The Heck Horse

The Heck horse is a breed of horse that was developed by German brothers who wanted to recreate an extinct species. This article will explain more about the breed and its history in Europe. You can also learn about its evolution. Listed below are its characteristics that distinguish it from other breeds of horse. While this breed is a new addition to the horse world, it’s a popular choice for people who want to own a unique and beautiful horse.

Breed characteristics

The Heck Horse is a breed of horse that was developed to resemble the extinct Tarpan horse. Developed by two German brothers in the 1930s at Tierpark Hellabrunn, the Heck horse was born on May 22, 1933. The Heck brothers believed they could create an exact replica of the extinct Tarpan subspecies by rearrangement of the genetic material of living Hecks. The Heck horse’s hardy and rugged nature makes them a great choice for riding and therapy work.

The Heck horse is a small breed, standing at about thirteen to thirteen and a half hands high. It is characterized by large head, thick neck, large jaw, low withers, strong legs, and sturdy hindquarters. Its sturdy hooves help it move with a high stepping gait. The Heck’s intelligence and ability to handle a horse has made it a sought after breed.

The Heck brothers studied the Tarpan and recreated the breed. They were the first Europeans to breed a horse based on the Tarpan, though the Tarpan is not a pure descendant. Today, the Heck Horse is a genetic recreation of the original Tarpan. It is one of the few equines known to have roamed in prehistoric times. It is believed to have been the foundation stock for numerous civilizations along the eastern Mediterranean.


The History of the Heck Horse begins with a tarpan. The animal is very similar in appearance to the modern Heck horse. The breed is extremely intelligent and independent, and their long, slender legs and strong hooves make them appealing to drive and ride. In fact, many people describe Heck horses as friendly, intelligent, and independent. In the mid-1950s, six Koniks were imported to North America and placed in the Chicago Zoo, Catskill Game Farm, NY, and Forth Worth Zoos. The tarpans were the same species, height, and coloration as the Heck horse, though their markings were much more primitive.

The first Heck horse to be imported to the United States was Duke, which was imported by the Chicago Zoo in 1954. It was followed by two mares in 1956, and three more in 1962. Since then, the horse has become a foundation breed in the United States. Heck horses are now owned by private enthusiasts and zoos. They are always dun in color, with primitive markings. In the 1960s, Heck horse lovers created the North American Tarpan Association.

The tarpan has disappeared from Poland, but the Vetulani’s horses may be descendants of forest tarpans. Unlike tarpans, they have already been domesticated. Koniks are a Polish word for small horses. Historically, the Heck brothers used Koniks and Przewalski horses, which were two domestic breeds. This was not a mistake, as the Heck brothers bred these breeds from two indigenous species.

Origins in Europe

The Heck horse is a breed of horse whose appearance resembles the extinct wild equine Tarpan. It was developed by two German zoologists, brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck, in the Tierpark Hellabrunn, Germany. The program began in 1933, when a colt was born. In 2002, only around 100 Heck horses were living in the United States. A small number of Heck horses were still living in Latvia, where they had been imported from Germany.

The Heck brothers tried to create a similar type of tarpan by back-breeding its living descendants and rearrangement of their genetic material. They bred Konik mares with Icelandic stallions, and Przewalski’s Horse to create the Heck. The resulting animals were not exactly what they were supposed to be, and the breeding program ended soon afterward. In response, the Polish government banned breeding Heck horses in Bialowieza and other Polish villages.

The Heck horse is dun or grullo in color, with primitive markings. They stand between twelve and thirteen hands tall, with a large head, low withers, a strong front leg, and a high stepping gait. They are very pleasant to ride and drive, and are highly intelligent. They are renowned for their intelligence and ability to perform tricks. And despite its resemblance to a modern day thoroughbred, the Heck horse still retains some of its primitive traits.


The evolution of the Heck horse dates back to the 1930s. The Heck brothers, a pair of German zoologists, created the horse from the tarpan (a subspecies of the horse), which had vanished from Eurasia. They attempted to reproduce this horse’s appearance by breeding it with Przewalski horses and other subspecies of Equus ferus. The result was the Konik and Heck horse breeds, with much of the genetic makeup derived from domesticated horses.

The cranial morphology of Equus is remarkably similar to that of the other Equidae. The lateral structure of the skull reflects increased hypsodonty. The expression of POF reflects the evolution of the cranial structure. Evidence for this morphological variation can be found in the lateral shape of the skull, as well as the evolution of the preorbital fossae in E. grevyi and E. koobiforensis.

The UPGMA tree based on qualitative and quantitative characters separated caballine horses from other stenonine species. This tree included fossil species from both the Old and New Worlds and extant zebras and asses. It was then reconstructed based on these two phylogenetic trees. The resulting tree identifies 194 caballine and non-caballine species. It is also possible that some animals remained unchanged and others evolved into other species.

Origins in Shalom Wildlife Zoo

Did you know that the Heck horse is a crossbreed of two extinct breeds of horses? The Heck horse was developed by two German zoologists who tried to reproduce the extinct tarpan subspecies through back-breeding. But they failed. Instead, they created the Heck horse, a small breed with primitive markings and grullo coloration. Since its creation, the Heck horse has been thriving in Shalom Wildlife Zoo.

The horses are closely related to the aurochs. The horse was originally imported from Bialowieza Forest in Poland. However, when the Nazis used the forest as a hunting preserve, the horses were returned to its rightful owners. By 2007, only a small herd of Hecks were left in Bialowieza Forest, which is Europe’s last primeval lowland forest. The Hecks then started a breeding program to replicate the aurochs, a breed of horse that lived in Bialowieza Forest.

In 2002, less than 100 Heck horses roamed in the United States, though most of them were descended from the foundation horses that were imported from Germany. In 2013, a few Heck horses still lived in Latvia as feral animals. The zoo’s three Heck horses were reunited with the six foundation horses, and they now live in a peaceful environment. The Heck horse’s name derives from the word’shalom’ in Hebrew.

Status in the United States

In 2002, less than 100 Heck horses lived in the United States. Most were descended from foundation horses imported from Germany. In 2013, a few Heck horses were found in Latvia in a feral state. The current status of Heck horses is unknown. Breeding programs are ongoing to ensure the survival of this unique breed. While the Heck Horse has a rich history in Europe, the United States is still lacking this endangered breed.

The Heck brothers sought out horses outside of the European zoo system to restore this species to the United States. They searched for horses that resembled the historical description of a small woodland horse in Europe. The horses they found did not fit the historical description of the Tarpan, so they attempted to recreate the species with the help of back breeding living descendants. Eventually, they were able to create the Heck horse, which is now widely recognized as a distinctive breed.

After the war, Lutz began back breeding experiments with Goring and eventually brought the horses to Virginia. The goal was to reintroduce the ancient myths of the Nibelungenlied, which depicts a heroic Teutonic hero killing dragons. This led to the modern name “Heck Horse.”

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