Vyatka horse

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Vyatka stallion
Country of origin Russian Federation
Equus ferus caballus

The Vyatka or Viatka is an endangered breed of horse native to the former Vyatka region, now the Kirov Oblast of the Russian Federation. It is mainly found there and in the Udmurt Republic.[1]


The Vyatka breed was influenced by the climate and terrain of the Kirov, Udmurtia and western Perm regions; Estonian horses and Kleppers brought to northern Russia by Novgorod colonists from the 14th century may have affected its conformation, as may later imports of Estonian horses for mining work in the Ural Mountains.[2] The Vyatka horse became known for draft abilities including endurance, speed and frugality. By the early 19th century, it was often used for pulling troikas, and some were exported from the Vyatka region, including to Poland.[2] The breed has possibly also been influenced by Konik ponies.[3]

Breed characteristics[edit]

It is a useful and versatile breed and has stamina, hardiness and endurance. It is used for riding and driving and is commonly used for pulling the traditional troika; it is also useful for light agricultural work. It has a willing and honest temperament and is easy to handle.

The Vyatka horse has a small head, set onto a strong, thick neck. It is powerful through the shoulders, deep through the girth and has muscular quarters. The Vyatka horse has a luxurious mane and tail, and in winter grows a thick coat. It is usually chestnut or bay roan, or dun colored with primitive markings – a dorsal stripe, shoulder cross and sometimes zebra markings on the legs.[2] The average height at the withers is 140 centimetres (13.3 hands), and the average weight 400 kilograms (880 lb).[1] In 1917 the breed was virtually extinct; some efforts at re-establishment were made after the Russian Revolution.[2] In 2003 the known population numbered 560.[1] In 2007 the Vyatka horse was on the FAO's Endangered List.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Breed data sheet: Vyatskaya/Russian Federation Domestic Animal Diversity Information System, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Hendricks, Bonnie L., Anthony A. Dent (2007) International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds Revised ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press ISBN 978-0-8061-3884-8
  3. ^ Summerhays, R.S. (1948) The Observer's Book of Horses and Ponies London & New York: Frederick Warne & Co
  4. ^ "Endangered List 2007" Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2011.