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Polesian Horse

Country of Origin: Belarus



The Polesian Horse or Polesakya comes from the marshy Pripet area of the Ukraine and the Byelorussian lowlands. These are native animals that belong to the forest type, similar to the Zhmud breed.


These animals are of ancient descent and come from the now extinct Tarpan that was native to the marsh regions of Byelorussia since at least the 2nd century BC. Regional breeding of the Polesian horse began in the 1st century AD.

This breed was kept pure for many years, under brutal conditions including harsh weather and poor feed, not to mention hard work. In eastern areas other breeds were slowly introduced, ending pure lineage. However western regions are far more remote and their animals remained untouched by outside blood. The animals in these western regions carry many of the original Konik forest horse characteristics.

Sadly I’ve written this many times, but WWII was almost the end of the breed. However in the middle of the 20th century the Polesian was studied and breeding programs were established to preserve their ancient bloodlines.

There are two types found within the breed, a massive type and a lighter, more refined type.


Average height 13.2 – 15 hands


Head is medium sized with a straight or slightly dished profile
Neck is medium in length
Chest is long, deep & wide
Shoulder is well slanted
Back is long & straight
Legs are clean & sturdy
Hooves are strong & hard

Traditional Colors

chestnut | grey | bay | black | dun


Willing & hardy


Work horse

Do you have images or know more about the Polesian Horse breed? I’d love help completing this page, please contact me to get involved.

Country of Origin: Belarus | Colors: , , , ,
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