About Kabarda Horses
Kabarda, or Kabardin, horse is from the Caucasus, currentlyrnpart of the Kabardino-Balkaria region of Russia and Georgia. They have beenrnknown for at least 400 years, but their origins are probably as old as thernHittite civilization. They are noted for their endurance and ease to adapt inrndifficult environments.
Kabardas have been bred since the 16th century by mountainrntribesmen in the northern Caucasus, and are the product of centuries ofrnselective breeding for the ability to survive in harsh conditions. They werernformed from a combination of steppe, Karabakh, Arabian, and Turkmenian horses.rnThey are usually kept in herds, and are moved between mountain pastures in thernsummer and foothills areas in the winter.
rnrnKabarda horse has been bred for stony and mountainousrnterrain. They are usually fast and have good endurance. They are often used asrna sport horse outside of Russia, and for the creation and improvement of otherrnbreeds, such as the Anglo-Kabarda, the Tersky, and native stock in Armenia,rnAzerbaijan and Georgia. Although they are mainly used as a saddle horse, theyrnhave work well in harness and as a pack horse. The mountain tribesmen of thernCaucasus make hay on steep slopes by hitching Kabardas to horse-drawn mowers.rnrn
rnrnAt the beginning of the 20th century, Count Stroganov beganrna program of crossing Kabardas horses with Arabians, and the results werernconsidered satisfactory. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, the numbers ofrnKabarda were hugely reduced, and during the 1920s efforts were made tornre-establish the breed. Between 1935 and 1953, the purebred population averagedrn446 stallions and 3272 mares. During the early half of the twentieth century, arnnew breed, called the Anglo-Kabarda was formed by crossing Kabardas withrnThoroughbreds, and in 1966 the new breed was recognized. By the late 1980s thernnumber of purebred Kabarda breeding mares had dropped to between 400 and 450,rnconcentrated mainly at the Malokarachaevski and Malkinski studs and otherrnbreeding farms in the Kabardino-Balkaria region, including the Krasny Partizanrncollective farm in the Stavropol territory.rnrn
rnrnKabarda horses stand 14.1 to 15.1 hands high, with a bay,rnblack, or gray coat. They are a solid, cleanly built horse with a clean head, arnwell-muscled neck, medium-high withers, a deep chest, long, sloping shoulders,rna short, solid back, and a muscular, slightly sloping croup. Their legs arerncorrectly set, with clean, well-developed joints and hard hooves. The Kabardas'rnblood has a heightened oxidizing capacity, useful for work high in thernmountains. The breed also is an easy keeper, that is, it has a tendency tornaccumulate fat quickly, which helps when the horses are exposed to extremernconditions on a regular basis, but can be a hardship for owners when the horsesrnare kept stabled.rnrn
rnrnThere are three main subtypes of the Kabarda breed:rnrn rnrn
- Basic type - This is the predominant type, a typicalrnmountain riding horse that is rangy but well-muscled.
- Oriental type - This type shows a more Arabian influence,rnwith smaller heads, very clean legs, thinner skins, and hotter temperaments.
- Massive type - This type is bigger, with a more robust bonernstructure similar to a typical carriage horse.
In recent years, Kabardas bred in the Karachai republicrnbegan to be referred to as the Karachai breed. These horses are generally ofrnthe massive type described above.