Warhorses

Feb 2019
108
Pennsylvania, US
#41
Still, even though Mongolian horse is often called pony, but they are horses. They are small and if taken into account only size could be called pony, but for all the rest of characteristics they are horses. There are number of small horse breeds, Mongolian, Islandian, Samogotian. By the size they are close to pony, but they are horses. Grain diet does interesting things to horses it is not only much higher in nutrition, but also act as stimulant. Horses that get some grain have much more energy in general, which is not always good thing. :D
Yeah, I own "horses" that are both pony height (Norwegian Fjords) - they are terribly efficient at digesting everything they eat... ergo, they get called "chubby ponies". Whether you call them horses or ponies based on height, there are pretty distinct differences in how they handle their feeds and a distinctive difference in their skeletal structure, overall proportions, ability to handle the cold (heavier mane and coat, thicker skin), better endurance... you just don't want that "pony brain" (more intelligent, more stubborn). :lol: Were Mongolian "ponies" more like horses in their constitutions (like Caspians, mini's and Morgans)? Or more like ponies?

My first Fjord was at a show barn where he ate 2nd and 3rd cutting alfalfa and straight up grain... it was like he was on crack... but crack that makes you fat. LOL!
 
Aug 2016
830
USA
#42
Yeah, I own "horses" that are both pony height (Norwegian Fjords) - they are terribly efficient at digesting everything they eat... ergo, they get called "chubby ponies". Whether you call them horses or ponies based on height, there are pretty distinct differences in how they handle their feeds and a distinctive difference in their skeletal structure, overall proportions, ability to handle the cold (heavier mane and coat, thicker skin), better endurance... you just don't want that "pony brain" (more intelligent, more stubborn). :lol: Were Mongolian "ponies" more like horses in their constitutions (like Caspians, mini's and Morgans)? Or more like ponies?

My first Fjord was at a show barn where he ate 2nd and 3rd cutting alfalfa and straight up grain... it was like he was on crack... but crack that makes you fat. LOL!
Are modern Mongolian horses significantly different now than they were in Genghis' time?
 
Feb 2019
108
Pennsylvania, US
#43
Are modern Mongolian horses significantly different now than they were in Genghis' time?
The probably are pretty well the same horse... the only native horse in Mongolia... I was reading more about them because of this topic and it looks like only now are they trying to add Arab and TB bloodlines to achieve a horse that is 1/4 import and 3/4 Mongolian... the idea is trying to introduce more speed into the Mongolian breed, which seems to be the only one surviving in it's current habitat. (So, other horses can't handle the Mongolian life... LOL... that almost proves a point right there.). They also have problems with foaling, because the Mongolian foals without help (in the field), and incorporating different breed characteristics means breeders have to help at times... and Mongolians aren't very experienced with all the problems a larger foal can bring.

This topic has been so much fun!
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,482
#44
In Central Europe a lot of campaigns took close to 1000 miles. It is something like 900 km from Vilnius to Moscow for example and quite a few armies marched both ways during one campaigning season. There is 1500 km from Crimea to Minsk and Crimean Tatars marched such distances very often for hundreds of years.

P.S. That 20 miles per day distance I have read in some Lithuanian paper on Battle of Kleck. There are letters with dates about that war, so some Lithuanian postgraduate student was able to calculate exact movement speed of Tatar army. Distance was longer than 1000 miles as far as I remember. Battle of Kletsk - Wikipedia
1000 miles is almost the distance from Berlin to Moscow. 900 km is only 560 miles. That is a big difference. There were certainly armies that did cover 100s of miles or even 1000km in a campaign (though rarely full army did 1000km + in an invasion- during raids many times that was fairly common but in my opinion such raids are more like the 'quick march' that was more typical for infantry-based armies that featured light equipment but lacked siege train or much supplies).

