In appearance, they have a small head set on a strong, thick neck. They are very powerful through the shoulders, deep through the girth and have very muscular hindquarters. Invariably the Viatka has a long, luxurious mane and tail, and in the winter grows an incredibly thick coat. Characteristically they are chestnut or bay roan, or can be dun-colored with a dorsal stripe and sometimes even zebra markings on the legs. Occasionally bay or roan enters into the color scheme. These ponies range in height from 13 hh to 14.2 hh.
They are very useful and versatile ponies and exhibit great stamina, strength, hardiness, and endurance. They are used for riding and driving and are commonly used for pulling the traditional troikas; they are also very good for light agricultural work. They have an excellent willing and honest temperament, which makes them quite easy to handle.
The Viatka is a rarely heard of breed that has been in danger of extinction for several years. These ponies originated in the areas around Viatka and Obva river basins of the former U.S.S.R. and were probably influenced by both the Klepper and Konik ponies, while almost certainly being a descendent of the Tarpan.