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6 Polish Horse Breeds (with Pictures)

Ashley Bates

February 24, 2021

Every country in the world influences domesticated animals by offering its own spin on selective breeding. You can see breeders diligently work to develop new looks with strong, specific traits. Forming a new breed of horse can take years given that professionals need time to work out kinks and create desirable offspring.

Poland is no exception—they’ve made quite an impact on the horse world. Each of these horses is unique, attractive, and beautiful in its own right. Let’s take a look at these gorgeous specimens hailing from Poland.

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1. Sokolski

Sokolski Horse
Image Credit: Elzbieta Sekowska, Shutterstock

The impressive Sokolski is a draught horse named after its home — Sokolka, Poland. These thick muscular equines are top choices for tasks like wagon pulling and heavy draft work. You might consider them low maintenance in comparison to some other breeds as they are beefy and well-made.

Sokolski horses come in shades of bay, brown, and chestnut. They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and beyond—and their entire structure is well-defined, thick, and prominent. These horses are known for their docile nature and pulling abilities.

The Sokolski is durable and has no known health issues to mention. They live as long as most other horses, up to 30 years. The Sokolski stands 15 to 16 hands tall.


2. Wielkopolski

The graceful Wielkopolski horse made its debut in 1964 in Greater Poland. Though they aren’t particularly popular, they have excellent dispositions and usually make fabulous riding horses. They are hardy and capable, great with jumps and other competitive tasks.

Wielkopolskis have sleek, fine hair that comes in chestnut, gray, black, and bay. Their bodies are muscular but elegant, toting a supple, athletic physique. There are two variations to this breed—a heavier one for working, a lighter for show.

The Wielkopolski was created by crossing two extinct breeds—the Mazury and Poznań. It is a very healthy breed with no physical issues to note. They have a lifespan of roughly 30 years and stand 16 hands tall.


3. Silesian

Silesian horse
Image Credit: Pixabay

The Silesian horses were named after their original home in Silesia, Poland. This horse has a graceful, eloquent presence with a defined muscular tone and well-shaped hooves. Throughout history, you might find them pulling a cart or carriage—and they raced, too!

These horses come in three primary colors — bay, black, and gray. The Silesian underwent many alterations, creating a tailored version by combining certain breeds. Many would describe the breed as agreeable and easy to train.

After the 1970s, there was a significant decline in population because of modern-day advancements. Today, these horses have no significant health issues with lifespans up to 30 years. They stand a little over 16 hands high.


4. Malopolski

The Malopolski is a stunning specimen that is both athletic and agile. They were developed in Lesser Poland in the 1900s from thoroughbreds and Arabians. They mostly take the task of riding horses, being agile and easy to work with.

There are two distinct varieties of the Malopolski breed still bred in Poland today — the Sadecki and Dabrowsko-Tarnowski. These horses come in roan, bay, black, chestnut, and gray.

You might find them as riding or draft horses in the modern age. Healthy and usually issue-free, they can live a full 30-year life. Malopolskis stand 15 to 16 hands high.


5. Konik

Konik horse
Image Credit: Pixabay

The primitive Konik has a considerable history in Poland, roaming free in certain regions. They are technically a pony breed, meaning they’re smaller than typical horses.

Koniks are typically a grayish color—referred to as blue dun— but they can also be black or chestnut. They have small, stocky builds that are sturdy, so they were often used as transport ponies for German and Russian troops.

Domesticated Koniks usually show up on farms or in wildlife reserves. They are generally healthy, with lifespans up to 30 years. These little guys only stand about 13 hands high.


6. Polish Arabian

The gorgeous Polish Arabian horse was a spin on the traditional Arabian with Polish influence. When Poland started to replenish the population after World War II, they selected Russian Arabians for the breeding program.

Arabian horses have standard colors like bay, chestnut, gray, black, and roan. Like many other Arabian horses, Polish Arabians have short, compact bodies with robust and elegant muscle tone. Many of these magnificent beauties perform in shows.

Polish Arabians have a reputation for longer lifespans than average horses, sometimes living into their early 30s. These horses stand roughly 15 hands high.

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Final Thoughts

Each of these majestic horses has its own special sauce to bring to the table. They are attractively stunning for opposing reasons, which makes the individual breed that much more enjoyable. Poland has made a significant contribution to various horses—it’s lovely to be able to admire them, even if you might never own one yourself.

Looking for additional horse reads? Check these out!


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.