European Russia is the part of Russia situated in the far West of the country that is considered to be part of Europe. The other, much larger part of the country, situated to the East, is considered to be part of Asia. The specific boundaries between continents are largely a matter of geographical convention and different boundaries have been in use, however the eastern boundary of Europe is generally considered to be along the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caucasus Mountains and the Turkish Straits.
Our horse-rides in this region are in the area around the Caucasus Mountains, so in the far south of the country, near the border with Georgia.
This area is also home to the Kabarda or Kabardin horse, which has been bred in the northern Caucasus mountains since the 16th century by tribesmen. The horses are believed to have derived from a combination of steppe horses - the Karabakh, Arabian and Turkoman. These horses are traditionally kept in large herds and moved between summer mountain pastures and winter grazing in the foothills.
The Kabardin stand 14.1 - 15.1hh and are either bay, black or grey. They are solidly built with a deep chest and short back. The Kabardin's blood has a heightened oxygen-carrying capacity which makes it ideally suited for work in the high mountains and extremely hardy - when stabled at lower altitudes they are prone to carrying excess weight as they are so well adapted for life in extreme conditions. The breed are famed for their endurance and are fast - they are used as sport horses in Russia and have also been used to improve other breeds, such as the native stock of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. They were also crossed with Thoroughbreds in the early 20th century, creating the Anglo-Kabarda - a recognised breed since 1966.