Caspian Horse

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Breed: Caspian Horse
Temperament: gentle and easy to train
Cost: $500-$20,000
Maintenance: medium
Lifespan: 25 years
Recommended for: young riders

The Caspian Horse is thought to be one of the most ancient of all domesticated horse breeds, rediscovered in 1965 in Iran, after it was believed to be extinct for more than a 1000 years.


The Caspian is a true miniature horse, usually 10-12hh, with a slim build, small hooves and a short, fine head. Colours include grey, chestnut, bay, black, and cream, and white on the face and legs is allowed. Enthusiasts say the forehead development, described as “vaulted” (ie: dished like an Arab, wide forehead and dipped-in nose) is a peculiar feature of the breed.


Owners say they are very bright, alert, and adaptable. While considered a good child’s mount, they may be better suited for the more experienced riders, and not for absolute beginners.

Health and breeding

To date there have been no serious health problems found in the breed. Caspians are being incorporated into breeding programs with other breeds as diverse as Welsh Ponies and Thoroughbreds, in an effort to create an all-round cross. Results so far have shown great success with Caspian crosses in activities from pony club to harness.


Minimal grooming is needed, and owners say they only need their hooves trimmed twice a year (cost: $15 per horse per visit). Regular worming is recommended. Australian owners say the feet are hard enough not to need shoeing unless the horses are being used frequently on roads.

Uses, ideal owner

Caspian Horses have been successfully used in pony club, dressage, harness, and jumping, and are good all-rounders for younger riders. A NZ breeder is reported to be crossing Caspians with Thoroughbreds then back to Warmbloods to produce a “super” showjumper. Caspians can be and are ridden by adults, although most adults would probably be more comfortable on a larger horse. It is claimed the Caspian can carry heavy loads but it may be best to avoid this.


Australasian Caspian Society, Secretary, Shauna Mills-Swart, phone: (08) 8568 2919 (ah); or Mandy Pascoe phone: (08) 8568 2711.