The probably are pretty well the same horse... the only native horse in Mongolia... I was reading more about them because of this topic and it looks like only now are they trying to add Arab and TB bloodlines to achieve a horse that is 1/4 import and 3/4 Mongolian... the idea is trying to introduce more speed into the Mongolian breed, which seems to be the only one surviving in it's current habitat. (So, other horses can't handle the Mongolian life... LOL... that almost proves a point right there.). They also have problems with foaling, because the Mongolian foals without help (in the field), and incorporating different breed characteristics means breeders have to help at times... and Mongolians aren't very experienced with all the problems a larger foal can bring.
There is quite a bit of debate on this point actually. The 'current' Mongolian horses are already quite interbred but there are more wild remnant populations which show some different characteristics but it is an interesting question as there are some hints that even in the Mongols era of expansion there was an awareness of quite different abilities between horses to handle climate and long campaigns. Were Mongol horses different than what horses many Turkic peoples were using that had been intermixed already for centuries because it appears some hints that even among 'Mongolian' horses there were different categories separate from both Turkic, Chinese, and Persian horses.

It is a physiological fact that the amount of energy a horse has available for work depends on the amount of energy it takes in. Grass simply does not have the energy density required for the magical stamina attributed to Mongol ponies. A horse on a grass diet has to devote so much time to eating that it doesn't have the time to devote to a significant amount of work.
This is totally true but also mostly beside the point. Many grain fed horses simply can't efficiently digest poor forage grasses so even when fed equal amounts they get less calories. Secondly big, fast horses take disproportionately more calories to stay alive. An elite 200 lb human athlete needs 4000+ calories to maintain while a 150 lb competitive athlete can sustain with 2500 calories and horses being much larger animals these disproportionate calories vs body weight makes more of a total caloric difference. Mongol steppe horse is usually given weight between 500-800lb vs most grain fed cavalry starting around 800 and going to 1,200lb. The amount of calories needed to maintain an animal 30% larger is actually closer to +50% so a 1,200lb horse eating poor steppe grass might not get full calories even grazing 20 hours a day and need to get supplementd with grain to survive while an 700lb steppe horse could get sufficient calories grazing 16 hours.

Next is the question what happens when a horse does not get sufficient calories- grain fed horses due to faster metabolism tend to waste away much quicker and if missing sufficient calories for a week are unusable as cavalry until they are recovered which could take several days of grazing supplemented with grain or weeks of grazing on good grasses. Steppe horse loses weight more slowly and is more used to the hardship so remains militarly useful slightly longer but most importantly can recover quite quickly given time to graze on native grasses without needing grain supplementation.

If an army of steppe horses has to move 500 kilometers in a few days they can do it and then be ready to move again without dangers after a couple days of grazing. An army of grain fed horses could quite possibly go 500 kilometers but that is taking most of the horses into a dangerous low nutrition area and certainly majority of the horses would need many days to recover before moving that distance again.

Many steppe horses can sparsely graze and continue moving 4km an hour and Mongols and most steppe peoples could sleep in the saddle- so if the army moved at a brisk pace of 15km an hour at a steady canter for 6 hours a day, sparsely grazed while moving 4km for 8 hours, and rested/sleep/graze for the remaining 10 hours that is 122km in a sustainable pace.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2016
563
United States, MO
#45
The probably are pretty well the same horse... the only native horse in Mongolia... I was reading more about them because of this topic and it looks like only now are they trying to add Arab and TB bloodlines to achieve a horse that is 1/4 import and 3/4 Mongolian... the idea is trying to introduce more speed into the Mongolian breed, which seems to be the only one surviving in it's current habitat. (So, other horses can't handle the Mongolian life... LOL... that almost proves a point right there.). They also have problems with foaling, because the Mongolian foals without help (in the field), and incorporating different breed characteristics means breeders have to help at times... and Mongolians aren't very experienced with all the problems a larger foal can bring.

This topic has been so much fun!
Yeah and I have heard from a Mongol that they actually banned cross-breeding because it was giving an unfair advantage to the wealthy during the national horserace each year for naadam.
 
