Don horse: breed description, breeding and grooming features
One of the most ancient and unusual breeds is the Don horse, which was bred as a station wagon. Individuals of this species are great for many purposes, and their stamina is impressive.
Don horse hails from Russia, Rostov region. Bred by selection of captured trophy eastern and steppe local breeds in the XVIII century. At the same time, the first plant appeared to be engaged in targeted improvement of the Donetsk population. This was done primarily for military purposes.
Description of the Don breed
Donchaks are distinguished by a high degree of responsiveness, self-esteem, and intelligence. This powerful, noble breed is not created for aimless downtime. Without intensive training, employment, problems with the behavior of individuals appear. Adults need physical activity all the time to keep them in shape.
Description of appearance
Even visually Don horses are not only beautiful, but also anatomically beautifully built. They have a wide skeleton and well-developed muscles, the right proportions, strong hooves.
|Height at the withers||150-170 cm, high, protruding|
|Suit||Red-gold, red-bay, black, dark bay, gray, white spots on the head and legs are acceptable|
|Head||Medium in size with a short and narrow nape, wide forehead|
|Eyes||Large, widely spaced|
|Neck||Arcuate, long, fit. Without excess fat.|
|Torso||Massive, slightly elongated|
|Chest circumference||197 cm, chest wide, long|
|Croup||Elongated, wide, slightly sloping|
|Tail||Wavy, small overgrowing|
|Metacarpus||Wide, girth 20 cm|
|Hooves||Wide, good hoofed horn|
Today there are four types of Don horses:
- Horse - individuals tall, lightweight anatomy. Well-developed cereals, scapula slightly sloping. The suit is mainly dark shades and red.
- Persian - has an elongated head with a narrow muzzle and turned nostrils. Wide chest and well set, strong legs. The borders of growth are 162–170 cm. The coat is short, soft, bright golden color.
- East massive - powerful and graceful, height 173 cm, chest circumference 200 cm. Proportions elongated. The suits are dark red and brown.
- East Karabakh - The forms are rounded, the back is straight, with a powerful lower back. High legs, height 150-160 cm.
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Productive qualities and use
In communication with people, Don horses are calm and excellent at training. Their anatomical and behavioral characteristics allow the breed to be used for several purposes at once:
- sports competitions (competitions, races, etc.);
- exhibition demonstrations;
- agricultural work;
- riding lessons;
- product of offspring.
Features of temper
The breed is curious and balanced by nature, so it is easy to find contact with it. For beginners, this is a good choice, but keep in mind that the Don horse chooses the only owner. They can be true only to one person.
Don horses have a calm, balanced character, but the nature of the animal depends entirely on the conditions and way of keeping. In close contact with the owner, this is an incredibly loyal pet, but it can be aggressive towards strangers and even family members of the owner.
The purpose of the breeding also had an effect on temper - initially it was military operations and agriculture was in second place. Only then did the Don horses begin to refocus on horse racing. Therefore, one cannot call them too peaceful and unquestioningly compliant. Individuals are independent and independent, but in contrast, extreme endurance and a stable psyche.
Pros and cons of the breed
Each breed has its own advantages and disadvantages, which you need to pay attention to before you get a stallion or mare.
- Pros of Don horses:
- courage and equanimity;
- beautiful exterior;
- high intellectual development;
- loyalty to the owner.
- Cons of the breed:
- not high enough speed for sports fans;
- average maneuverability;
- viewing angle is reduced due to a short neck;
- the character is complex if you do not have enough time for a particular individual;
- constant loads and physical exercises are required;
- loyalty to only one person, which is not suitable for those who intend to use an individual for a riding school or rental for walks.
Important! Aggressive horses that do not have prominent pedigree traits are recommended to be castrated without using them at all in breeding. Castration helps to soften character.
Features of care and maintenance
Don horses are hardy and able to quickly adapt to the environment, climate. Therefore, they do not need "greenhouse conditions." These strong animals can run 120 km daily without even showing signs of fatigue. But there are still requirements for maintenance and care, and they must be observed in order not to have problems with the health and behavior of individuals.
When equipping a stable with a stall, consider the requirements:
- ceilings of at least 3 m, better above;
- the dimensions of the stall for Don horses - from 4x4.5 m;
- width of the doorway - from 1.2 m;
- wall thickness from 4 cm;
- solid wall height - 1.5 m;
- between the rods of the lattice wall fence - a maximum of 5 cm.
All doors must open outward in the stable. It is important to provide natural artificial lighting in the stable - there should be a lot of windows and lamps. For ventilation you need small holes in the walls, doors, but you can not allow the horse to be in a draft. Drinking bowls are best chosen automatic - with them the Don horse will not splash water on the floor and there will be a little less work.
The daily norm for feeding Don horses is 1.5–3% of the weight of the individual. The percentage depends on the intensity of use:
- 4 hours a day - easy;
- 6 hours - average;
- 8 hours - high.
