If we could nominate the most graceful animal it would be the horse. They are definitely members of animal royal family. And those eyes! Have you ever looked closely into the eyes of a horse? they speak! Those eyes can speak to you and this is incredible! But have you heard of Artsakh horses?
Artsakh was famous for a special kind of black horses since ancient times ("Karabakh horses", colloquially "Karabakhi"), highly valued in the East and Russia, especially in the 19th century. Karabakh horses in many of their qualities are in the same row with the Arabian kind and are valued equally with Arab and Akhaltekins, they are quite expensive and not everyone can afford it.
Artsakh stallion "Zaman" was presented to the Queen of England in 1956. Started from XVII-XVIII centuries, the «Karabakhi» were used to develop new breeds of horses in European countries through natural mating. The characteristics of these horses are really interesting; the Karabakh horse is small, with an average growth no more than 150 cm, with well-developed muscles, a deep broad chest and strong legs. The head is proudly carried, high forehead, bulging eyes burn with fire.
Like a true Artsakhian, they carry the spirit of the land moving clearly and quickly. Another famous Artsakhian kind of horse with red and golden-red coloration is called "Narinj."
Narinj is translated as orange and the color represents how energetic and cheerful these horses are.
In the middle of the XIX century, there were 11 stud farms in Artsakh, controlled by the local meliks. Shoushi used to hold a racetrack twice a year - “Jdrdyuz” meadow, where the horse-racing took place, attracting the best riders of the South Caucasus. At the beginning of the XX century horse breeding in Artsakh came to breakdown, stud farm was abandoned, and the breed "Narinj" mingled with ordinary breeds, and degraded, but still preserved some features, such as color of old bronze. Horse-breeding got another chance in 1949, when a new stud farm was founded in the Lower Artsakh. The most common species of the horses were gathered on the farm, but at the time of opening, the farm had only one horse of Artsakh breed - stallion Sultan. Unfortunately, the farm was destroyed during the war in 1993, and many of the horses were scattered around the area.
Today, traditional horse-breeding has begun its new era. The first horse riding club is opened near the village of Mkhitarashen, on the way to the Hunot Canyon, there you can ride horses of different breeds, including the famous Artsakh Narinj.