The Zhemaichu is a native breed of Lithuania known since the 16th century. It has been crossed with various breeds, but it still keeps its suitabiliy for work on small farms. It has long been exported to western Europe, and is undemanding when it comes to management conditions and is also highly adaptable.


The old type of Zhemaichu was small (up to 144 cm high) and had a small straight or somewhat dished face and a wide forehead. Its neck was well muscled, its truck undersized, the withers were not high, the back was flat and solid, and the legs were clean and firm. Their small height made them insufficient in strength.

The modern type of Zhemaichu was formed in the post-war years by pure breeding and the selection of large individuals with high work endurance, and through limited crossbreeding with North Swedish stallions, is taller (152-154 cm), has a somewhat extended trunk (157-160 cm) and a very massive body with a girth of 188-190 cm, as well as clean legs with a cannon bone girth of 10-20 cm. The new intra-breed type has retained the characteristic exterior features of the old Zhmudka.

The Zhemaichu is a very good combination of utility and sporting horse features. It is quite strong and has good endurance and agility. The best time shown in 2 km trotting draught tests with a pull of 50 kg is 4 min 42.6 sec. The Zhemaichu has also shown good results in steeplechases of average difficulty. It is not accidental therefore that in their time Lithuanian horses were the foundation for breeding the Trakehner.

Their massive and clean build combined with their sporting potential make the breed valuable material for breeding medium-sized horses for large-scale equestrian sport and tourism.

Their massive and solid build and high adaptability also make Zhemaichu stallions suitable for use in the development of a new meat-producing breed in the Altai.

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