Arabian blood was added during the 19th century, giving the horse an Arab-type head, including the characteristic dish-shaped Arabian profile. The infusion of Arabian blood created two subtypes of the Žemaitukas: those with Arabian ancestry were considered suitable for riding, while the other, more closely related to the indigenous horses, was better adapted to farm work. After World War II, the distinction was muted. A deliberate effort was made to increase the size and bulk of the animals so that they could be used for both riding and draft work.

The Žemaitukas, Zhmud, or Zhemaichu (literally, 'little Samogitian') is a pony breed from Lithuania dated to the 6th century. It was used as a war horse by the Lithuanians during the Northern Crusades. Its origin is uncertain, but most studies point to its ancestry as a cross between indigenous breeds and the Konik, a Polish breed, which were both probably descended from the Tarpan. During the 20th century, Russian breeds influenced the Žemaitukas, as well as light Polish horses.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zemaitukas".