About Caspian Horses
Caspian horses are small originally from Iran. Although
generally no more than 12 hands (1.22 metres) high, they are nevertheless
considered to be a horse rather than a pony.
|Caspian stallion Willesley Sir Tristan (TeAra Bergstrom photo)|
They are a similar build to Arabian horses, and they are
extremely hardy, with very dense bone and hard feet that rarely need shoeing.
They can take long strides and are able to keep up with normal-sized horses
while walking, trotting, or cantering, despite their smaller stature. The most
common colors are bay and black, though they may also be grey, dun, or
Although the Caspian horse may have had a long history in
its own country it did not really become known to the rest of the world until
it was "discovered" by an American-born Iranian horse breeder, Louise
Firouz, in the 1960s. Within a few years some had been exported to the United
States, and in 1976 a Caspian stud was formed in England. Since then the breed
has also been established in Australia and New Zealand.
They were first imported into New Zealand by Helen Rattray
in the late 1970s and early 80s. Helen bred quite a few crossbreds but also 29
purebreds, a lot of these were sold to America where some did very well in the
show ring and it was really these horses that were instrumental in establishing
the breed in the US.