The Finnish Horse, also called the Finnhorse, is a type of breed of horse. The breed combines influences of both draught and riding horses, making it unique to the Nordic countries. The Finnish Horse is the only breed of horse developed in Finland. Read on to learn more about this unique breed. Listed below are some of the many differences between a Finnish horse and an English or American thoroughbred. And don’t forget to check out the video below!
Genetic testing of Finnhorses
Genetic testing of Finnish horses has been linked with certain traits, including muscle mass and body conformation. Some variants of the myostatin gene are also linked with body size and racing performance. In a previous study, Hill et al. (2010) found an association between this gene variant and light or heavy stature in the breed. Other genes involved in muscle growth and metabolism were also associated with size. Genetic analysis also revealed that certain Finnish horses are more likely to be TT homozygotes than other breeds.
Recent studies of mitochondrial DNA and genomic SNPs in Finnish horses indicated high genetic diversity and differentiation among breeding sections. Whole-genome SNPs and mitochondrial DNA sequences were used to estimate genomic differentiation among four breeding sections. These results showed low levels of inbreeding in the breed. Inbreeding and effective population sizes were lower in the Finnish breed than in many other horse breeds. Genetic testing of Finnish horses may provide information on these issues and allow breeders to improve breeding programs and determine which breeding sections are most likely to produce high-quality, purebred animals.
The region where the gene is located is a candidate for dilution colour. Two SNPs were strongly linked to the silver colour in the PMEL gene. This gene codes for a protein that contributes to melanin production. A horse with this mutation will lose its tail and mane, fading their body colour to chestnut but not chestnut. TKY284 is linked to the PMEL gene and a microsatellite locus – TKY284. Genotyping of 550 Finnish horses involved a PCR based method. PCR products were run on an ABI 3730 sequencer.
The results of the analysis showed three distinct types of Finnish horses. These included heavy draught-type horses, light-legged race horses, and tough pony-sized horses. The Finnish breed is now composed of three distinct types, based on crossbreeding. During the breeding period, the population was shaped by three different types: light and tough pony-sized horses. Most of the horses were imported as stallions. Imported mares may have introduced mitochondria from Central and Eastern Europe. This breeding history may have led to a high level of mitochondrial genetic diversity and large female effective population size.
Early types of horses considered to descend from
There is no clear consensus on which horse breeds originated in Finland, but it is likely to be some sort of mixture of horses. The oldest horse equipment was found in Finland during the Middle Iron Age, roughly around 400 CE. According to some researchers, early types of Finnish horses were derived from the Nordic horse, the Norwegian Nordlandshest, and the Swedish Gotland Russ. Some believe that the modern Konik horse is the same species as the extinct Tarpan.
Recent genetic studies of mitochondrial DNA and genomic SNPs have revealed a high level of diversity among Finnhorses. A search in GenBank for “equus” yielded 2151 sequences. The corresponding mitochondrial lineages and D-loops were found in 8473 sequences. While the genetic diversity in Finnhorses is high, there has been no consistent correlation between breeds and geographical regions. The F lineage is present in only a small number of breeds, and its frequency has declined over time.
The tarpan was previously found in the wild, but it was not able to survive there. It was taken from the steppe in the 18th century, and the last tarpan died in captivity in 1909. In the nineteenth century, the tarpan was considered a wild horse, and its descendants have been reintroduced to the wild in recent years. But the debate about which breed of horse came from which population has been around for centuries has yet to be resolved.
Although there is no clear consensus on the origin of the Finnish horse, it is known that the breed derived from northern European domestic horses. The latter horse breeds are warmblood, with influences from heavier draft breeds. The Finnish horses are suitable for farm work and trotting races. So they were originally developed to serve local needs. The Finnish horse has many characteristics that make it an excellent choice for many purposes. You should research the specific breed you want to purchase before deciding on which one to buy.
Inbreeding in Finnhorses
Inbreeding in Finnish horses is not uncommon. The country’s history is littered with tales of the inter-breeding of Finnish horses with those of other nations. It was the sixteenth century when the first imported horses came to Finland. The Swedish ruler Gustav Vasa, who specialized in horse breeding, set up mare manors in Western Finland and ordered the importation of large horses from Central Europe, mostly Friesland. They probably brought these horses to Finland via Sweden.
