Five breeds you’ve (probably) never heard of

29 03 2007

1. The Black Forest Horse (Schwarzwälder Füchs)


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Dating back 600 years, the Black Forest Horse is native to southern Germany and is considered an ancient cold-blooded breed.

They were originally selected for working on farmland and in forestry regions. Today they are mainly used as coach horses and for riding. They are nimble and lively, have a gentle nature, and are very durable and strong. The Black Forest horse is known for its high fertility, is long-lived, and are very easy keepers. Their body color, as suggested by the name, is mostly dark chestnut (German: Kohlfuchs) with light (blonde/flaxen) mane and tail. Their coloring can vary slightly into a sorrel; however the most popular color is the dark chestnut. Black Forest Farmers refer to the Black Forest horses as the “Pearls of the Black Forest” because of their positive/easy nature, gentle disposition, and their sheer elegance and beauty. Link

Genetic studies have shown this breed to be distinct from other German breeds. I predict they may become the next slightly trendy ‘exotic’ horse, following in the footsteps of the Friesians and Irish Gypsy cobs.

2. The Moyle Horse


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The Moyle Horse breed was developed by Rex Moyle. It began as a light riding horse in Idaho, during the mid-20th century, with mustangs brought from Utah. They are usually bay or brown, and often have frontal bosses or horns. They are rather rare, and are said to have livers and spleens larger than an ordinary horse’s.

The preceding paragraph represents the sum total of all information about Moyle horses available on the internet. Would I lie to you?

3. The Kerry Bog Pony

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Originating in Ireland, Kerry Bog Ponies were used by farmers to carry loads of peat. Their numbers declined drastically due to mechanization, sport shooters, and the importation of donkeys as animal labour, but they have begun to rebound since being named Ireland’s Heritage Pony, and the establishment of a national stud book. They are also making inroads in North America: American Kerry Bog Pony Society.

4. The Yakut Horse


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No one’s really certain about the origin of these little woolly critters:

There seem to be two main theories. The first is that the animal is related to the Mongolian horse, arguing that when ancestors of today’s Yakuts migrated from southern Siberia and settled in the Lena and Yana river basins, they brought horses with them. These then gradually–and successfully–adapted to the extreme environment. The second theory is that the Yakut horse is related to the Pleistocene horse of northeast Asia. This creature existed before the last ice age, and its contemporaries were mammals like the mammoth, reindeer, and woolly rhinoceros. The horse–like the reindeer–took refuge and survived in areas of northeastern Siberia where only the mountains were covered in ice. Link

More about the Yakut people and their horses can be found here.

5. The Tiger Horse


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Nope, it’s not an Appy–at least, not the Appy you know. The leopard complex (Lp) gene has been known in horses for thousands of years; it’s depicted in ancient cave paintings in Spain. Tiger Horses are the descendants of those early spotties, mixed with the blood of Arabs, Spanish jennets and others to produce a loudly patterned, gaited horse:

As base foundation stock, the Tiger Horse Association Inc., is actively seeking all horses which display the Tiger Horse characteristics of Leopard Complex (Appaloosa) color patterns, an even four beat intermediate gait, and at least some Spanish conformation characteristics. These horses can come from the Appaloosa breed, Spanish Mustang, any of the Paso Breeds, Native American herds, wild horse herds, or some of the less well known Spanish based breeds, such as the Florida Cracker Horse. Link

Honourable mention: Lac La Croix Indian Pony

(This post is part of //engtech’s Five Things contest/meme. There’s still time to enter YOUR blog!)

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Fourteen ways to sneak another horse home

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

Five famous black horses

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18 responses

29 03 2007

I agree they will become the rage. They are GORGEOUS! If they do become the rage I hope they keep their easy temperament.

29 03 2007

I hope so too! I also hope they don’t get ruined…then again, Europeans (and Germans in particular) tend to be very strict about quality control when it comes to breeding. The problem would be breeding stock making its way to North America and reproducing without the same sort of scrutiny. The trendy exotics tend to be baroque-built horses with lots of mane…let’s see…what does that remind me of…could it be…THE CLASSIC MORGAN?! (not the parky type, the real type)

I love the Tiger Horses too; shame how the Appy has basically turned into a QH in a spotted suit. 😦 There’s another breed which has really turned its back on its own roots. Apparently Morgans were legal crosses with Appies up until fairly recently, and the Appy association still accepts horses with one Arab parent–I wonder how often that option gets used. (Nothing against QHs but jeez, there are so many of them already, you know?)

