Noriker horse or Norikers is one of the oldest medium-sized draft horse breeds of Europe. The horse originated in the foothills of the highest Austrian mountain during the Roman period. The region during the Roman period was known as Noricum, and the name of the horse Norikers was taken from this name. The horse also called Pinzgauer or Norico-Pinzgauer.
Important Information on Noriker Horse
The horse Norikers were initially used as a draft purpose for the transportation of goods and agricultural works. The horse was used in ancient times to transport salt, gold, and various goods to Italy. Now the horse is famous in equine sports due to its sure-footed and extraordinary stamina. In my article, I shall highlight the essential points of this versatile horse breed.
History and Origin Norikers
The history of Norikers starts from the Greeks; they started breeds the horse in the Thessaly region. After that, The Roman started breeding horses, and the horse was a critical warhorse breed at that time. The horses were also transported iron, gold, and salts from central Europe Salzburg to Italy and Adriatic regions. In the modern era, horses were used for agricultural works, popular equestrian sports, and riding for kids.
In 1565, a stud farm was established at Rift of Salzburg and refined by Napotalian and Iberian horse stallions. The spotted coat color of the horse is due to the influence of Baroque horses. The studbook of the Norikers was closed in 1903, and since then, the horse has been purebred. The horse gained popularity between the two world wars. The horse’s population was pic up to 35,00 in 1968 and then started to decline. In the late 1979s, the horses’ crisis period and by 1985, only around 7000 horses existed in Europe. The horse population is now around 10,000, mostly in Austria, Germany, Italy, and other European countries.
Physical Characteristics of Noriker Horse
The Noriker horse is a cold-blooded, sure-footed, medium draft, and low center of gravity horse. The horse is a well-balanced horse breed among the draft horses. The head is typy, convex, dry, and draught characteristics. The ears are short, and the mane is bushy. The neck is muscular and robust. The shoulder is well-proportionate and long. The chest is broad and deep; the croup is muscular; the back is solid and sloppy. The legs are short and robust, and the joints are clean, the hooves are tiny, and the feathering.
Height and Weight of Noriker Horse
The Norikers are medium draft horses with excellent musculature. The average height of the horse is from 15.2 to 16.2 hands (62 to 66 inches). The average body weight is about 650 to 750 kgs (1500 to 1700 pounds).
Color and Markings of Norikers
The Noriker horses attain popularity due to color varieties. The horses found almost all the horses’ primary colors: chestnut, brown, and black. The spotted colors like leopard-complex, roan, tobiano and overo colors are also found. The grey color Norikers are not found.
Behavior and Temperament of Noriker Horse
The Noriker is a beautiful and well-tempered horse breed. The horse is extraordinarily hardy and clam. The horse is intelligent and easily trainable. The horse breed is suitable for beginners and kids. The Norikers are also used for equine therapy as they are calm and quiet with friendly behavior.
Health and Nutrition of Noriker Horse
The horse is generally healthy, and there are no specific equine diseases to this breed. The horse requires daily care, grooming, regular vaccination, deworming, and feeding. The horse lives on green grasses, hay, pasture, and concentrates. The concentrates consist of barley, corn, cowpeas, soybeans, and other available grains. You can give any horse supplements prescribed by the equine nutritionist.
Versatile Uses of Norikers
Noriker horse is of the oldest horse breeds of Europe. The horse was used for various purposes throughout history for the development of human civilization and household purposes. The versatile uses of the horse are:
- It was a famous warhorse during the Greek and Roman era.
- The horses have an outstanding contribution to the trade and commerce of the Adriatic region and were used to transport gold, salt, irons, and other goods from Salzburg to Italy.
- The horses were used for agricultural works.
- Endurance Riding.
- Pleasure Riding.
- Equine parade.
- Horse Polo.
- The horse is also used for meat production.
Concluding Remarks on Norikers
Europe is the place of the originator of many horse breeds. The Norikers are one of the ancient breeds of Europe that has a significant contribution to the civilization and commerce of this area. The horses were also used for the development of pack animals in the military and hilly areas. I have highlighted most of the points on this breed.