The Oldest Horse Breeds in the World

Of the hundreds of horse and pony breeds around today, some have been around for far longer than you may think.

The Akhal-Teké

These horses originated in Turkmenistan’s Karakum desert and had to tolerate not just sparse food and water levels but extremes of cold and heat as well. They lived very closely with their nomadic human carers, each being essential to the other’s survival, and this special bond has not diminished during the 3 000 years they’ve been around.

Akhal-Tekés are jealous of strangers when it comes to their owners and this personality trait, along with their protectiveness, has led to them being rather unfairly viewed as being bad-tempered.

The Arabian

While the exact origin of the Arabian horse is hidden amongst the sands of the ancient deserts from which they spring, experts generally agree that they are from the Arabian Peninsula. Bedouin tribes have traced their shared history with these incredible animals back to 3 000 BC thanks to the fact that meticulous pedigrees have been kept.

Although this gentle breed has a reputation for being high strung and hellishly expensive, it’s very popular with horse lovers the world over these days. If it’s more than a little out of your price range, why not enjoy real money Philippines slots or something similar? You’ll have some fun and may end up with the cash you need to get your dream stable started!

The Caspian

Although not as famous as its descendant, the Arabian, the diminutive Caspian can be traced as far back as 3 000 BC and is considered to be one of the oldest domesticated breeds of horses in the world!

The Caspian is a highly intelligent, courageous animal as famous for its loyalty as it is for its calm nature.

Icelandic Horses

The Icelandic is without a doubt the oldest horse breed still in existence. We can trace its history back over more than 12 000 years and it is even mentioned in Viking mythology! Two Icelandic horses named Hrímfaxi and Skinfaxi pulling day, Dagr, and night, Nótt, across the sky.

The animals are also one of the oldest purebreds, having seen no outside influence for more than 1 000 years. They’re kept pure by the fact that when they leave their home country they are never allowed to return.

The Norwegian Fjord

The Norwegian Fjord is descended from the horses depicted on cave walls during the last Ice Age which occurred roughly 30 000 years ago. That’s not to say that they’re as old as that, just that the breed as we know it nowadays can be linked to these.

Recent archaeological excavations of Viking burial sites have revealed that they’ve been domesticated since 2 000 BC, but they’ve been bred selectively since then. They’re thought to have descended from Przewalski’s horse, the Mongolian wild horse, and still carry primitive colouring and markings today.

Norwegian Fjords are a strong, durable breed with a friendly nature and a willingness to work. With many smallholdings in Norway still being inaccessible to tractors, they are employed instead.

About Doreen Cohen