History of the Przewalski horse (Equus Przewalskii) and morphological examination of seasonal changes of the hoof in Prze-walski and feral horses
Zur Geschichte des Przewalskipferdes (Equus Przewalskii) und morphologische Untersuchungen jahreszyklischer Veränderungen am Huf von Urwildpferdenund wildlebenden Hauspferden
Patan-Zugaj B, Herrmann C, Mülling C, Budras K-D
This paper provides an overview on the history of the Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii). Additionally data of morphological examination of the rate of horn production, horn quality and hoof shape in Przewalski horses (Equus przewalskii; n = 15) and feral horses (Equus cabal- lus; n = 26) kept under similar semi-natural conditions are presented. In both groups we found a marked seasonal influence on the rate of horn production and loss of horn due to chipping with maximum values in summer and minimum values in winter. The annual average of both parameters in feral horses was only 1 mm lower than in Przewalski horses. Firmness of hoof horn showed significant seasonal dif- ferences in Przewalski horses with firmer horn of higher quality produced in winter. Morphometric assessment of the hoof form revealed a longer dorsal wall and a significantly thicker sole horn in the hooves of the Przewalski horses compared to the feral horses. The hoof form characteristic for Przewalski horses with a thick sole and horn of higher firmness and quality is considered to be advantageous for optimal integrity and performance of the hoof. Our data for hoof shape and horn quality in Przewalski horses indicate that the slogan “back to the origin” for to breeding horses seems to be justified.