Breeding horses are the best representatives of any breed, the physical characteristics, and appearance of which fully comply with the requirements of the standard. There is a separate subtype of breeding horses, which is called thoroughbred.
These breeds include the most ancient of those known to people, the entire centuries-old selection of which took place without the use of the blood of other pedigree species of these animals.
And if each breed group has breeding horses, then there are very few purebred species of these animals.
These include Arab and Turkmen horses, as well as Akhal-Teke horses. In addition to those listed, experts also include a thoroughbred riding (in the past – English racing) variety in this group.
Each breeding horse must have genetic proof of its origin. The equine genetic testing highlights the genetic predispositions and athletic abilities of the horse.
For any horse, the most reliable method of identification, along with electronic labeling, is genetic marking by DNA microsatellites. DNA microsatellite testing is ordered in litigation to confirm the identity of the horse in question.
The first horses were domesticated by the peoples who inhabited Central Asia and Southeast Europe ten thousand years before our era.
Archaeologists have found joint burials of people and horses, as well as elements of horse harnesses, on the territory of Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, as well as in the southern regions of Russia.
Over time, the tribes that inhabited the countries of the Middle East made horse breeding the main branch of their animal husbandry. It was in this region that the first cultivated breeds of horses appeared, the purity of the blood of which has been preserved to this day.
The main breeds on which all world breeding work was based were the Arabian and its related Turkish and Persian. They are one of the most ancient breeds of horses, bred with the active participation of man.
In terms of the duration of use in the world selection of various breed groups of these animals, only Barbary and Akhal-Teke horses can compete with them. However, in terms of the degree of its influence on the breeding business of the entire world of horse breeding, the Arabian horses have no equal.
Most modern European varieties of these animals were bred with a large proportion of Arabian blood, and to this day they often continue to be used to further improve their quality characteristics.
Initially, there were no Arabian, and indeed, horses on the territory of the Arabian Peninsula. They were brought from the territory of the Assyrian kingdom and Egypt.
The basis of the Persian army was mounted warriors, and the nomadic way of life of many tribes that inhabited the Middle East required them to be mobile for the best movement of people between oases.
The power of the Persian cavalry in those days favorably distinguished their army from the European ones, and only thanks to the high organization, wise tactics, and strategy of the Europeans allowed them to win the war with the Persian troops.
Middle Eastern tribal horse breeding reached its peak during the fall of the Roman Empire and the unification of Arab tribes under the green banner of Islam.
In those days, these peoples had a real cult of the horse: these animals were given special attention; they were treated like family members, and sometimes even better.
Since ancient times, in breeding work, the Arabs have used such a method of folk selection as selection.
Its essence was that for the purposes of reproduction, mares and stallions were chosen only with the most outstanding characteristics, which made it possible to consolidate and gradually improve the necessary qualities of the breed at the genetic level.
At that time, Arabian horses were the best in the whole world.
In the West, the exceptional qualities of oriental horses became known after the army of the caliphate invaded the territory of such modern states as Spain and France.
For a hundred years, the Arabs dominated these lands, and, of course, their faithful horses were always next to them, which were crossed with local breeds of horses. Many experts agree that, for example, the Andalusian breed was obtained as a result of such a crossing, with a rush of blood from the Barbary horses.
In the central and northern regions of Europe, horses of the eastern type were imported in large quantities during the so-called crusades.
Such horses were a coveted trophy of war, and the subsequent increase in the European Arabian population continued during the wars with the Ottoman Empire, or through peaceful bargaining and exchange.
Now it is difficult to find a European breed, in the veins of which there was not a fair amount of Arab blood.
The best-purebred breed of our time
Since the seventeenth century, English horse breeding has come to the fore in Europe, and then throughout the world.
Just at that time, the decline of Spanish power began, and England (along with France) became the most influential European state. The rapid progress of this country was facilitated by a well-built colonial policy, which brought a huge amount of resources and finances to England.
The world industrial revolution also contributed to the strengthening of the power of England. Fundamental changes could not but affect horse breeding. In this industry, differentiation of different breeds began.
The basis of the English horse stock in those days was made up of local draft horses and a large number of Arabian horses imported at different times. It was these breeds that became the basis for the development of future breeds of riding, draft, and heavy-duty directions.
The first was acquired in Syria, and the second was captured as spoils of war during the siege of the Austrian capital.
In addition to the Arabs, stallions of the Persian, Akhal-Teke, and Barbary varieties and other stallions participated in the creation of this breed, and the mares were English knightly horses.
In further breeding work, more than once these horses were improved by a rush of blood from oriental stallions, but the main selection was carried out according to the principle of breeding “inside themselves”.
English horse breeders carefully checked breeding animals for compliance with the chosen appearance, and interbreed selection for qualitative physical characteristics was carried out using practice tests, according to the results of which animals not suitable for the tribe were rejected.
A significant contribution to the formation of the English race breed was made by crossbred producers named Metcham and Eclipse.
These stallions were the closest to the desired breed type, and as a result of which it was their descendants that were most often used as breeding stallions.
The first stud books appeared in the eighteenth century. The purity of the breed is strictly observed, the tribe does not take crossbred animals in whose veins flows less than 75 percent of English blood.
Also, the selection for the tribe is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the standard for appearance, and an entry in the studbook is made only after the animal has been tested at the hippodrome, which usually occurs at the age of two years.
The thoroughbred horse breed owes its wide world popularity to the rapid development of the hippodrome business and the sweepstakes inextricably linked with it.
It was the rider, under the saddle of which there was a thoroughbred English horse, more often than others became the winner in competitions of the highest rank. It got to the point that representatives of this breed group could compete only with each other.
Other types of riding horses could not compete with them. Naturally, breeders around the world began to buy English stallions in order to breed either a pure breed or to improve the speed qualities of local riding horses.