Some horse genealogists consider the Adaev or Adaevskaya to be one variation of the Kazakh breed, but the Adaevs lack certain characteristics of the Kazakh. The breed was created in the Kazakhs’ native Kazakhstan, a huge Asian country that once was part of the Soviet Union and is the home to the fictional reporter Borat. It is unknown how old the Adaev breed, but certainly was developed after the natives began trading for Russian-bred horses.
Natives took their small, sturdy Kazakhs and tried to “improve” them by crossing them with Dons, Orlov trotters and Thoroughbreds. Although they developed a larger, faster, more comfortable riding animal, the Adaev lacks the natural hardiness of its Kazakh forebears. Kazakhs live year round outdoors without any hay or grain. Adaevs had to be crossed with Akhal-Tekes, Kushums and Jabes in order to keep the physical build but withstand the climate.
Adaevs average 13 – 14.1 hands high, making them only slightly larger than Kazakhs. They look very much like a sleeker version of a Kazakh with longer legs, longer necks and longer backs. However, may also may lack the deep chests and study leg bones of the hearty Kazakhs. An Adeav horse tends to have more problems with hooves and legs than a Kazakh.
Adeav heads come in several profiles, sometimes straight, ram-headed or “rabbit-nosed”, which is an Asian expression for a slight bump on the profile just before the muzzle. Some Adeavs seem to have small eyes, but most are able to see perfectly well. They have ears of various lengths and wide nostrils.
Adeavs have a much thinner coat than their Kazakh ancestors. As a result, they are bred more frequently in the southern, more desert-like area of the country. They come in a variety of colors with bay, chestnut, grey and even palomino often cropping up. Many Adaevs grow curly coats in winter but shed into sleek coats for summer.
There are three general types of Adeavs – massive, medium and light. The most common is the massive type, which most resembles the Kazakh. Its meat is highly prized, especially that of nine month old colts. Kazahkstan eats a lot of horses. Fillies tend to be placed into dairy herds, where they are milked to make the profitable alcoholic drink koumis. According to “International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds” (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995), Adeav mares “are remarkable for their high yield in milk”.
There is not much of a distinction between the medium and light, which are preferred for riding, tourism, tending livestock and horse sports. These sports include racing, jumping, wrestling on horseback, a form of polo where a dead goat is used instead of a ball and an amusing race where a woman rider gets to repeatedly beat a male rider with a riding crop.
“International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds.” Bonnie Hendricks; University of Oklahoma Press; 1995.
University of Oklahoma Breeds of Livestock. “Kazakh Horse.” http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/kazakh/
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. “Animal Genetic Resources of the USSR.” A.N. Kosherov, et al. http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ah759e/ah759e13.htm