Another episode of our Horse Breeds around the World Series. Today we turn our attention towards South-Eastern Europe which is home to a little known horse breed, the Bosnian Mountain Horse. These small horses are sure-footed, tough and can carry heavy loads up and down their rugged home of the Dinaric Alps. Today there is little use for horses, except in the remote villages, so the Bosnian Mountain Horse is disappearing in its home countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Croatia and Montenegro.
However, people all over the world have recognised the potential of this horse breed as trail and leisure horse and there are some efforts in breeding and popularising the breed again. Above all, it is important to let people know about it and establish Bosnia-Herzegovina and the other countries of the Balkans firmly as horse tourism destination. I am talking today with Zorica Bukinac, a Slovenian horse lover and rider, who fell in love with the breed.
Horse Breeds Around the World
Different breeds and horse cultures
Today there are around 400 horse breeds in the world. Some are extremely popular such as Frisians, Thoroughbred, Arabians or Quarter Horses, whereas others are little known, such as the Caspian Pony, Noitgedachter or Marwari. Meanwhile many breeds are restricted to their home countries and some are threatened or nearly extinct. In our Horse Breeds Around the World Series we want to introduce some of the lesser known breeds to you and talk about what role they play in their home country and above all, why they should not be forgotten.
The Bosnian Mountain Horse is native to the countries of former Yugoslavia where it constitutes around 70% of the total horse population, even though many animals are mixed with other breeds. It was traditionally used as a work horse, pack animal and for riding. For the people living in the rough terrain of the Dinaric Alps, the mountain range crossing the region, it was an important means of transportation and has remained so till today in the remote areas.
Selective breeding started in the state stud of Goražde in 1908 with three stallion lines and nine mare lines. Arabs were used to improve the breed but this led to the loss of sure-footedness and willingness to work, so it was discontinued and efforts were made to keep the breed pure. During the civil war, horses suffered greatly and numbers of farm animals fell. Today the Bosnian Mountain Horse is an endangered breed and might very well disappear forever if efforts are not made to preserve it.
Your Guest today:
Zorica Bukinac (Slovenia)
Slovenian diplomat, ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina and horse rider, Zorica has come to love the Bosnian Mountain Horse and has joined efforts in preserving the breed. For more photos on these fantastic, check out the Equestrian Adventuresses Facebook Group!
Don’t forget to check out the resources section in this article!
- What kind of horse is the Bosnian Mountain Horse
- History of the breed
- What is the breed used for today
- Horse riding tourism in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other Balkan countries
Thank you for tuning in and happy trails!
Horse Nomads – Book 5 of the Equestrian Adventuresses Book Series
Collected and published by Krystal Kelly
Finally, we launched the 5th book of the EQA books series with five super cool stories featuring women from all around the world! Whether it is about riding horses in Lesotho or India or opening a yard on a Greek Island where horse riding is all male-dominated, all stories are packed with adventures and challenges. Moreover, it is the perfect way to endure the -hopefully- last few months of lockdown and Covid-19 Travel Restriction and it will transport you to the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, the ruggedness of the Kingdom in the Sky Lesotho, or let you enjoy the world looking through the lyre-shaped ears of the Indian Marwari horses.
All books of the EQA book series are available as e-book, paperback and soon all will be available as audiobooks as well.
Also Check out our Latest Travel Guide Books for Equestrians!
We just launched our 2021 Travel Guide Book for Equestrians editions!
Available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and noble, and more as paperback and hardback coffee table books, however as a special gift to our members and as a big thank you for being a part of the community we are giving you a copy for free!
Click here to grab your free book: Horse Riding in Every State & Country Book
- Bosnian Mountain Horse Breeder’s Association
- Article about Re-wilding Bosnian Mountain Horses
- Equestrian tools and resources
- EQA Online Shop