Skull of a tarpan.
A bronze statue of a Greek school horse from the 5th century A.D. The form shows a similarity to a Lipizzaner.
A head of a horse from an
depictions of horses were already discovered in glacial caves. These
drawings show a horse with a much finer, slightly bent inward head, while
also being taller, lighter and having thinner legs than
horse existed in wild herds until the eighties of the 19th
century and was widely spread around the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea and
further east to Aral Lake. In these areas he was called “tarpan”. The
first time this horse was described
the 18th century was by an explorer named
S. G. Gmelin,
who hunted and observed these horses. Other observers and explorers
recorded that the tarpan stallions were leading the domestic horses onto
their own herds. Often some mares were seen with pieces of harness still
attached to them. This will explain why many of the explorers identified
this horse with domestically bred and the wild horse. The existence of
tarpan as an individual kind of wild horse was strongly doubted, despite
the insistence of zoologist Chersky, who brought attention to the
difference in the structure of tarpan’s skull and body.
A professor of paleontology at the university of Vienna, O.
Antonius, evaluated and criticized the Russian reports regarding these
horses. He declared in 1911, that tarpan was a unique wild horse
independent of Kertag
and that it could be ancestor to the Eastern group of horses. He then
appropriately and scientifically named this horse
According to reports by
Falcfein, herds of tarpans were
still freely grazing during the middle of the 19th century on
the plains by the Caspian and Black Seas.
It is fair to conclude that the domestication of tarpan occurred around
3500 and 4000 B.C. The Assyrians
in Nineveh in 8th century B.C. show similar horses depicted
in chariots and under saddle. This old Assyrian horse was bred in two
forms: the lighter one for saddle and the heavier for pulling. Similar
testimonies can be seen in Persia where breeding of horses rose to higher
levels. It is also believed that horse racing started in Persia, but this
may be disputable. The Persians also invented royal mail delivery, where
they set up many stations with horses across the country.
The Arabs domesticated horses at a much later date. It is believed
to be in Mohamed
times in the 7th century A.D. In Egypt it showed itself
around the beginning of the 2nd millennia B.C.
The pure-blooded descendants of tarpan are considered to be the
horses bred by Bedouins who strictly followed and recorded their horses
from generation to generation. The
horse is an older breed than the Arabian, but it already had the blood
from the Mongolian
horse and in modern days from the English Thoroughbred.
The tarpan is considered the foundation horse of the Eastern (Oriental) group.
Edited by R.A. March 16, 2004
Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a.
from the 1953 Special Zoo-Technique - Breeding of Horses
Published in 1953 by the Czechoslovakian Academy of Agricultural Science and certified by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Written by: MVDr Ludvik Ambroz, Frabtisek Bilek, MVDr Karel Blazek, Ing. Jaromir Dusek, Ing. Karel Hartman, Hanus Keil, pro. MVDr Emanuel Kral, Karel Kloubek, Ing. Dr. Frantisek Lerche, Ing. Dr Vaclav Michal, Ing. Dr Zdenek Munki, Ing. Vladimir Mueller, MVDr Julius Penicka, pro. MVDr Emil Pribyl, MVDr Lev Richter, prof. Ing. Dr Josef Rechta, MVDr Karel Sejkora and Ing. Dr Jindrich Steinitz.