Karabakh Horse

Karabakh Horse: A Rich History of Toughness and Resilience

The Karabakh horse is a rare breed that originated from the historical region of Karabakh, located in the Caucasus. These horses were once the pride of the Karabakh Khanate that flourished during the 18th and 19th century. Over time, this breed of horse became known for its toughness, resilience, and unique characteristics. Today, the Karabakh horse is recognized as one of the oldest and most robust horses in the world. In this article, we will discuss the history, temperament, height, characteristics, lifespan, colors, and health of the Karabakh horse.

Karabakh Horse History

Karabakh horses were initially bred for their strength and resistance to harsh environments. They were used as military horses during battles and quickly gained a reputation for their endurance and speed. These horses have played a significant role in the history of Azerbaijan and have been mentioned in literary works such as the “Book of Dede Korkut.”

However, these horses faced challenging times during the Soviet era, when their breeding decreased significantly. Nevertheless, in 2004, The State Commission for the Protection and Development of Karabakh horses was established to maintain and preserve this rare breed. Today, the Karabakh horse is slowly gaining recognition, and breeding programs have been initiated to help preserve their genetic diversity.

Karabakh Horse Temperament

Karabakh horses are known for their strong-willed and temperamental character. They are highly energetic and can become challenging to control, making them an unsuitable choice for beginner or inexperienced riders. However, with proper training, these horses can become strong and loyal companions.

Karabakh Horse Height

Karabakh horses are average-sized horses, standing at about 14 to 15 hands high (56-60 inches). Despite their smaller stature, they are strong and robust and can carry heavyweight without any difficulty.

Karabakh Horse Characteristics

Karabakh horses have a distinct appearance due to their unique physical features, which include a small head with a slightly convex forehead and almond-shaped eyes. These horses are muscular and have a broad chest and a strong body. Additionally, they have black hooves, and their mane and tail are thick and silky. Karabakh horses are commonly bred in colors ranging from chestnut, bay, gray, and black.

Karabakh Horse Lifespan

On average, Karabakh horses can live up to 25 years, provided they are well-cared for. However, without proper care, their lifespan can be significantly reduced.

Karabakh Horse Colors

Karabakh horses are commonly found in chestnut, bay, gray, and black colors. However, some lines of Karabakh horses have a unique piebald or skewbald pattern.

Karabakh Horse Health

Karabakh horses are generally healthy and robust. However, they are prone to some health issues like any other breed of horse. These include respiratory issues, dental problems, and lameness. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper nutrition help prevent health issues and improve their quality of life.


In conclusion, the Karabakh horse is a unique breed that carries a rich history, resilience, and toughness that is associated with the region they originate from. They are strong-willed horses with distinct physical characteristics, and their rare colors make them visually appealing. Although they are not suitable for beginners, they make for excellent riding horses when trained correctly. With ongoing breeding programs and care, we hope that the Karabakh horse will continue to thrive and remain an integral part of Azerbaijan’s history and culture.