About Danube Delta Horses
Danube Delta horses are a feral breed that are found in and
around the Letea Forest of Romania. It is documented that 300 to 400 years ago
the ancestors of these horses were brought by the Tatars to the north of the
Danube delta. The collapse of communism in 1989 along with the nation’s economy
led to farms closing and releasing the horses into the wild. As a result, there
are roughly, 3600 of these horses live in the Danube Delta and 500 in the Letea
Danube Delta horses are considered to be either large ponies
or small horses. They come in black, bay or dun and have a robust muscular
structure with long slender legs. They have an attractive head with a straight
profile. The average height is 13.2 to 14.3 hands / 137 to 150 cm / 54 to 59
inches, and the average weight is 1100 lbs / 500 kg.
They are difficult to train. However, once they are
domesticated, Danube Delta horses are rather docile and manageable
Danube Delta horses are very willing to work. Though they
are occasionally used for riding, they are primarily used as work horses.
The number of Danube Delta horses drastically increased in
1990 when numerous farms in the area shut down and released the horses into the
wild. The horses began destroying endangered flowers and plants in the forest.
Many people became concerned about the horses' effect on the environment. Since
then, there has been a controversy about what to do with the horses. In 2000, a
number of the horses were captured and shipped to Italy and slaughtered for their
meat. As of 2013, there are about 500 horses living in and around the Forest of
Letea in the Danube Delta. Presently, horses can not be removed from the area
because a number of the animals carry equine infectious anemia which was
discovered in 2008.