The Budenny horse is relatively new to the equine world, first created in the 1920s by Bolshevik horse breeder Marshall Semyon Budyonny. Budyonny was a commander who sought to create a breed of horse that would be capable of participating in battle, which was very time-sensitive since the breed came into existence during the Russian Civil War. He was also working to replenish the country’s population of horses, many of which were lost during World War I.
The English Thoroughbred, Russian Don and Chernomor Horses were crossbred to begin creating the Budenny breed of horses, which became renowned for its agility, bravery and intelligence.
This breed has been refined since its creation and is now bred in Russia, the Ukraine and other countries that make up the former Soviet Union. The Budenny breed was officially recognised decades later in 1949. This breed originally consisted of three types of horses that varied in size and use, but selective breeding and demand for one strong, robust horse led breeders to combine these types into one model that met these needs.
The Budenny is a sleek, muscular and well-proportioned horse that stands at approximately 15-17 hands high(152.4 to 172.72cm) with males being slightly bigger in size than females. The vast majority of this breed is chestnut in colour, though bay, black and brown Budenny horses are not unheard of. Theirs long and lean body is supported by strong and sturdy legs.
The Budenny is no longer used in battle and its striking appearance has since made it a popular pet and a fine riding horse. Their strength also allows them to carry light loads when necessary. The Budenny Horse is smart and has a strong work ethic that contributes to its success in horse shows and competitions. Initially bred for high endurance during battle, the modern Budenny is capable of traveling considerable distances during riding exercises. They are able to be trained to compete in jumping and dressage. The breed is also known for its quiet, easy-going temperament, making it a reasonable choice for both new and experienced riders. If the Budenny horse is not given ample attention and exercise, its temperament may be compromised.
Once the Budenny breed was refined in the mid 1900’s, an experiment took place in Russia in an effort to determine whether this breed could be self-reliant enough to survive without human care. Horses were released on an island and forced to forage for food and water on their own for the first time. The population of Budenny horses living on this island has since grown, furthering this breed’s reputation of intelligence, adaptability and resilience.
Though the Budenny horse is now found throughout the world, including the United States, Australia and England, they are rare outside of their native Russia where they remain popular.