Astrakhan Horses
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Astrikan (also known as Kalmykskaya, Kalmyk, or Kustenair)rnhorses are members of the Mongolian equine group.They are bred in the territoryrnalong the Volga and Ural rivers and are in danger of becoming extinct. They werernbrought by the Kalmyk people came to Russia from Dzungaria in the 17th century.rnThey were described as plain, medium-sized horses that are very tough andrnpossess speedy gaits. They look similar to Kirgiz horses, but tend to berncoarser with longer legs.rnrn 

rnrnSelective breeding of these animals ended around 1943 andrnmany crosses have modified the bloodlines considerably. In 1986 the localrnUniversity of Cattle Breeding attempted to determine their numbers and locatedrnan isolated heard in the eastern regions that seemed to be of purer blood. Ofrnaround 2000 horses, only about 500 were considered suitable to develop arnbreeding farm in an attempt to preserve the breed.rnrn 

rnrnAstrikan horses generally stand 15 to 15.1 hands tall. Theirrncoat can be bay, brown, black, chestnut, gray or roan. They have a light headrnwith a straight profile, a muscular neck, and prominent withers.

rnrnDifferences in management styles have produced two subtypesrnwith the breed. The first type, kept stabled, given better food, and bred veryrnselectively, were saddle-type horses. The second type kept in the steppes,rnherd-bred, and left to forage for much of their food, were a hardier type morernsuited for light draft work. These horses are slow to mature, taking 6 years tornreach full development and are calm and docile by nature.

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