The Žemaitukas (plural: Žemaitukai, literally: little Samogitian) is a historic horse breed from Lithuania. It may be classified as a pony, due to its relatively short stature (between 131–141 centimeters at the withers). Known from the 6–7th centuries, it was used as a war horse by the Lithuanians during the Northern Crusades and is hailed in Lithuania as part of the state's historic heritage. Its origin is uncertain, but it is related to indigenous forest horse breeds, Estonian native horse and the Konik, a Polish breed, which were both probably descended from the Tarpan. The breed contributed to the foundation of the Trakehner. Once popular, the breed was brought to the brink of extinction by changing agricultural demands and World War II. As of 2010, the total population is estimated at 400 individuals.
Also known as
This breed is also called Zemaituka, Zhemaichu, Zhumd as well as Žemaitukas.
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