The word konik means `small horse’ in Polish. The origin of the Konik lies in Poland and they are the direct descendants of the last wild horses of the primeval forest of Białowieza. These last horses were captured in 1770 and transferred to a Polish zoo. When the owner of the zoo died the animals were distributed amongst local farmers who crossbred them with their own horses. This mixed breed was called the konik.
About 20 years ago koniks were reintroduced into Dutch Nature reserves and today animals are living wild in countries like Estonia, Latvia, Germany and France. FREE Nature owns several herds of about 600 animals, which have been part of our rewilding schema for several generations. Each year foals are born and herds grow with a certain pace. FREE Nature has restocked reserves throughout the Netherlands and Europe.
Koniks are a sturdy, public-friendly breed, which appears in various shades of gray. It shows several wild markings such as a dorsal stripe, ass bow and zebra markings on the legs.