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Horse riding and horse sports are popular around the globe. In Poland they were rather uncommon until the end of 1980s. Since 1990s though, horse riding has become more and more popular. Nowadays, it is fairly wide spread and the access to studs is easy around the country. Lately, more and more horse routs are created especially in precious natural areas. This is why horse tourism is increasingly popular.

 

Polish horse breeds

When it comes to horse breeds the most popular include:

-          Wielkopolska breed (Poznań area, Western Pomerania region, Mazury region)

-          Małopolska breed  (south-east part of Poland)

Both breeds were used earlier as working horses. Nowadays, they are mainly bred for sport and recreational purposes.

Other breeds include:

-          Traken horses (Trakeńska breed)

-          Silesian horses (Śląska breed)

-          Arabian horses

-          English horses

-          Polish Pony (Koniki Polskie)

-          Hucul/Carpatian Pony (Hucuły)

Polish Pony and Hucul Pony breeding centres are treated as conservational centres of these historic species. Hucul Pony can be found in the mountainous regions of southern Poland and Polish Ponies occupy eastern part of the country.

 

State horse breeding


There are fourteen national companies dealing with horse breeding. They have 22 studs and herds and at the end of 2018 they together had 2,193 horses owned by the state. The most famous internationally is definitely the oldest and the most prestigious stud in Janów Podlaski, where Arabian horses are bred. It was established in 1817. The second oldest stud is in Sieraków, opened in 1829. Janów Podlaski auctions gather horse lovers from all around the world. It is also interesting to visit the stud in other times of the year to admire horse shows. (ITS Poland recommends a stay in Janów Podlaski Bishop's Palace Hotel and some Janów stud attractions, you will find more information here .) In Poland the most famous horse auctions are organized in Bogusławice, Janów Podlaski and Książ. 

 

Private horse centres

In the last few years many private small horse riding centres has been opened. They are especially popular near big cities and main tourist areas. It is estimated that there are more than 1 thousand of them in the country. They have the most popular horse breeds and they have equipment and land to practice horse riding.

Both private and state owned studs apart from horse riding sessions and horse riding lessons often offer stud functioning lessons, possibility to observe various horse competitions and carriage lessons.

 

Horse racing

Horse racing and bets in Poland are not as popular as in other countries, still there are 3 racing centers in big cities. They include Warsaw (the most famous horse racing track in Poland -Służewiec), Sopot and Wrocław (Partynice). Poland also participates in international horse sports competitions. Preparations for these events are organized in Liski near Bartoszyce and Drzonkowo near Zielona Góra.  

 

Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy is also gaining popularity in Poland. Classes are usually lead by professional instructors and are designed for students in all ages. There are dozens of hippotherapy centres in Poland and they work under the auspices of Polish Hippotherapy Society.     

 

Museums

Horse theme exhibitions are displayed in over a dozen museums in the country. The biggest exhibition is located in the Museum of Hunting and Horsemanship in Warsaw in the Royal Baths Park. The museum strives to promote knowledge connected with the national tradition of hunting and horsemanship, breeding of horses on Polish lands as well as nature-related themes.

Summing up, horse riding and horse connected sports and activities are wide spread in Poland. It is possible to have very interesting horse holidays in Poland that are designed for all horse enthusiasts. They can join gaining professional knowledge and active sport in beautiful natural surroundings. In you are interested in such pastime contact ITS Poland DMC and travel agents to design the best tour solution for your group.   

Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska

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