Soviet Heavy Draft Horses
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About Soviet Heavy Draft HorsesAbout Soviet Heavy Draft Horses



Soviet Heavy Draft horses originated in Russia at the end ofrnthe 19th century and became established by the 1940's. The need for a strongrnbut relatively fast draft horse breed was recognized in Russia during the latterrnpart of the 1800's . The initial breeding took place at the Khrenov stud, andrnfrom there expanded to the Pochinkozsk stud.rnrn 

rnrnThey were created by crossing native mares with importedrnBelgian stallions. The native mares were a mix of Percheron, Ardennes, SuffolkrnPunch, Danish and various saddle horse breeds.rnrn 

rnrnBy 1936, during the Soviet era, three state breeding centresrnwere established: Pochinkovsk, Mordovian and Gavrilovo-Posad. Alexandroz farmrnin the Vladimir region and Yaroslavl farm branched off from Gavrilovo-Posad.rnLater, the Pochinkovsk and the Mordovian facilities were transformed intornstuds.rnrn 

rnrnThe breed was named and officially recognized as a heavyrndraft breed in 1952. The same breeding techniques were used by the USSR torncreate the Estonian Draft and Lithuanian Heavy Draft breeds. Soviet HeavyrnDrafts are now the most common draft horse used in the nations that make up thernformer Soviet Union, and they are frequently used in the improvement of otherrnheavy breeds, both on state-run farms and in kol-khozes (agriculturalrncooperatives).rnrn rnrn 

rnrnThe selective breeding that created the Soviet Heavy Draftrnresulted in a massively-built horse with free-moving gaits. The breed generallyrnstands around 15.1 hands high, and weighs 1,430 to 1,720 lb. They may bernchestnut, bay, or roan. The breed has a well-proportioned head with a straightrnor convex profile, although with a pronounced jaw. The neck is usually shortrnand muscular, the chest wide and deep, the shoulders straight and powerful, thernback wide and strong, the croup muscular and sloping, and a rounded abdomen.rnTheir legs are short and sturdy with solid joints and hooves that are broad andrnrounded. They are prone to pigeon toes in their front legs and sickle hocks inrnthe rear. The breed tends to mature quickly, but is also less resistant torndisease than some other heavy breeds.

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