For this story we have to go back in time a little. The equine species include the zebra, the donkey and the horse. The difference between a zebra, donkey and horse is that the number of chromosomes is not equal. This is also the case with the Przewalski and the modern horse. Przewalski horses have 2 additional chromosomes that domestic horses do not have. When the Przewalski and the modern horse are crossed, this can produce fertile offspring. This makes the Przewalski and the horse one species, despite the difference in chromosomes. And now on to Heteny and Rideg.
A lot of research is done on horses and the evolution of the horse. Despite the fact that the Przewalski’s were almost extinct, we still managed to breed this beautiful animal and release it in nature reserves. When I was asked to be part of a study into the differences between Przewalski’s and domestic horses, I immediately said yes!
Heteny and Rideg were two Przewalski stallions from a nature reserve in Hungary. Heteny was an alpha stallion of 11 years old. Unfortunately, he lost his harem due to an eye ulcer. Rideg also came from this nature reserve. He was a 3-year-old stallion who was unable to reproduce due to an abnormality. Luckily their stories were not lost and they shared their secrets with us!
Hopefully this case has inspired you and given you new insights so that Heteny and Rideg’s stories will not be forgotten. The more horses we can study and compare, the more we can learn! Do you want access to more stories like Heteny and Rideg’s? You can find these in the online Equinestudies course ‘The Horse Inside Out’. Click here to go to the website.
Heteny and Rideg can be visited in Zefanja’s bone garden in March. If you would like to know more about this, sign up for the newsletter on her website.