Kabardin breed information
Kabardin horse general information
COLORKabardin horses are bay and black.
SIZEKabardins are usually around 15 hands high.
ORIGINNorthern Caucasus, Russia.
TEMPRERAMENTThe Kabardin is highly regarded for its calm, obedient and willing temperament.
The body of mountain horses is dense, massive and elongated, their back is well-muscled, short and straight, and the quarters slope away from the rounded croup. The loins, though very strong, are often slightly concave.
By Western standards, the shoulders are loaded and even straight, which accounts for the high action - not a disadvantage in the mountain horse but not, of course, conducive to speed. The neck is of medium length and well muscled. It runs into somewhat flat withers.
The thick-set Kabardin has a long head to match its general proportions. The profile is Roman-nosed and the impression is that of a typical steppe horse, whose roots extend to the primitive Asian wild horse and the Tarpan. Between the ears, the poll is curiously narrow and the occipital crest is ill-defined. The ears are very sharp, alert and mobile.
The legs and feet are strong and clean. The forelegs are a good feature. They have clearly defined tendons, good joints and short, strong cannons. The bone measurement, which is 17-20 cm, is more than sufficient in relation to the built. The Kabardin’s hind legs are often sickle-shaped, an advantage in a mountain horse.
The pasterns are properly sloped. The hoofs are unbelievably hard, so that shoeing them is often a problem — most Kabardins go unshod even on the roughest ground.
A typical feature of the Kabardin is the usually luxuriant growth of mane and tail.
Kabardins are kept in herds, and they have uncanny herd instincts. If stolen, they can escape and find their way to their herd in several months’ time, even when feted. Kabardin mares are very fertile and "milky", some of them continue to produce well into their 20s. They are perfect mothers, extremely possessive and protective of their young.
The Kabardin originated in the 16th century from horses of the steppe tribes of the northern Caucasus. They were and are still raised in herds grazing on high pastures during summer and in the foothills during winter and developed into tough, sturdy mountain horses with great endurance, sure footedness and a sense of self-preservation. For centuries the Kabardin carried riders safely over the tough mountain terrain finding its way over rocky, narrow mountain tracks with great assurance, even able to find its way in the mist or in darkness.
As a result of the Russian revolution the numbers of the Kabardin were seriously reduced. During the 1920's efforts were made to re-establish the breed, with the Malkin Stud and the Malokarachaev Stud producing the best modern Kabardin horses who are slightly bigger than their ancestors and suitable for farm work and as army remounts.
Kabardin health and genetic issues
The blood of the Kabardins has a heightened oxidizing capacity, their heart, lungs, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are strong and efficient. They quickly accumulate fat to keep them through worse days. They have a stable nervous system and quick reflexes, are agile and flexible.
Kabardin fun facts
It would take ages to tell stories of how Kabardins bravely cross torrential streams, how they fight wolves, how Kabardin mares foal onto frost-bitten soil, how they would carry you for hours on end without so much as a blade of grass to eat. They are kings of the mountains!
In 1946 a major test of the performance of various Russian breeds was organized in Moscow. It was a 250-km ride with the last 2 km covered in gallop. The winner was the Kabardin stallion Ali-Kadym, his time was 25 hours.
Recently a rider on a Kabardin horse climbed the Elbrus mountain (5,642 meters), the highest peak of the Caucasus Range!