29 03 2007

A gifted article to be sure. I loved it. 🙂

29 03 2007

Why, thank you. *blush* I fear this list thing is becoming addictive.

29 03 2007

all beautiful horses, though my fav would have to be the tiger horse.

29 03 2007
Five famous black horses « Bridlepath

[…] Five breeds you’ve (probably) never heard of […]

3 04 2007
Shouts To The Wind

I’m surprised that America’ first breed of horse, the Spanish Mustang, is missing from the list. Going back for 500 years, once the most common horse in America, the breeding population is now estimated to be down to about 250 by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Guess, you really ” … don’t know what you got – ’till it’s GONE … “.

3 05 2007

great post – very interesting! I love the Yakut Horse!

Kerri – Akhal-Teke enthusiast

11 05 2007
Five fives « Bridlepath

[…] Five breeds you’ve (probably) never heard of […]

9 06 2007

How fun to find our amazing breed in your report! The Black Forest drafts are truly unique, beautiful, and oh so fun to work with. Not only are they very versatile but their attractive looks make all heads turn.
Please visit us at for more info on the Black Forest horses in the USA. We work with the original breeders’ association in Stuttgart, Germany, and are committed to keeping these horses true to their heritage.

31 07 2007

Very informative. Great site.

9 08 2007
The Boulonnais Horse - Horse Chat

[…] Here’s are some breeds of horses that I have never heard about either. Five breeds you’ve (probably) never heard of Bridlepath […]

13 08 2007

I have no clue about the other 4, but I definetly know the Kerry Bog Ponies!!! And I reconized the picture immediately (Its The Spotted Badger!!!) The Kerry Bog Ponies are as familiar to me as the Paint horse because I’m friends with the person that owns the largest Kerry Bog herd in the US…
I’m surprised no one as heard of the Kerry Bogs. Sad. Those are neat little ponies.

13 10 2007

The Black Forest Horse has got to be the the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on. (apart from my own two welshy’s, of course)
It is truly a gorgeous breed and ‘i want one’ !!

27 06 2008


15 09 2008
Katharina von Brandt

it is Unfortunate that a horse like the Schwarzwälder Füchs would be a fad type horse in America, that is typical of Americans with money, were as Europeans on a whole it is for the love of the Horses and to carry on the breeds. However it is the Americans that have the money that start the fads are the persons that save a breed that is endangered, after ww2 the German Shepard and the German-Ost Preussen Trakehner were almost lost forever but adank to the wealthy Americans both were saved and now ever popular.
So sometimes a fad started for endangered Horses can be good, if in the right hands. was it said that Schwarzwälder Füchse/n or single “Schwarzwälder Fuchs” means in German “Black Forest Foxes” or single “Black Forest Fox” no Umlats are used when talking about the breed.
the Süddeutsches Kaltblut, Thüringer Warmblut are some beautiful German breeds and there are many Beautiful French Draught/Kaltbluts that need to be saved.
The Trakehner has been breed in my family in Ost Preussen Prov of Germany since Kaiser Willy we are one of the oldest German-Jewish Trakehner breeding farms of todays Germany, a horse worth a look!!
Spaß haben alle! deine, Katharina von Brandt

11 12 2008


26 11 2010

As an owner of a Spanish Colonial horse…the Europeans have nothing to fear from me starting a fad with their horses…which I found amusing….condemning us in one breath and then asking us to take a look in the other. Well, at least we don’t eat horses…and we’ve shut down the slaughter houses in Texas. If we could only shut them down everywhere. Make the Europeans give up horse meat or admit their tastes and raise their own horses for slaughter.

All the animals shown are beautiful…and I did some historical writings for the Tiger Horse Registry a few years ago….the long lean app…is not the historical app….but everyone knows more than the historians or the ones who bred them. It be that way.

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