be descendents of the steppe horse in Western Asia and the Bashkirian forest horse.
The Bashkir is sometimes cross bred with breeds such as the Don, Budyonny or Ardennes to improve the quality. Other cross breeding has been done with the Russian Heavy Draft, Kazakh and Yakut horses.
The pony has become a part of the local people’s lives and has adapted nicely to the harsh environment.
The Bashkir has a straight profiled heavy head with small ears and a neck that is short and strong. Its chest is deep and has sloping shoulders. The back of the Bashkir sometimes dip and the tail is low-set. It has short, strong legs with about an eight inch diameter cannon with very hard hooves. The Bashkir stands around 52 to 56 inches high with a bay, chestnut, or palomino coat. Sometimes they are roan or grey in color.
The Bashkir is a very versatile breed. It can be used for riding, farm work, milking, meat and the thick coat can produce clothing. There have been two distinct breeds of Bashkir developed. A small breed used for riding and a larger one for working.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Bashkirs were ridden by Bashkir warriors, Orenburg, Ural Cossacks and other regiments.
The mare can produce an average of 3,300 pounds of milk per lactation period with some producing around 5,950 pounds. The lactation period is around seven to eight months.
Image Caption: Bashkir Pony. Credit: Mitic/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)