- Bosnian -

The Bosnian Pony, which originates in the former Yugoslavia, bears a startling number of similarities to both the Hucul and the Konik pony breeds. These three are collectively known as the Balkan breeds. They are all ancient breeds, and the Bosnian pony is considered to have developed through a cross between the Tarpan and the Asian Wild Horse (also known as Przewalski's Horse). Further infusions of oriental stock probably would have been introduced to the breed by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire, and this led to a deterioration within the breed. This was later rectified by repeated introductions of Tarpan blood.

The Bosnian pony has been prized in its area for many centuries and, since the 1900s, has been selectively bred. For many years, the principal center of breeding was at the Borike Stud in Bosnia, where stallions were strictly controlled by the state, while mares were owned under private ownership. The use of the three original stallions - Agan, Barat, and Misco -  during the 1940s had an important overall improving effect on the stock. The former two were of a type similar to the Asian Wild Horse and were stocky in build, while Misco had a lighter, better quality appearance. Until the recent troubles, there was a very strict standard set for stallions to ensure that only the strongest and very best specimens were allowed to breed and they were required to compete in performance tests.

Due to the controls imposed on the breed, the Bosnian pony is an extremely useful and functional animal, quite capable of light farm work, light draft, pack, and riding. They are frequently used for pack purposes because they are very sure-footed over terrain unsuitable for motorized vehicles. The Bosnian pony is very hardy and tough, with a docile temperament, which makes them easy to handle and good to ride.

In appearance, these ponies retain a fairly primitive look, which is in line with the Asian Wild Horse, but with greater quality and refinement, which is due to the infusions of oriental blood. They have a heavy head with a straight profile, full forelock, and small ears. They have a short muscular neck, with long sloping shoulders, a straight back, sloping hindquarters, and a deep, wide chest. They are most often bay, brown, black, or palomino in color, and can stand between 13 and 14.2 hh.

 

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