Last time, I asked if it's possible to breed a five-gaited horse as hardy and adaptable as a Yakutian horse. Turns out that it's not as straightforward as initially assumed. It seems that not all Icelandics have the gene for the fifth ambling gait, a feature that made this breed popular in medieval Europe. Nor are all Yakutians made equal, as some populations are better at dealing with environmental extremes than others. But with enough generations, it IS possible for a hybrid horse to have a fifth gait like an Icelandic that can deal with the entire environmental spectrum like a Yakutian.
But that is only Stage I, and here is why: I have seen no evidence of either breed being used for war or labor, and at 13-14 hands tall (52-56 inches), they're still a little on the small side. So here is the candidate for Stage II:
As you can see from the image, the breed is tall enough for a human to crane himself upwards to see its face. The tallest on record was a gelding named Goliath, who stood 19 hands (76 inches) tall at the shoulders until his death in 2001. The Shire belongs to a type called the "draft horses", and they have a great capacity for pulling weight.
But if I were to breed a Shire with an Ice-Yakut (I'll work on the name later), the foal would be of an intermediate size--anywhere between 13 and 17 hands tall, larger than an Ice-Yakut but still smaller than a Shire.
This Ice-Yakut/Shire hybrid will...
- Pull a great deal of weight
- Carry the rider over long distances
- Bear the fifth gait, an amble that takes more comfort and less energy than the other four gaits
- Drive warriors into battle
- Be able to withstand the entire environmental spectrum, from hot to cold
Will this series of breeding check all on the list out, or would it result in some unintentional side effects that outweigh the benefit, thus rendering the whole experiment a failure?