The Mountain-Hucul is a primitive type of the Hucul horse, which has for centuries been most important partner of the Carpathian Hutsul-people. Not only its strength, stamina, intelligence and sturdiness, but also its friendly temper and its reliability made it an irremissible partner for the humans. Ukrainian literature praises this perfectly adapted horse and is describing its outstanding characteristics:
„The Hutsul ponies grew up under the harsh climatic and geographical conditions of the Carpathian mountain landscape. They had a short neck, a thick mane, a strong chest, thin legs and an expressive head. They were strong, untiring, smart and sure-footed. In areas difficult to access they were excellent carrying, riding, and draft animals. In earlier times they were used as guides for transport caravans. More than anything they were valued for their reliability. While Hutsul women would feed their infants or spin wool while riding, they left the way to their ponies. The sick and drunk were carried home by their ponies carefully. Loaded with cheese- and butter barrels they brought home their carriage from the alpine meadows to the destination, even without companion. Accurately they crossed suspension bridges and ravines. Incredibly quickly they signalled imminent danger, when they scented wolves or bears. Tame and friendly they were with children and were used by them to play and carry water.”
Freely translated: (Senkiv, Ivan (1981): Die Hirtenkultur der Huzulen. Marburg/Lahn: Marburger Ostforschungen. S.144.)
With a worldwide stock figure of less than 2000 pure bred animals, the Hutsul horses belong today to the group of highly threatened domestic species. The special type of the Hutan is counting even less individuals and is very hard to find. He is carrying the same characteristics that the extinct European wild horse showed and therefore very special.
Characteristic are a black dorsal stripe along the spine bone, dark feral markings at the shoulder bones and zebra stripes at the legs. The body is compact and quite small, mane and tail are usually dark, whereas the fur colour ranges from crème to brownish, up to a grey colour. Belly, legs and muzzle are usually showing a lighter colouring.
Experts are calling the Carpathian Hutan one of the most primitive European horses and believe it to be a direct descendant of the European wild horse, the so called Tarpan.
Currently, we are keeping nine Hutan horses on our Arc&Recue station. Unfortunately, this type of horse is extremely threatened. Therefore, we are trying to find more individuals in the Carpathian Mountains, to continue the breeding and preservation of this special horse.