The Caspian is a rare, ancient breed that was at one time believed to have been extinct for over one thousand years. Louise Firouz, an American who has lived most of her adult life in Iran after marrying an Iranian, discovered Caspians in 1965 while looking for ponies to use for mounts teaching children to ride. She discovered Caspians running wild in the Elburz mountains near the Caspian Sea and decided to call the unique equines "Caspians." There are many ancient art works from Persia that depict Caspians pulling chariots. Genetic and archaeologic research done on Caspians indicates that the Caspian is likely the predecessor to all the modern hot-blooded breeds.
Physically, the Caspian head is short and fine with large eyes, a small muzzle, and large nostrils placed low. There is a pronounced development of the forehead, the ears are very short; the neck is slim and graceful, well attached to sloping shoulders; withers are pronounced; the back straight; and the tail set high on a rather level croup. The legs are slim with dense, strong bone and little to no feathering at the fetlock. The hooves are extremely strong and oval-shaped. The overall impression of the Caspian is that of a vary small, well-proportioned horse, typical height is 11.0-12.0 hands. The colors may range from bay, gray, or chestnut and occasionally black.
The Caspian is no longer in danger of extinction, although the breed is still extremely rare. Several studs now exist in Britain and Caspians have been exported to Australia, New Zealand and the United States. In the United States there are two registries established for Caspians, the North American Caspian Society (NACS) and the Caspian Horse Society of the Americas (CHSA), both are recognized by the International Caspian Society. which is based in the UK.
Caspians move more like a horses than ponies and they are known for their extraordinary jumping ability. The same Caspian driving prowess that endeared the breed to Darius the Great still makes this breed excel in harness.