The Yakut Horses
For those of you wondering what are Yakut horses and why I chose them, here is an amazing short film produced by my friend Egor Makarov. It not only shows what these remarkable horses are like, but it also gives you an idea of the type of environments I will have to ride and live in from the very beginning of my journey.
The Yakut horses are native to the -60C Siberian winters and they are the only breed that live in these extreme conditions in the wild. Enduring the long winters, they spend around 7 months of the year constantly on their feet, even sleeping while standing. Their strong sense of smell allows them to find vegetation deep under the snow, which they will dig up with their hooves. In order to preserve vital energy during these long winters, the Yakut horses are able to lower their heart rates.
But as summer approaches, the temperatures rise and the horses have to quickly adapt. Their thick skin allows them to deal with the endless amounts of blood sucking flies that populate the wilderness of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Sharing the wild with many dangerous predators, such as bears and wolves, only the fittest, smartest and toughest survive.
The most difficult of conditions have produced the toughest horses out there. A journey like this demands nothing less.