Yakutian horse

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Yakutian horse
A Yakutian horse (9762345674).jpg
A Yakutian horse
Other names Yakut
Country of origin Russia

The Yakutian horse (Yakut: Саха ата, Sakha ata), sometimes called the Yakut horse, Yakut pony or simply the Yakut, is a rare native horse breed from the Siberian Sakha Republic (or Yakutia) region. It is large compared to the otherwise similar Mongolian horse and Przewalski's horse (the former being a breed; the latter the last wild horse in the world).[1] It is noted for its adaptation to the extreme cold climate of Yakutia, including the ability to locate and graze on vegetation that is under deep snow cover,[2] and to survive without shelter in temperatures that reach −70 °C (−94 °F).[3]

The horses appear to have evolved from domesticated horses brought with the Yakuts when they migrated to the area beginning in the 13th century, and are not descended from wild horses known to inhabit the area in Neolithic times.[3]

Varieties and characteristics[edit]

Yakut on an Azerbaijani postage stamp

The breed is small, averaging 150 centimetres (14.3 hands) and shares certain outward characteristics with the Shetland pony, including sturdy stature, thick mane and heavy hair coat.

There are several subtypes of the Yakutian horse.[4] The Northern type is the purest bred Yakut, and is sometimes called the Middle Kolyma or Verkhoyansk horse. It is usually bay, gray or light dun in color, with primitive markings including a dark dorsal stripe and zebra-pattern stripes on the legs. This variety is considered to be the most valuable. The second variety is the Smaller Southern type, which is also considered a pure but less valuable breed. The third variety is the Larger Southern type, which is the result of cross-breeding with other breeds, and is widespread in central Yakutia.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Breeds of Livestock - Yakut Horse, Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, retrieved 2009-04-20, ... Compared to horses of similar type and Mongolian origin, the Yakut is larger and more massive. Three Yakut types have been formed: the Northern original Yakut (the Middle Kolyma or Verkhoyansk horse); the smaller southern type which was not crossed with improved breeds; and the larger southern type tending towards the breeds used for the improvement of the local Yakut ... 
  2. ^ Anatoly Mikhailovich Khazanov (1995), After the USSR: ethnicity, nationalism and politics in the Commonwealth of Independent States, University of Wisconsin Press, ISBN 0-299-14894-7, retrieved 2009-04-20, ... The Yakut horse has the ability to uncover grass that is under as much as 50 centimeters of snow (and the snow cover lasts in the country for seven to eight months a year) ... 
  3. ^ a b Librado, Pablo; et al. (23 November 2015). "Tracking the origins of Yakutian horses and the genetic basis for their fast adaptation to subarctic environments" (PDF). PNAS Early Edition. doi:10.1073/pnas.1513696112. Lay summaryUniversity of Copenhagen press release (23 November 2015). contemporary Yakutian horses do not descend from the native horses that populated the region until the mid-Holocene, but were most likely introduced following the migration of the Yakut people a few centuries ago. Thus, they represent one of the fastest cases of adaptation to the extreme temperatures of the Arctic. 
  4. ^ Alexeev, N.D., N.P. Stepanov [n.d.] Yakut Horse: Breed Types, Economical and Biological Features NGO “Sakha – World XXI Century”
  5. ^ Bonnie Lou Hendricks (1995), International encyclopedia of horse breeds, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 0-8061-2753-8, retrieved 2009-04-20, ... There are three types within the breed; the northern, original Yakut (called the Middle Kolyma or Verkhoyansk horse); the smaller southern type, which has not been crossed with improved breeds; and the larger southern type, which tends toward the breeds used for improvement ...