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Horse Breeds: Kushum, Kustanai, Latvian, Lipizzan, Lithuanian Heavy Draft

Jul 10, 2008

Developed in Kazakhstan between 1931 and 1976 at the Pytimarsk and Furman studs, the Kushum breed was developed from a trotter, Don, Kasakh, Budyonny and Thoroughbred breeding. The Kushum has a high adaptability to conditions, and is suitable for milk and meat production. The horses are built similar to a saddle-harness horse, with a large head and pronounced withers. They are versatile and perform well in high endurance tests.

In taboon management, Kushum horses show sound health and fertility with about 83 foals per 100 mares surviving to at least one year of age.

There are three types within the Kushum breed, a basic, a heavily muscled and a saddler.


Developed in collective-farm and state-farm studs, the Kustanai is concentrated at Kustanai and Maikulski studs. The last date the breed was officially recognized was in 1890. The new breed was developed when breeders crossed the native Kazakh with Stralets, Astrakhan, Don and halfbred Thoroughbred stallions. Breeding was unsuccessful at first, until improved breeding was formed at Kustanai stud.

In the 1920's, a new breed began to be developed at Kustanai stud. There was two management systems, including taboon keeping with year round grazy and keeping sheds for bad weather- free mating and hay feeding, as well as keeping them in stables and pastures, winter grazing throughout good weather and feeding with abundant hay. This second group also had concentrate feeding, hand mating and the foals were weaned at about 7 months of age.

The purpose of the breeding was to develop two types at the same time, a steppe and saddle type. Horses with high proportions of Thoroughbred blood were for saddle horses, while the other crossbreds were used in higher concentration for the steppe type.

Modern day Kustanai horses combine saddler characteristics and the pronounced basic steppe lineage. They have a medium sized head, well muscled, medium height withers, and strong, healthy fitness levels despite continental climate.

The Kustanai horses display record breaking speeds.


In Latvia, from the start of the 20th century through to 1952, the Latvian breed was developed by the crossing of native horses with European harness and harness saddle horses. Some of the horses influencing the Latvian breed included Holstein, Hanoverian and Oldenburg.

Two types of Latvian horses has been developed, equestrian sport horses and harness horses. Before the 1960's, the harness type of Latvian horse was emphasized, but as equestrian sports gained popularity in Latvia, the sport type was increased by using more Thoroughbred and Hanoverian bloodlines.

Latvian horses have provided strong results for performance testing in both saddle and harness, and even under competition.


The Lipizzan's history dates back to the beginning of the 1560's. Arab blood was crossed with local, athletic Spanish type horses. Spanish horses were considered to have exceptional sturdiness, intelligence and beauty, and so they were sought after for classical riding.

Most Lipizzan horses are the color grey. The Lipizzan breed is sturdy, intelligent and have docile dispositions. Some Lipizzan's turn white as they age- and only in rare cases does the breed retain the dark color of their births. The horses are not tall, and average 14-15 hands. It is obvious that Lipizzan horses are influenced by Arabian blood, particularly in the appearance of the Lipizzan's heads.

Classical horsemanship is taught at various Spanish Riding Schools, using Lipizzan horses.


When breeders crossed the Swedish Ardennes with the Zhumudka horses, the Lithuanian Heavy Draft horse was the result.

The Lithuanian Heavy Draft horse has a solid build, great body proportions and large size. They have a long, often dipped back, and solid limbs. Most are chestnut and bay colored and have weight of about 850 kg. Lithuanian Heavy Draft horses have high fertility and good longevity.

The breed is known for adaptability to harsh conditions and is used to improve the meat and milk yields in Altai horses. A new breed will be developed from crossbreeding Lithuanian Heavy Draft horses with Altai horses.
About the Author
Phillipe Wiskell is a writer for www.HorseClicks.com, popular classifieds of horses for sale, used trailers and ranches for sale.
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