Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Estonian Native Horse (ENH)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Estonian Native Horse (also known as 'Klepper') is Estonia's oldest native horse breed.

Until the 19th century, Estonian Natives Horses were all-around horses, used for transportation, farm work, cavalry, and more. In the 19th century, however, the need for larger horses for farm work caused breeders to cross Estonian Natives with taller harness and saddle breeds, especially Hackneys, and with Bretons, leading to the development of the heavier and stronger Toric horse (see the 'Toric' for more info). As a result, the numbers of Estonian Natives dropped to such an extent that this breed disappeared from the mainland, and remained only on the islands of Estonia.

The mechanization of transportation in the 20th century made the Estonian Native even more redundant, and its numbers continued to drop. Eventually, it became a rare breed at the risk of extinction. Today, the Estonian Native is a threatened breed that is bred primarily on the Estonian islands.

Estonian Native Horses are known for their impressive endurance. Being all-around horses, they are used for a variety of disciplines such as show-jumping, dressage, driving, and more.

Contrary to most breeds who roamed around for over a thousand years, the Estonian Native Horse wasn't subject to much crossbreeding, and its conformation changed only a little if at all. Estonian horses have a wide head which can be short, a straight profile, a thick muscular neck which is usually short, low withers, a round croup, a deep girth, and a wide body. The legs are noticeably short, and the overall frame is rectangular. The mane and tail can be thick and long, and the legs sport light feathering behind the fetlocks.

Estonian Native Horses come in the colors of bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, dun, and cream-dilutes. In addition, the rare silver-dapple dilute is common in this breed. Roan also exists but is extremely rare. They often have a dorsal line. Estonian Native Horses stand between 13.1hh and 15.1hh.

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