Horses come in so many lovely variations – from gorgeous manes, coats with metallic sheens, and unearthly eyes. Much of these differences were bred by us, although some came naturally from the environs the horses lived in. Be sure to click on the Continue Reading link to view all the lovely pictures.
From: Mother Nature Network
By: Jaymi Heimbuch
Horses have been domesticated for thousands of years, and in that time we’ve had a chance to influence some extraordinary breeds.
The Akhal-Teke is best known for its incredible coat which has a metallic sheen, something unique to the breed. This, combined with its lanky, delicate features, has earned it the nickname of the “supermodel” of the horse world. Though the sheen can be present in any coat color, the colors that show it off the best are buckskin (shown above), palomino, cremello (shown below) and perlino.
Akhal-Teke.org explains why the shimmering effect of the coat happens: “This is caused by the structure of the hair; the opaque core is reduced in size and in some areas may be absent altogether. The transparent part of the hair (the medulla) takes up this space, and acts like a light-pipe, bending light through one side of the hair and refracting it out the other side, often with a golden cast.”
The breed originated in Turkmenistan where it was used by tribesmen to cross the arid landscape. It is a hearty horse with high endurance. Its build and athleticism have made it ideal for everything from dressage and jumping to endurance races.
Bashkir Curly Horse
Another unique coat is sported by the Bashkir Curly, which is known for its poodle-like coat, the curl of which is especially noticeable in winter when the coat is extra long. These horses come in a wide range of sizes from miniature to draft, and in every color, but all have the gene that gives them their uniquely curly coat.
Just as with their size and coloring, the amount of curl varies greatly. Curly horses can have everything from just a little curl in the mane and fetlocks to tight curls all over their body right down to curly eyelashes.
Also like poodles, it is claimed that the curly breed is hypoallergenic, which means most people allergic to horses can still work with this breed. However, there are no official studies to back this up.