Originating in the mountains of Uzbekistan and Tadzhikstan this is a light
harness or saddle horse probably of Mongolian and Arabian blood. The exact
origins of the breed have been lost, but it has a distinctive Arab
appearance with a bit more substance than a purebred Arab.
The area where it originated is well known for its good quality horses and
the Karabair is no exception. It is a small horse standing at up to 15.h.h.
with good conformation and great powers of endurance. It has a spirited
though amiable temperament. The principal colours are bay and chestnut,
though some duns, blacks, piebalds, greys and palaminos ocurr. The head is
refined with a slight dish to the nose, the eyes are bright and the ears are
long and shapely; the neck is well-proportioned; the whithers are high; the
shoulders are good and sloping; the back is short; the body is deep,
particularly at the girth; the quarters are good; the limbs are longish and
strong with good hard feet. Like most horses born in the mountainous regions
it is sure footed and hardy. The horses are kept in herds on the mountain
pastures, some of the mares are crossed with Thoroughbred stallions to
produce competition or sports horses and for flat racing. Those that aren't
crossed with thoroughbred still make good competition horses, particularly
in the Russian mounted games, such as 'Kok-par' a team game envolving a goat
carcass being taken through a goal.