THE CASPIAN HORSE BREED STANDARD
The Caspian is a horse, not a pony, and therefore should be viewed in the same manner as when judging a well-bred horse, that is, the limbs, body and head should all be in proportion to each other.
Foreshortened limbs or a head out of proportion are faults. The overall impression should be that of an elegant, small horse.
Almond shaped, large, dark, set low, often prominent.
Large, low set, finely chiselled, capable of considerable dilation during action.
Short, wide apart, alert, finely drawn, often noticeably in-pricked at the tips.
Wide, vaulted forehead (in most cases the parietal bones do not form a crest but remain open to the occipital crest). Frontal bone should blend into nasal bone in a pleasing slope. Very deep, prominent jawbones and great width between jawbones where they join at the throat. Head tapers to a fine, firm muzzle.
Long supple neck with a finely modelled throatlatch.
Shoulders and Withers
Long, sloping, well modelled, with good withers.
Characteristically slim with deep girth. Chest width in proportion to width of body. It is a fault to have “both legs out of the same hole”. Close coupled, with well defined hindquarters and good “saddle space”.
Long and sloping from hip to point of buttocks. Great length from stifle to hock.
Owing to their mountain origin, Caspians have more angled hocks than lowland breeds.
Characteristically slender with dense, flat bone and flat knees. Good slope to pasterns, neither upright nor over sloping.
Both front and back are usually oval and neat, with immensely strong wall and sole, and very little frog. It must be emphasized, however, that this might vary with location and terrain and hoofs should be maintained in their natural shape to ensure correct hoof balance and soundness. They should never be artificially shaped.
Coat, Skin and Hair
Skin thin, fine and supple, dark except under white markings. Coat silky and flat, often with iridescent sheen in summer. Thick winter coat. Mane and tail abundant but fine and silky. Mane usually lies flat (as in Thoroughbreds) but can grow to great lengths. Tail carried gaily in action. Limbs generally clean with little or no feathering at the fetlock.
All colours, except piebald or skewbald (pinto). Greys will go through many shades of roan before fading to near white at maturity.
Varies with feeding, care and climate. Growth rate in the young is extremely rapid with the young Caspian making most of its height in the first 18 months, filling out with maturity. The average height is 11.2 hands high (hh)(1.17m) and ideally should not exceed 12.2 hh (1.27m).
Action / Performance
Natural floating action at all gaits. Long low swinging trot with spectacular use of the shoulder. Smooth, rocking canter, rapid flat gallop. Naturally light and agile with exceptional jumping ability.
Highly intelligent and alert, but very kind and willing.