Likes: bedb
Feb 2019
108
Pennsylvania, US
#47
There is quite a bit of debate on this point actually. The 'current' Mongolian horses are already quite interbred but there are more wild remnant populations which show some different characteristics but it is an interesting question as there are some hints that even in the Mongols era of expansion there was an awareness of quite different abilities between horses to handle climate and long campaigns. Were Mongol horses different than what horses many Turkic peoples were using that had been intermixed already for centuries because it appears some hints that even among 'Mongolian' horses there were different categories separate from both Turkic, Chinese, and Persian horses.
This I would believe, especially with the Kazakhs representing a fusion of Turk and Mongolian cultures. But the question is how diverse was the genetic make-up of their horses to begin with and what is the likeliness of survival for a non-native breed in Mongolia.

Sparky posted photos of the Akal-Teke a couple posts back... apparently this horse best represents (allegedly) the extinct Turkoman horses. It also is thought to be one of the two main DNA branches that give us all our modern breeds. In it's current state, the Akal-Teke is tall, lean, fine-boned (important, because bone comparison is key to understanding lost ancient breeds), appears to be thin-skinned and without much of a coat. I have a feeling that if this did represent the horse of the Turks in the day... it would be tough to breed with Mongol ponies... you could get into size differences and the fact that you'd want a Mongol stallion to bred an Akal-Teke mare (so that the foal is not too large to be delivered) and whether you could find two horses that would work height-wise... in a world with no A. I. this is kinda important. Also, the first cross would be in terrible danger of simply dying from the elements, and could you keep it alive long enough to mature and dilute the Akal-Teke blood with more Mongolian? I don't know. It's possible that the older Turk/Akal-Teke horses were very different... perhaps the Mongol ponies were out of this line, and had over many years time developed their traits to adapt to Mongolia.

The Chinese had imported this breed called a Ferghana horse in large numbers... so large that they had to shut down export. So the Chinese went to war over... horses that "sweated blood"... (worrisome trait, I think). Is it possible these horses ended up in Mongolian stock?

The Persians had similar stocky "ponies" from the Medes... apparently thick skinned, shaggy coated, sturdy, said to be powerful movers. <--- I would totally buy this breed being intermixed... but is it going to be that genetically much different than the Mongol ponies themselves?

The Chinese breeds seem like they were often directly influence by Mongol horses being introduced into the bloodlines.

The Mongols seem to catch and break horses selected from wild herds... was this always the case? Selective breeding is pretty much off the table in this scenario, other than in a smaller "macro" sense... for the wild herd, the landscape and climate in Mongolia is probably the stand-in for "selective breeding". So new genes may be introduced, but would the majority of them find their way into the wild herd, and survive to influence the breed?

What's really maddening is that I was reading last night (instead of sleeping) and found that both Icelandic horses and Fjord horses are supposedly descendants of the Mongol! They attribute them to being brought to Scandinavia by Norse settlers who had bought them from Russian traders. So, here are two other modern breeds surviving inhospitable climes, one being wild as well (no human intervention to ensure survival), and doing 'just fine, thank you'. Where did this toughness come from? Mongol horses? Akal-Teke? I want to know! :crying:
 
Sep 2014
773
Texas
#49
1551278709718.png This is a Russian Karbardin. Joseph Stalin did two endurance tests once before WW2 and once after. Every riding breed in Russia was included. It last over a month and covered thousands of miles. All breeds included.

Kabardin (Kabardian Horse) This link shows the stallion that beat them all. Ignore the history as it is pointless and based on myth. There are no ancient or modern breeds related to the Akhal-Teke, the loser by a thousand miles to this stallion. This is why Stalin wanted to shut the stud down.

1551279249372.png The gray stallion ridden by Marshal Zukhov is listed as a Tersk Arabian stallion named Kumir. Akhal-Teke enthusiasts claim the stallion is also Arab 26, foundation sire of the Akhal-Tekes and sire of Absente, champion Teke.

1551279509366.png This is Arabe 26, Teke or Tersk? Arab
 
Likes: Niobe
Sep 2014
773
Texas
#50
This I would believe, especially with the Kazakhs representing a fusion of Turk and Mongolian cultures. But the question is how diverse was the genetic make-up of their horses to begin with and what is the likeliness of survival for a non-native breed in Mongolia.