The Finnhorse studbook has remained closed for 110 years, but there is a great deal of information about Finnish horses available there. The studbook has pedigrees for all Finnhorses, along with much information about the breed. Breeders have chosen specific traits for their breeding stock. The Finnish studbook also lists breeding regulations. These guidelines have a large effect on the quality of Finnish horses.
Until the nineteenth century, there were no official guidelines for selecting stallions, but the popular aim was to increase the population of horses. This way, a larger population of horses would be developed that would be more suited to agricultural work. Today, this is not true. Inbreeding has remained rare in Finland, but the population of horses has increased to a record high. The modern Finnish horse is a result of the interbreeding of these animals, and the breed is not as pure as it used to be.
There is little doubt that inbreeding in the Finnish horses population is an issue of concern. While the Finnhorse population has been deliberately avoided from inbreeding, the average inbreeding coefficient has increased. This is attributable to improvements in pedigree information, but in general the population size is sufficient for sustainable management. Conservation of genetic diversity should be a top priority. Breeding stallions that are known to be trotters should be identified and ex-situ cryopreservation is recommended.
Effective population size
The history of the Finnish horse has been influential in the creation of genetic variation and differentiation between the four breeding sections of this breed. Using whole-genome SNPs and mitochondrial DNA sequences, genetic researchers have characterised the breed’s diversity and the differences between the four breeding sections. Inbreeding and genetic drift have been estimated. Effective population sizes of the Finnish horse are lower than for most horse breeds.
The prevailing colour of the Finnish horse is chestnut. In the 18th and nineteenth centuries, chestnut horses made up 40-50 percent of the breed. Other colours represented approximately 16 and three percent of the population, respectively. During this time, high leg markings and wide blazes were rare. However, these characteristics became more common in the 20th century. Hence, the breed has a high genetic diversity. The emergence of a new color in the breed has been attributed to this underlying gene pool.
The effective population size of the Finnish horse breed was estimated to be 45 for trotters, 56 for riding horses, and 48 for pony-sized horses. However, these estimates were based on individual increases in inbreeding and coancestry. Using OCS and pedigree data, these researchers could estimate the genetic contribution of each breeding candidate to the population. However, a small effective population size may also be the result of recent breeding practices that were aimed at minimizing inbreeding.
When using maximum mutation rates, the female effective population size decreased by 30 to 110 years ago. This decline was observed even more dramatically in samples that included only breeding sections of the Finnish horse. This was a much steeper decline when applying the maximum mutation rate, which was 2.9 x 10-6. The female effective population size decreased from 18,200 individuals to nine thousand-and-a-half when using the maximum mutation rate. This decrease was exacerbated by a decline in fertility rates among Finnish horses.
Recreational uses of Finnhorses
After the Second World War, the population of Finnhorses in Finland dropped significantly, from more than 400,000 in the 1950s to around 14,100 by the end of the 1980s. Despite the drop in numbers, this breed has survived largely due to its popularity for harness racing and versatility as a mount. However, its plight is far from over. Here are some of the most common recreational uses of this unique breed.
Finnhorses compete in several races each year. The largest race is Kuninkuusravit, which dates back to 1924. The Finnhorses are also bred for the sport of monte, and they are used in various riding sports. There is a special organization in Finland dedicated to promoting the use of these horses in different riding sports, such as dressage and polo. You can find several different riding schools in the country, and Finnhorses are popular in both dressage and monte.
In addition to workhorse competitions, the Finnish horse is also used in hobby horse riding. This hobby has taken Finland by storm, and has an avid following among young female riders. The sport mimics the same movements and jumps as those seen in actual horse competitions. Riders reenact these events on sticks with fabric horse heads. While these are still amateurs, the sport does bring out the best qualities of the Finnish horse.
The study involved recording twenty research horses at the Ypaja semi-natural pasture. Each horse was measured four times, including weight, height, and age. The horses were also weighed using an electric animal scale and BCS simultaneously. During the study, experienced research institute personnel monitored the horses closely. If a horse was injured, it was treated with the necessary care. The authors would like to thank all of these people for their time and efforts.