Trakehner Horses

A little bit about Trakehner horses. The what, where, when and why. 

                                                                           


             Tempelhüter
Alexander Kastler Wikipedia 
                                                                
                           What?

Trakehner horses are a multi-coloured, warmblood breed originating in the former East Prussia. (Warmblood means they have speed and endurance, cavalry material . . . as opposed to a drafthorse which is coldblooded and used for slower, heavier work.) They are identified through branding with the East Prussian moose antler.   



Where?
Joachim Kohler Wikipedia

Trakehner hoses are named after the East Prussian town of Trakehnen. Now part of the Kaliningrad  Oblast, it was renamed Yasnaya Polyana after the war. Located north of the Rominter Forest, in the southeast corner of Kaliningrad Oblast, it’s about 150 kilometers east of Kaliningrad city. While a Russian museum retells the famous past, the town—like most of rural Kaliningrad Oblast— is run-down and neglected. 



Stud House in Trakehnen before the war.
(Public Domain)

When?

The town of Trakehnen was established back in 1731 by the Prussian cavalry. On January 20th, 1945, the state-run stud farm was abandoned as the Soviets approached. Today, while almost completely destroyed at the end of the Second World, the Trakehner has once emerged as a strong horse, admired throughout the world. Now you can ride Trakehner horses even here in Canada

Why?

Because as I explored my mom’s ‘quiet’ years, I learned that as a young woman, she worked as a servant girl for East Prussian estate owners.  I soon discovered that East Prussia was well known not only for its idyllic countryside with pastures for grazing horses, but for a specific type of horse. Setting a novel against the background of breeding perfect horses was an opportunity to explore the Nazi obsession with bloodlines and the risks of imperfection. 

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