Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Noriker   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Noriker (also known as 'Noric') is an old Austrian heavy draft breed, which is famous for its leopard coat, though it comes in solid colors are well. This breed is named after 'Noricum', the Roman province where it originated.

The ancestors of the Noriker were heavy Greek horses, who were brought from Greece to the Austrian Alpine region (then known as 'Noricum province') by the Romans, around 2,000 years ago. The mountainous region together with selective breeding by the local farmers shaped these horses into the Noriker breed. The selective breeding got more intense at the beginning of the 18th century, with the establishment of a studbook for Noriker horses, which encouraged breeders to breed only with authorized stallions, and to keep the breed pure.

Throughout history, Norikers were popular in Austria and were used for farm and forestry work. However, in the 1970s, the numbers of Noriker horses sharply decreased due to the mechanization of agriculture. Nevertheless, the breed regained popularity thanks to its agility, strength, and its ability to react quickly. All of these are traits that make this breed excellent for driving, vaulting, and riding.

Norikers come in the colors of bay, black, brown, or chestnut, and can have roan, leopard, and tobiano coats. Chestnut horses often have flaxen manes and tails. Noriker horses stand between 15hh and 16.3hh.

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