The Vyatka's features are a clean-cut head, a wide forehead and broad jaws. The neck is short and fleshy, often well-arched; the withers are average in size; the back is broad, long and sometimes slightly dipped at the withers; the croup is wide and on the short side; the trunk is wide and deep; the legs are short and solid and have good hoofs; the hind legs are often sickle-hocked. The forelock, mane and tail are thick and long. A characteristic feature of the breed is its chestnut-roan or bay-roan color with black stripe along the spine and wing-shaped pattern over the shoulders, as well as zebra stripes on the forelegs. However, the color can also be brown, bay, chestnut or rarely, black. The average measurements (in cm) of modern Vyatka mares are: height at withers 140, oblique body length 150, chest girth 172, and cannon bone girth 18.9. The live weight is 400 kg.
The valuable features of the Vyatka included good draft ability, such as sufficient speed, extraordinary endurance and good fodder utilization. It was often exported beyond the limits of the Vyatka province. By the first half of the 19th century it became the best troika horse in Russia.
The Vyatka belongs to the North Russian Pony group. Its development was strongly influenced by the natural conditions in the territories of what are now Kriov and western Perm regions and in Udmurtia.