Skip to main content


Trakehner Horse
I've been watching a lot of Olympics coverage lately, and this morning was the start of the team Dressage competition. Without writing an essay, Dressage is an Equestrian Sport where a horse and rider perform a series of moves within an arena. "Horse Ballet" is a term sometimes used, and it's not far off. The horses perform very practiced moves, and there is a huge amount of training involved in the discipline. The sport even dates back hundreds of years.

Most horses involved in Dressage are "Warmbloods," including today's breed. The Trakehner's roots date back to 1732, when Fredrick William I of Prussia established a stud farm at Trakehnen. These early representatives of the breed were stockier than their modern counterparts, but that all changed in the 1800s when Thoroughbred and Arabian blood was added to the line. The result was ultimately a large, intelligent, stable horse with great endurance that could be used for both farm work, and for cavalry purposes.
Trakehner doing Dressage

Trakehners continued to be bred in East Prussia until World War II, when approaching Russian forces forced an evacuation. The breed was reduced to only 600 broodmares and 50 stallions. Trakehners have since rebounded, and their governance in Germany is overseen by the federal government, including the Trakehner Verband. Pureblooded Trakehners are often branded with the emblem of their national association.

The Trakehner stands between 16 and 17 hands tall, and had strong hindquarters and a springy "flaoting trot" gait. Today they are used for farm more than just military and farm work, and they excel at a number of Equestrian sports, including Jumping and Dressage. The breed is often used to refine other Warmblood breeds. Because Trakehners have Arabian and Thoroughbred blood, breeding them to other Warmbloods allows for the traits of those "Hotblood" breeds to enter the gene pool, but without the need for risky direct crosses.

Status : Domesticated
Location : Originated in Prussia
Size : Height up to 16hands
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Perissodactyla
Family : Equidae -- Genus : Equus -- Species : E. ferus -- Subspecies : E. f. caballus


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe