Konik Polski : feral horses grazing the Jura mountain
This primitive horse is a small, semi-feral horse, originating in Poland. Konik is a diminutive of koń, the Polish word for "horse" (sometimes confused with kuc, kucyk meaning "pony"). However, the name "konik" or "Polish konik" comes form the Polish language and means “small horse”) and is used to refer to certain specific breeds. Koniks show many primitive markings, including a dun coat and dorsal stripe. These horses had a predominantly dun colour, but also black and chestnut horses were present in the population. However, genetic studies now contradict the view that the Konik is a surviving form of Eastern European wild horse, commonly called the tarpan, nor is it closely related to them. As it phenotypically resembles the extinct tarpan, the Konik has also been introduced into nature reserves in other nations.
Source : Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konik
It is now acknowledged that the grazing habits of the rare Konik breed – the name meaning small horse in Polish – play a crucial part in helping to make wetlands more habitable for other species.
The Konik breed have a story which is nearly as harrowing as the Tarpan.
In the early 20th century, Polish scientists noticed Tarpan-coloured foals – mouse grey overall with zebra stripes on their legs and dark manes and tails – were still being born to domestic mares in herds where Tarpan had formerly ranged.
It was also noticed that they turned whiter over winter – another Tarpan trait.
Conservation grazing projects throughout Europe have used the Konik horses for wetland grazing projects. The former habitat of Tarpan was marshy woodland where their grazing activities help create ideal living conditions for a host of associated wildlife such as rare geese, spoonbills, bitterns and corncrakes.