Latvian Horses
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About Latvian HorsesAbout Latvian Horses



Latvian horses come from Latvia and arre split into threerntypes: the common harness horse, a lighter riding horse, and a heavier draftrntype. They are probably from pre-historic bloodlines, and have been inrndevelopment since the 17th century.rnrn 

rnrnThe Latvian horse breed has only been established sincern1952, but is believed to have descended from ancient roots. It is likely thatrnLatvian horses are closely related to Dole Gudbrandsdal horses, North Swedish Horses,rnand other heavy European draft breeds. Since the 17th century, the breed hasrnhad German riding horse, Thoroughbred, and Arabian blood introduced.rnrn 


rnrnThe core of the current breed came from infusions ofrnOldenburg, Hanoverian, and Holstein blood in the early 20th century. From 1921rnto 1940, 65 Oldenburg stallions and 42 Oldenburg mares were imported from thernNetherlands and Germany as foundation stock. There were then crosses made usingrnHanoverian, Norfolk Roadster, Oldenburg part-bred, East Friesian and Ardennesrnhorses. The Okte stud in the Talsa region played a critical role in breedrnformation, and today the main breeding herds are at the Burnieke state farm,rnthe Uzvere and Tervete collective farms, and the Institute of Animal Breeding'srnSigulda experimental farm.rnrn rnrn 

rnrnThere are three basic types of Latvian horse: the heavyrndraft horse, which is the closest to the original type, and a horse of greatrnstrength and pulling power; secondly, the Latvian harness horse, which isrnparticularly suited to light draft work, but also makes a good riding horse;rnand lastly the most modern type - the Latvian riding horse which has developedrnthrough the addition of English Thoroughbred, Oldenburg and Hanoverian blood,rnand is a much finer, lighter type of riding horse. The riding horse type isrnbecoming the most popular and the old heavy draft type is now rarely seen.rnHowever, the modern riding type is still able to perform well in harness,rnalthough it is not of draft strength. The Latvian as a breed is particularlyrnversatile and the modern riding horse type has become extremely successful inrnthe competition world of dressage and show jumping.rnrn 

rnrnTypically, the Lativan horses are bay, black or chestnut,rngray or brown (a variant of bay), and stand between 15.1 and 16 hands high. Inrnappearance, the Latvians tend to have a large head with a straight profile, arnneck that is long and muscular and set into prominent withers. The shouldersrnare long and sloping and the chest high and deep. The back is straight, with arnlong, slightly sloping croup, and the legs are solid and well-muscled withrnstrong joints, although rather short. Conformational problems that may be seenrnare cow hocks and a predisposition to ringbone. In general they have a goodrnmusculature and good stamina and endurance.

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