Albanian horse

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Albanian
Country of origin Albania
Equus ferus caballus

The Albanian is a small horse which belongs to the Balkan group. It is reputed to be hardy and very efficient. The Myzeqea type of Albanian is larger and can grow up to 13.2 hands high, while the Mountain type averages about 12.2 to 12.3 hands.[1]

Characteristics[edit]

There are two types of native Albanian horse, referred to as Mountain and Myzeqea (which refers to the Myzeqe plain). Due to recent interbreeding between the two types, the distinction is becoming less clear.[1] The Myzeqea horse is exceptionally strong for its size and has an easily-ridden ambling gait, making it useful as a long distance horse.[1] Coloring is usually black, chestnut, gray or bay.[2]

Temperament[edit]

The Albanian horse is known for its high energy and endurance as well as sure-footedness, agility, and balance making them excellent horses for general riding, transportation, and pack animals.

Breed history[edit]

During the reign of the Ottoman Empire in Albania, a great deal of Arabian blood influenced the local horses. The indigenous stock were thought to be various combinations of Tarpan, Turkmenian and Mongolian horse stock.[1]

Since 1980, there has been a great increase in the number of horses in Albania. In the early 1990s, measures were taken to promote and increase the number of Albanian horses and to improve them for agricultural work.

The goals of Albanian breeders today are to increase the number of horses and improve their quality. Purebred Arabian, Nonius and Haflinger horses are crossed with the Albanian and several improved types are emerging. Nonius horses are bred at the Zootechnic Station at Shkodër, and stallions and mares are distributed to other areas for breed improvement.[1]

The main reason for this crossbreeding is increased size for better agricultural work. The Haflinger pony was imported from Austria to help improve the working abilities of horses in hilly regions of the country.[1]

Uses[edit]

Albanian horses are used as carriage horses and for riding and light draft work.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hendricks, Bonnie L. (1995). International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, pp 10-11. University of Oklahoma Press.
  2. ^ "Albanian Horse". Retrieved 20 April 2012.