Horseback riding in the Carpathian mountains
Hutsul horse breeding center
"Polonyns'ke Hospodarstvo was registered in 2001, and achieved a hutsul horse breeding nucleus status in 2004.
Nowadays we have got 74 hutsul horses in our breeding center."
Olexander Ignatenko, the Director of the farm "Polonyns'ke Gospodarstvo", a vet by education.
Hutsul horse or as we usually say "hutsulyk" is an indigenous horse bred in the Carpathian Mountains by sub-ethnic Ukrainian group named Hutsuly.
Down to the middle of ХХ century hutsul horses have been the major partners of our ancestors in a surviving in the rough Carpathian conditions. Hutsul horse is called "wise horse": if you are kind to "hutsulyk" it will acknowledge you and will work good, but "hutsulyk'' will always have it's own mind about everything happening around.
Nobody is aware of the exact origin of the breed; hypothetical ancestor is Tarpan horse, Mongol horse, perhaps some of Przhevalsky horse blood was added. Also some breeders try to prove that there was the admixture of Arab horse's blood during Turkish wars. But anyway, in rough conditions of the Carpathians the most important and necessary features from all these mixtures of various breeds have been selected by the nature. The major goal of the breeding implemented on "Polonyns'ke Hospodarstvo" is to work on the productivity and adaptation of the horses to rough environmental conditions. We decided not to invent anything new, so we have chosen the direction of renovation and fixing the hutsul horse breed's flag characteristics in peculiar rough natural conditions, which used to form the breed. Actually this is the main difference of "Polonyns'ke Hospodarstvo" if compared with the other hutsul horse breeding centers. "Polonyns'ke Hospodarstvo" was registered in 2001, and achieved a hutsul horse breeding nucleus status in 2004.
Nowadays we have got 74 hutsul horses in our breeding center.
Preluky farm is unique, because hutsul horses can live in the environmental conditions which have been forming the breed over the thousand years. The farm is located 1000 meters above the sea level, under Rivna and Gostra subalpine meadows. The years of systematic stock breeding process have led us close to the hutsul horse breed standard which existed hundreds years ago.
Also we practice 1-2 days horseback riding tours in Preluky hutsul horse breeding center. Everyone can participate in these tours, even people, who have never tried the horse riding before. "Hutsulyk" is unique not only because it is extremely kind, energetic and easy to deal with, but also it has a specific balanced way of riding - they don't move like other horses, their way of riding looks like swimming over the land.
By the way, despite their peaceful exterior, true "hutsulyks" are able to beat off wolves' attack by themselves. Also they are kind to people because they know that we come and help them if something bad happens.
It is only up to the horse to bring the sacks with bryndza and butter, or the master-horseman, down from the remote highlands, making its way through the abrupt narrow paths. Each and everyone rides a horse in Gutsulshchina, because the roads are rocky, the mountains are abrupt, the destinations are remote. Gutsul woman sits on the horse spinning; a mother sits on the horse caring for her child. The newborn is symbolically laid on the horse; the Prince and the Princess (the fiancé and the bride) ride the horses on their way to the wedding… These cases are not the only, of course. Gutsul horse is of great help for the low-sight person, or for the sleeping person: the animal will bring them home safely and surely. I remember my father set me on a horseback of our mighty mare. It used to bring me, a little girl, to the stall; I would roll down to the crib with the sweet-smelling hey and listen to the mother-like breath of the trustworthy chestnut tutoress above my head… Gutsul horse used to save its master from the predators. No wonder the old people said: but for the help of Gutsul horse, the mountains would be deserted.»
— Vlad Maria