“ Animal Species: Horses „
The Caspian is a small horse (standing between 10-12hh) although it is referred to as a pony breed. The breed was rediscovered in Iran in 1965 by an American lady called Louise Firouz. It is widely believed to be, along with the Asian Wild horse, the oldest breed of horse/pony in the world today. It is thought to be related to the Mesopotomia miniature horses that existed there from c. 3000 BC until they disappeared from the records in the 7th century AD.
Studies are currently being undertaken to find out if the Caspian horse is the ancestor of all modern hot breed horses including the Arab. A study taken in 1969 shows the Caspian skeleton has anomalies that other breeds do not have such as the structure of the skull, the length of the lower leg bone in relation to the overall size of the horse, and the structures of the withers and feet.
The Caspian Stud was founded in the UK in 1976 and the horses have greatly benefited from careful breeding and the breed is now much improved. I have met a few Caspian horses and they have a wonderful temperament and were really interested in the people looking at them without being pushy. It is not unusual for stallions to be handled by children or to be turned out with other stallions.
The Caspian Horse looks like a horse of quality in miniature. They have fine, attractive heads similar to that of an Arab, very small ears, a muscular neck, narrow back and strong quarters. The legs are strong and the hooves are incredibly hard so rarely require shoes. They are mostly bay or brown in colour.
They make fabulous riding ponies for children and their fine appearance coupled with their beautiful movement makes them desirable as show ponies. The length of leg and slope to the shoulder that isparticular to the breed allows for a long free flowing stride that is rarely seen in animals of this size.