Sparky posted photos of the Akal-Teke a couple posts back... apparently this horse best represents (allegedly) the extinct Turkoman horses. It also is thought to be one of the two main DNA branches that give us all our modern breeds. In it's current state, the Akal-Teke is tall, lean, fine-boned (important, because bone comparison is key to understanding lost ancient breeds), appears to be thin-skinned and without much of a coat. I have a feeling that if this did represent the horse of the Turks in the day... it would be tough to breed with Mongol ponies... you could get into size differences and the fact that you'd want a Mongol stallion to bred an Akal-Teke mare (so that the foal is not too large to be delivered) and whether you could find two horses that would work height-wise... in a world with no A. I. this is kinda important. Also, the first cross would be in terrible danger of simply dying from the elements, and could you keep it alive long enough to mature and dilute the Akal-Teke blood with more Mongolian? I don't know. It's possible that the older Turk/Akal-Teke horses were very different... perhaps the Mongol ponies were out of this line, and had over many years time developed their traits to adapt to Mongolia.

The Chinese had imported this breed called a Ferghana horse in large numbers... so large that they had to shut down export. So the Chinese went to war over... horses that "sweated blood"... (worrisome trait, I think). Is it possible these horses ended up in Mongolian stock?

The Persians had similar stocky "ponies" from the Medes... apparently thick skinned, shaggy coated, sturdy, said to be powerful movers. <--- I would totally buy this breed being intermixed... but is it going to be that genetically much different than the Mongol ponies themselves?

The Chinese breeds seem like they were often directly influence by Mongol horses being introduced into the bloodlines.

The Mongols seem to catch and break horses selected from wild herds... was this always the case? Selective breeding is pretty much off the table in this scenario, other than in a smaller "macro" sense... for the wild herd, the landscape and climate in Mongolia is probably the stand-in for "selective breeding". So new genes may be introduced, but would the majority of them find their way into the wild herd, and survive to influence the breed?

What's really maddening is that I was reading last night (instead of sleeping) and found that both Icelandic horses and Fjord horses are supposedly descendants of the Mongol! They attribute them to being brought to Scandinavia by Norse settlers who had bought them from Russian traders. So, here are two other modern breeds surviving inhospitable climes, one being wild as well (no human intervention to ensure survival), and doing 'just fine, thank you'. Where did this toughness come from? Mongol horses? Akal-Teke? I want to know! :crying:
Sorry but this is incorrect. There are no ancient Tekes or modern descendants of the Teke anywhere. For all the hyperbole it is a strange looking extremely weak breed. They are not fast and have long backs that make them prone to back problems.

The Ferghana breed in a region The Sogdians lived was this breed. 1551279913986.png . The Sogdians bred an offshoot of the royal Nisean horse.

1551280006742.png Han Gan painting. The Chinese came away with a dozen of these horses and herds of other breeds, and the Emperor was impressed.

An Akhal Teke breeder in the US thought he could create a new breed of horse called the Nez Perce Horse based on Appaloosa-Teke crosses. Yeah, it didn't work out. The Teke is a pretty horse with an ancient mtDNA line, but there is a reason nobody wants one. They are not that good.
1551280224784.png This was the ultimate warhorse in the ancient world. From Rome to China.Strabo said this breed in Rome was worth an estate.

1551280289724.png

1551280409094.png Knight Shining White.


1551280490978.png Foundation sire for the Akhal-Teke breed.Boinou.

I don't know who fabricates more mythology Teke fans or Arabian breeders. And I was one who believed all that nonsense until I started writing my timeline.

Oh an it is not a foundation for the Thoroughbred. Tekes can't outrun a Shetland pony on a good day. Stalin wanted to shut their stud down because they seriously
could not keep up with the other horses.

1551281008632.png An Akhal-Teke stallion owned by the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. Can't imagine why they would temporarily to suspend sales negotiations.

Tekes are not warhorses. Check out the foundation sire if you think they are..
 

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