Year of 2017

Konik horses, Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve, Netherlands

Konik translates roughly as ‘small horse’ in Polish, and this stocky pony is known for its primitive markings—notably, a dorsal stripe and blue dun (mouse-gray) coat. Koniks originated in Poland and in recent years have been introduced to European nature preserves as part of an effort to restore the land to its natural state. They’re thought to be beneficial to the environment by mimicking the behavior of tarpans, the extinct wild horses that once roamed across much of Europe. By grazing in these areas, as tarpans once did, Koniks control the growth of trees and scrub, making the ecosystem more hospitable for a greater variety of plant and animal species.

The Konik or Polish primitive horse is a small, semi-feral horse, originating in Poland. The Polish word konik is the diminutive of koń, the Polish word for “horse”. However, the name “konik” or “Polish konik” is used to refer to certain specific breeds. Koniks show many primitive markings, including a dun coat and dorsal stripe.
Scientific name: Equus ferus caballus