Belarus horse breeds number only eight. Belarus, which used to be known as Belorussia or Byelorussia when it was part of the Soviet Union is close to Norway, although not on the coast.
Belarus was home to a “native forest horse,” which was most likely a Tarpan – a now extinct breed which helped give rise to most of the world’s horse and pony breeds.
There have been horses in Belarus for a long time – the Polesian Horse is a descendant of the Tarpan which has inhabited the area since the 2nd century BC. Evidence shows that this breed had been bred regionally since the 1st century AD.
The other breed widely found in and considered native to Belarus is the Byelorussian Harness Horse. Developed for agricultural use specifically in wooded areas with swampy & sandy soil, they used native horses (probably similar to the Polesian ancestors) and crossed them with draft types and the Dole.
Although named the Byelorussian Harness, this is a good all-around breed also used for riding, milking to make the fermented drink koumiss and, unfortunately, eating.
The Trakehner breed was created primarily for the cavalry, which required horses with speed and power. Over time, the Trakehner breed lost its military significance, but it was used with great success in agriculture and equestrian sport.
Byeloruskaya uprazhnaya – See Byelorussian Harness Horse
Byelorussian Harness Horse