Altwurttemberg, Alter Real, Altai, Albanian Horse, Akhal-Teke, Aegidienberger, Oromo, Abtenauer, Abstang and Abaco Barb
One of the littler known breeds, the Altwurttemberg is considered extremely endangered and is a rare sight outside (even inside of) Germany.
This breed originated in Germany by the Wurttemberg Prince House, but without an obligatory breed goal. About thirty horses from Normandy were used between 1872 -1888, crossing with English Thorough-breds, Holsteins and Oldenburgs.
Eventually the Altwurttemberg horse was established, a strong and beautiful individual breed. But unfortunately, the type was not greatly appreciated or needed, so instead the Wurttemberg Sport Horse was developed, and was highly prized for a time.
After 1950 the Altwurttemberg was threatened with extinction, however by 1988 in Marbach, Germany, inititives were made to preserve the breed. They exist in limited numbers today.
The Alter Real breed comes from Alter do Chao a small town in the Alentejo province of Portugal, which is where the flagship stud is located. Real is the word for ‘royal’ in Portuguese, this breed is the royal breed of Alter.
This breed began as carriage horses in Lisbon, and their bloodlines have a heavyAndalusian influence. During Napoleonic invasions Arabian, English Thoroughbred, Norman and Hanoverian blood was introduced, unfortunately the resulting animals were of poorer quality than the original stock.
A later attempt to improve the breed with Arabian blood also failed. It took an influx of Andalusian blood to refine and improve the bloodlines again.
At the start of th 20th century the Alter Real faced extinction when Portugal renounced its monarchy. At that time the government discontinued the breeding programs and gelded the stallions.
A few were saved and bred personally by Dr. Ruy d’Andrade and in 1942 a small, thriving herd was handed back over to the Ministry of Agriculture for safekeeping.
Average height 15.1 – 16.1 hands Strong and powerfully built Impressive high-stepping action
Head is refined Short, strong neck Broad, muscular back Long pasterns and strong hocks
Intelligent and quick to learn A beautifully elegant, high energy animal
Show horse Performance horse Pleasure animal Carriage horse
One of most ancient breeds of Siberia, the Altai has been raised for centuries and has always been indispensable to the nomads and tribesmen of the area.
This breed takes it’s name from the Altai mountains in Southern Siberia and like many breeds in unforgiving climates, they are built solid and surefooted. These animals have always been relied on to carry people and other precious cargo over mountainous terrain and through fast moving rivers.
Early in the 20th century different bloodlines were introduced to the altai stock, which resulted in larger animals with more capacity for work.
Through the years there has been a constant introduction of new blood into the Altai bloodlines, however a portion of the breed is always bred pure to maintain their ancient gene pool.
In fact, there are still small bands of aboriginal horses in some regions of the Upper Altai and their physical charactoristcs retain many of the qualities of their ancestors.
Average height 13.2 – 13.3 hands Perform well under adverse conditions Surefooted and tough Hardy and undemanding animals
Large, coarse head with small eyes Short, fleshy neck and long, dipped back Legs are short and well-set Feet and strong and sound
Stable & sensible animals Strong & true Hard workers Easy to care for
Trekking animals Beasts of burden Riding horses Meat
There are two types of horses native to Albania, mountain horses (Mountain) and horses of the plains (Myzequea). The interbreeding between the two has blurred lines of distinction.
Blood lines probably come from a combination of Tarpan, Turkmenian and Mongolian animals, which later saw an infusion of Arabian blood during the Ottoman Empire.
Bred as animals of transport, the Albanian horse was reinvented in the 1990′s when an attempt was made to make the stock better suited for agricultural work. The result was a boom in numbers and an overall improvement in the versatility of the breed itself.
Average height Mountain 12.2 – 12.3 hands Myzeqea 13 – 14.1 hands Exceptionally strong for their size
High energy & endurance Possess incredible agility and balance
General riding Transportation Cart horse
Known for their greyhound-like appearance and coats that often gleam with a metallic shimmer, the Akhal-Teke horse is one of the easiest breeds to recognize, built for speed in hot weather. (And interestingly enough, their metallic glimmer is not due to the champagne dilution gene which doesn’t run in the breed).
Descendant of the ancient Scythian type horse. The Teke were bred by a nomadic people, and prized animals were fast and hardy as war and raiding mounts.
The Akhal-Teke horses are named by the Teke tribe of the Akhal oasis. Isolation and a strong sense of tradition kept the bloodlines relatively pure. These horses became a measure of wealth so they were well cared for and considered like family.
When Russia took control of central Asia, many of these prized animals were slaughtered to the dismay of the Teke people. Many horse owners turned their horses loose in the hopes for their survival.
Average height 14.2 – 16 hands Strong natural & soft gaits Built for stamina and speed Surefooted and strong
Head is long and light Large, expressive eyes Long slender neck with short, fine mane Narrow in the chest with a long back Legs are slender and long
Strong and willing, these are hot weather animals bred as workhorses
Work horses Pleasure horse Show horse
One of the many endangered draft breeds, the Abtenauer is the smallest variation of the Noriker horse and their population numbers are very low.
This breed is smaller in stature for a draft breed, but incredibly strong for their size.
The Abtenauer is beautifully built and known for their easy flowing trot and a sweet disposition.
Bred in the isolated valley of Abtenau, mares and their progeny spend summers roaming alpine meadows. Sometimes the foals are born with a very curly coat which they shed when they loose their baby hair.
Average height 14.3 – 15 hands Elegantly built draft horse Low center of gravity gives them amazing balance
Considering the inherent toughness of both the Mustang and the Arabian, it’s surprising that this mix is so new. The breed is a cross that combines two of the oldest and hardiest breeds on the planet.
Early in the 1990′s Michele Brown of Utah experimented by crossing an unrefined Mustang with an Arabian. Her idea was that the cross would be interesting & the result is a highly spirited animal with a willingness to please, providing you have their trust.
This ‘breed’ was called Abstang, and a registry was established in 1993 to obtain acknowledgement for the new breed. It turned out that the animals had the incredible endurance of the Arabian and fearlessness of the Mustang, who by the way, also has great endurance capability.
Approximately 1500 horses are registered to present. To date, no Abstang to Abstang crosses have been documented.
Generally smaller in size & stature Very sure footed & hardy
Because this breed mixes two bloodlines (one of which can be very fuzzy indeed), physical confirmation & characteristics will vary considerably. Favorable confirmation includes a straight profile & rounded croup of the mustang.
For as long as anyone can remember there has been a herd of horses on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas. In 1998 their distinct features created some interest into the unknown origin of their roots.
Their ancestors are thought to have come from the ships of Spanish explorers in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries. Due to their extreme geographical isolation their bloodlines have remained relatively pure.
In 2002, the herd was accepted by the Horse of Americas Registry as the Abaco Barbs, horses of Spanish Barb ancestry proven through DNA testing.
The purity of their blood created a renewed interest in the preservation of the Barbs on Abaco Island, however the recent conservation efforts have been touch and go.
This herd is still on the critically endangered list and they are quite literally the most endangered equine on the planet.
Average height 13.2 – 14.2 hands Prominent Barb features Sturdy and strong
Large, rangy head with broad forehead convex nose Body is short and stocky Tail is low set and luxurious as is the mane