- Altai -

The Altai horse was developed over a long period of time, and has been significantly influenced by the harsh climate and the conditions specific to the mountains in which they make their home. The Altai is adapted to year-round pasture grazing, and the Altai crosses with pure breeds have a good performance. They are larger, more massive, and stronger than the Altai while retaining the sound health and undemanding demeanor of the Altai. Programs are underway to develop a new meat producing breed by crossing the Altai with the Lithuanian, Russian, and Soviet Heavy Draught. These crossings were made after the revolution as well as under the Soviet government. Henceforth the crossbred horses were bred "in Purity".

This breed was reared in the Altai mountains for many centuries and are very well adapted to its harsh environment. Horses have always been important to the tribesmen and nomads in the mountainous region, requiring horses with a strong heart, lungs, muscles, and tendons in addition to very hard, tough feet. A surefooted horse is imperative, because they must often travel over steep mountain trails cut from the rock and also cross fast-moving streams without slipping. The Altai is a very hardy animal that is indispensable to the people who depend on it.

Typically the Altai's head is average in length, large and somewhat coarse, and the neck is fleshy while the back is long and slightly dipped. Their croups are well-developed and their legs are short and properly set. Occasionally defects crop up, including sloping pasterns and bowed hocks. They can be chestnut, black, bay, gray, and sometimes spotted.

 

See how much you know - take the Altai Quiz

 

Return to Horse Breeds page