Konik breed information
Konik horse general information
COLORMainly mouse dun with dorsal stripe
SIZEThe size of Konik is around 13.1 hh
WEIGHTThis horse breed can weight between 700 - 890 lb (320-405 kg)
LIFE EXPECTANCYKonik are long-living horses
TEMPRERAMENTThey have a quiet temperement
The breed is short in height, with a strong and stocky build, light head with a straight profile, the neck emerges low out of the chest. The Konik has a deep chest, a thick mane, the hair coat is grullo, or "mouse-gray."
Although the Polish Konik is not a true wild horse, they go directly back to the wild horse of eastern Europe, the Tarpan. More precisely, their ancestors were the last wild ones caught in the primeval forest of Bialowieza in Poland in the late 19th Century. From there, they were hauled to a game preserve Zwierzyniec near Bilgoraj in Southeast Poland. When that preserve was dissolved, the horses were given to the farmers in the area. It was a poor and isolated land, the horses were kept without much care, still had to live a frugal life and thus largely kept their primitive qualities. There must have some "contamination" with outside blood, but the Polish Konik horses seem to have retained many of their Tarpan characteristics.
Early in the 20th Century - when it was too late, scientists became interested in the Tarpan. Professor Vetulani of the Jagiellonian University in Krakau obtained around twenty head of these Tarpan descendents, most of them near Bilgoraj, to study them under wild, or nearly wild, conditions. In 1949, 12 broodmares with their produce and one stallion, all Bialowieza/Vetulani descendents, were brought to Popielno in Poland, 15 more of the Vetulani experiment had survived the war in the rimeval forest of Bialowieza.
Konik fun facts
Thanks to the efforts of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the existence of the Konik looks secured. More than any other primitive horse, the Polish Konik has been used in re-naturalization projects in several European countries, so large herds are leading the live of wild horses