Russian Riding Horse
The Russian Riding horse was created for under saddle use by Count Orlov at the end of the 18th century. Orlov was was also responsible for the Orlov Trotter (used for harness).
A number of different breeds were used to create the Russian Riding & Count Orlov strictly controlled breeding to utilize the best of each animal. Local climate was taken into consideration as animals must be able to withstand winter conditions.
This riding horse quickly grew in popularity and spread throughout Russia, by the middle of the 19th century almost half of the stallions used for breeding were of saddle type. By the end of the 19th century these bloodlines were being used to create military saddle horses.
The first World War almost destroyed the breed & in 1931 a small herd was collected (less than 10 animals) and moved to safety. During the second World War the entire stud was destroyed and the few survivors were at an agricultural show in Moscow.
Intense breeding programs were established in an attempt to revive the breed, unfortunately there was very little pure blood to go around. A few animals were located and Akhal-Teke blood was added in controlled amounts. It took 8 years, but the breed was revived, although in very small numbers. Today some of their original blood also flows through the veins of the Ukrainian Riding Horse.
Average height 15.2 – 16 hands
Head is lovely with a straight or slightly concave profile
Eyes are large & expressive
Neck is long and arched
Back is long & muscular
Legs are strong, clean and well placed
Hooves are dark & strong
Easy to train & versatile