Increased portions give:
- young animals;
- pregnant women in the last 3 months;
- sick individuals.
- roughage (oats, wheat bran);
Food should be fresh, clean - saving on food quality will make a big hole in your wallet when the animal has to be treated.Don horses cannot wilted plants - such food causes dangerous colic.Donchaks slowly digest food, so just eating can take 2 hours. Three meals a day, the intervals between meals are set depending on the intensity of the horse. The greater the load, the longer the time intervals.
Did you know? Tsar Peter I could not part with his beloved military assistant - the mare Lysette of the Karabakh breed, ordering to make a scarecrow after her death. It is noteworthy that this breed was used in breeding Don horses.
Heavy types of Don horses are prone to obesity, so sometimes they should be held on a healthy steamed porridge from:
- 1 kg of oats;
- 7.5 g of salt;
- 50 g of flaxseed.
Place all ingredients in a cauldron with boiling water and close the lid. Insist until the whole mass is completely saturated, then add 0.5 kg of wheat bran and wrap for 2 hours. Healthy newborn foals are eaten every half hour-hour for 5-10 minutes. The suction period lasts up to 6–10 months. in vivo, but within the first month the foal can independently eat a little roughage and hay, grass. Usually the cub is moved to a separate stall from the mother as early as six months.
Estimated winter diet of Don horses:
- fiber - 8-14 kg;
- vegetables - 2-6 kg;
- grain - 2.5–5 kg;
- straw - 2-4.5 kg;
- salt - 30–45 g.
Summer menu of thoroughbred horses:
- fiber - 2-5 kg (do not give if the individual works less than 4 hours a day);
- grain - 2-4 kg;
- straw - 3.5 kg (instead of fiber for those who use up to 4 hours a day);
- grass - 35–45 kg;
- salt - 25–35 g.
Care and hygiene
The health of Don breed horses depends on proper care and hygiene. Litter is cleaned every day; indoor cleaning is done once a week. From inventory personally for animal hair you need to purchase:
- hook for hooking;
- brushes with soft and hard bristles;
It is necessary to look after, comb out, brush your pet daily, in the morning wipe your nostrils and eyes with a damp sponge. Before each horse ride, the horse is brushed, starting from the muzzle and throughout the body. To avoid stretching, the legs are wrapped with an elastic bandage. Regularly inspect the animal for wounds, comb the mane, tail, and wash the horse’s legs after each walk.
Water should be slightly warm so that the pet does not resist. A hook is used to clean the hooves. Don horses are bathed with special horse shampoos that can be bought at a veterinary pharmacy. The stall and stables are cleaned when the animal is not inside:
- litter is replaced;
- the territory is swept and washed;
- disinfected equipment, floors, walls (at least once a month).
Pregnancy and childbirth
Don mares give birth to one, maximum two foals. The horse's pregnancy lasts 11 months. (320–355 days). In the second half of pregnancy, the need for physical activity decreases, the need for an increase in food portions increases. The pregnant mare should be in a spacious stall. Nutrition should be complete and high-quality, give as much as the animal eats at a time, until the individual leaves.
Important! No need to worry after seeing the postpartum discharge the day after birth - this is normal, it can last for 8 days.
The room for childbirth should be light (dim light, dim), dry and clean. There should not be too much noise. A few days before birth, the floor and walls must be disinfected. Your horse does not need your help if the pregnancy is proceeding normally, she will give birth herself, most likely at night or early in the morning.The whole process takes about half an hour, the mare itself rips the umbilical cord. A mother with a foal is kept and walked separately from other horses and animals.
The best preventive measures against diseases of Don horses:
- high-quality diet;
- proper care;
- vaccination against viruses;
- compliance with sanitary standards.
In winter, the temperature in the stable should not fall below +10 ° C. For the same reason, do not allow the bed to have wet litter. Unsanitary conditions in the stall, untidy horse leads to the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, causes dermatitis, eczema. If one of the individuals falls ill, quarantine it until it is completely cured, not allowing contact with other animals.
Prospects for Breeding a Don Horse
Despite its versatility, today the breed is on the verge of extinction. They are mainly handled by private breeders and connoisseurs, including in Europe, where there is a charity fund in support of Don horses. Most breeding farms go bankrupt due to the redemption of their land by commercial entities. The interest of entrepreneurs and the state in horse breeding, and in particular in Don horses, is extremely low.
Now all hope is only for caring connoisseurs of this breed, containing private stables. France makes a feasible contribution, providing financial support. The problem lies in the fact that the private stables involved in the Donchaks are not located everywhere. In large cities, where equestrian sport is developed, horseback riding is in demand, they prefer to buy what is closer.This is understandable from the point of view of economy - horse delivery is not cheap. Don horses deserve to be in a worthy place, at least because of the opportunities for their wide application, endurance, beauty and historical value. This is an ideal option for those who wish to have a devoted, strong, balanced pet in their household.