Everything you wanted to know about Yakutian horses, but were afraid to ask

Last Updated on April 5, 2022 by Allison Price

In a Russian translation, scientists have described five distinct types of Yakutian horses. They are famous for their ability to withstand extreme climates in Siberia.

Yakutian horses, also known as Siberian Sakha Republic’s native Yakutian horses, are Yakutian horsemen. They can survive in temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius without shelter. They can forage deep snow for food.

Professor Ivanov Revory Vasilievich is a doctor of agricultural science, chief researcher, and head of Laboratory of Horse Breeding at the Yakutsk Research Institute of Agricultural Sciences. He has published descriptions of the breeds in a report by the Long Riders Guild.

This work was done in collaboration with Pak Maria Nikolaevna (a fellow researcher) and Hompodoeva Urgulana Viktorovna (a laboratory of horse breeding with the Yakutsk Research Institute).

The guild translated the report from Russian to English and described five types of Yakut horses in Yakutia.

Many researchers have examined the breed and believe that it is a result of interbreeding horses from the south with wild white tundra horses from the region.

The Yakutian horse’s breeding zone extends beyond the Arctic Circle into forest-tundra where snow can cover vegetation for up to 7-8 months.

Yakutian Horses

Along with its riding abilities, the breed is of significant socio-economic importance. Its ability to survive in difficult conditions is highly valued.

The following breeds are found in Yakutia:The Yakutian native horse is the most popular in the Yakutian republic. Photo: A.N. Ilyin

The indigenous type is the most common Yakutian horse breed. It preserves the characteristics of the native stock. The indigenous type is the most well-known and has largely avoided crossbreeding with other breeds. This was often done by breeders to increase the size of the local horse.

These horses are small but strong and have a similar body type to local Mongolian heritage breeds. After being fed and prepared for winter, their enormousness and stockiness are evident in autumn.

The head is medium in size and has a straight profile. The neck is thin, thick, and the withers are low and wide. The back is medium in length and the croup large. Horses with croups that are shorter or drooping can be found.

Their chest is large and deep. Their legs are strong and short, with strong hoof horns that don’t crack. These Yakut horses have a mostly gray coat with a variety of colors, including savras and bay, red, pibald, and less often Chubara.

Variations exist in the genetic potential of live weight. The average weight of stallions is 430- 490kg and that of mares is 415- 470kg.

As of January 1, 2018, there were 101,755 indigenous Yakut horses, including 62,541 young mares. This represents 55.3% of all horses in Yakutian republic.The Kolyma type Yakutian horse. Photo: A.N. Ilyin

The Kolyma type is the second Yakut horse. Their numbers accounted for 2.1% of all horses in the republic, with 3745 horses. The average weight of stallions is between 440 and 530 kg, while mares are between 430 and 520kg.

The Kolyma breed is also a purebred Yakutian Horse, descended from an indigenous breed. These horses were the result of years of selective breeding.

Researchers say these horses are usually northern horses. Yakutia’s northern regions are ideal for breeding and herding horses. Horses in the Kolyma area are kept covered under canopies during the summer. Smoke pots are used to protect them from the countless midges and mosquitoes.

Horses will occasionally go out to graze, then return under the canopy to escape the bite of blood-sucking insects.

The Kolyma horse breed is known for its strong constitution and ability to gain fat and feed well. Their heads are large and straight with a long neck. They have well-formed muscles. They have medium-sized withers. The back is straight and medium long. The croup is long, slightly rounded, and slightly deflated. The chest is large and deep. Its legs are strong, straight and well-set. The majority of the coat is gray with a few variations, down to snow-white.

A breeding program is in place to preserve the Kolyma horse’s genetic purity. The Kolyma Inbreed Horse Breeding Zones are located in the Kolyma, Alazey, and Verkhnekolymsky districts.The Yansky type Photo by A.N. Il’in

The Yansky type is the third variety. The Yansky type accounted for 10.5% of all horses in the republic as of 2016.

Stallions can weigh between 450 and 520 kg. Mares reach 420-480 kg.

The Yansky type horse is purebred Yakutian horses. Its ancestors are Yakutian breeds. This is the result many years of selective breeding.

The Yansky type is similar to its ancestors but is larger. The Yansky type is known for its strength and adaptability to cold winters, even when there is little vegetation beneath the snow. Horses of this type are known for their ability to rapidly fatten in a very short period of autumn-summer.

This type of head is medium in size and has a straight profile or concave. The forehead is large. The neck is narrow and thick. The withers are wide and low. The back is medium in length, while the croup is relatively long and broad. The chest is usually wide and deep. Its legs are strong, straight and well-set.

As with all northern horses, Yansky types are dominated in light colors, including gray furry and furry in different shades.The Megezhekskaya breed. Photo: A.N. Il’in

Next is the Megezhekskaya horse. The republic had 23,198 horses, or 13.1% of all horses at the beginning of 2016. The average weight of stallions is between 470 and 610kg, while mares are typically between 450 and 580kg.

The Kuznetsk horse was the breed that gave rise to the Megezhekskaya breed. It was bred in Siberia during the second half the 19th century. The Megezhekskaya horse breed developed into a meat animal with large growth and a long body. A small amount of blood was donated by Russian heavy horses in the 1950s.

Horses’ heads are large and wide-faced. They have a straight-faced or slightly hunched-faced profile. The eyes are bright and lively. The ears are small. The neck is medium long, straight, and massive. The withers are medium in height and sufficient long. The back is long, straight, and wide.

The croup is long and wide, with well-developed muscles. The chest is large and deep with rounded ribs. Strong limbs with well-defined tendon are a hallmark of strong limbs. The coat comes in a variety of colours.A Prilenskaya type example. Photo: A.N. Il’in

The Prilenskaya breed numbers approximately 13,190 horses and is 7.5% of all horses in the republic. The average weight of stallions is 450 to 560 kg, while mares are 450 to 530kg.

Crossbreeding horses from the Yakut breed and representatives of the Russian heavy horse and Orlov trotter were used to create the horses of Prilensky. They are heavier than the horses of Yakutia. They are more difficult to care for and have a lower adaptive ability. They don’t have the ability to store fat before winter, like other Yakut species.

The characteristic features of the Prilensky dog breed are their long backs and high withers. The head is large and the neck is medium in length. The length of the loin is straight and long, and the width of the muscular croup is wide and long. The legs are correctly set. Strong hoof horn. The coat is mousy and includes bay, roan red, piebald, gray, and different shades.

Researchers spoke out about the potential for Yakutian horses to produce organic food and export their products to other countries.

“There are no other products on the global market that can be produced from the Yakut blood and fat.

The republic has the potential to be a valuable exporter of meat and processed products.

They say that vast pasturelands can be used to reduce production costs.

“The Yakut horse, a living history, is a witness to ancient times and an interesting page in animal husbandry in Far North.”

They are easy to care for and can be maintained in a variety of conditions.

They say that the Yakut horse’s digestive system is capable of digesting large amounts of roughage.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!