Kathiawari and Marwari Horse


Kathiawari and Marwari Horse

The Kathiawari horse is from the Kathiawar peninsula on the northwest coast of India and the Marwari horse is from Marwar (Jodhpur region). They are so much alike that there is nothing but repetition to be gained from treating them as separate breeds. They are descended from indigenous Indian hose breeds crossed with Arab blood and are said to result from the shipwreck of a cargo of Arab horses on the west coast. The survivors ran wild and bred with the natives.

Origin of Kathiawari and Marwari Horse

The Kathiawari and Marwari horses of the present day are descendants of the grand war horses that served the royal families and feudal warriors throughout Indian history. They enjoyed an unparalleled status. Only the Rajputs and warrior classes were allowed to mount them. Ancient versions of the Indian Sanskrit Horse Medicine Book –Shalihotra also contain several depictions of these two breeds.

With the introduction of Thoroughbred blood in the past century, the breeds lost their glory. Fortuitously today their resistance and exclusivity are bringing their popularity back. The true origin of these breeds is shrouded in mystery. It is said that they have been developed from Arab or Akhal-Teke blood. Now, DNA analysis is being undertaken to bring the matter to light.

The physique of Kathiawari and Marwari Horse

Kathiawari and Marwari horses look alike. They have a common type of ears. Kathiawari’s horse has turned-in ears, slightly larger than any other horse. The ears touch together at the tips. It has a fine head and a graceful neck. It has a deep and narrow chest. A moderate slope is found on the shoulders. It has a long back and a sloping croup. The tail is high and well-set. It has strong, slim legs with hard hooves.

Marwari horse has a straight facial profile and pointed ears with inward-turning tips. It has a slender neck, deep chest, and straight shoulders. It has a sloping croup and a long back. The legs are tender and the hooves are small but well-formed.

Height of Kathiawari and Marwari Horse

Kathiawari’s horse stands to a height between 14.2 and 15 hands high. At times it reaches 17 hands high. Marwari horse grows to a height between 15 and 16 hands high on average.

Body Color of Kathiawari and Marwari Horse

Chestnut, tobiano, pinto, sabino pinto, bay, dun, and any of the cream color dilutions including buckskin, perlino, palomino, cremello, and smoky cream are found on Kathiawari horse’s body. Champagne, roan, splashed white, Leopard spotting, and frame overo patterns are absent.

Marwari horse’s body is of either bay, palomino, grey, skewbald, piebald, or chestnut color. White horses are bred specially for religious use.

The temperament of Kathiawari and Marwari Horse

Kathiawari’s horse generally has a quiet temperament. Marwari’s horse is brave and loyal. It is easy to be kept but can be obstinate and impulsive.

Uses of Kathiawari and Marwari Horse
Kathiawari horses are used for mounted police and equestrian game of tent pegging. Marwari horses are used for packing, riding, light draught, and agricultural work. They are also used in cavalry units of the Indian military. They are excellent at dressage partly, playing polo and horse dancing.

Both breeds are commonly used for horse racing, tent pegging, horse dancing, desert safaris, Indian Marriages, and ceremonial purposes.

Endurance and longevity have enabled these two horse breeds to survive wars, droughts, and famine. They have proved their malleability, especially in all riding disciplines are excelling today in the same. When it comes to cross-breeding, their lyre ears are the first trait to be lost. They have a tendency to sickle hocks. Their intelligence is amalgamated with incredible dignity, strength, and with elegant gaits.

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