Mongolian Horse

Origin: Mongolia.

Height: 12.2-14hh.

Color: Usually black, brown, bay, or dun.

Character: Enormously enduring.

Physique: Thick-set and compact. Heavy head with small eyes and short, thick ears. Short, thick neck, deep chest, a short, strong back. Good quarters and tail set fairly high and thick-haired at the roots. Strong legs with plenty of bone, and round, hard feet. Abundant mane and tail. Extremely hardy, they can and generally do survive on poor fare and little of it.

The above description of the Mongolian pony should be taken only as a rough generalization since ponies approximating this pattern are found all over Mongolia, Tibet, and China and little effort is made by breeders to conform to type. Though stallions are usually selected, trouble is seldom taken to regulate the quality of the mares they breed to.

These are working ponies, bred in large numbers by nomadic tribes, surviving as best they can on whatever they can forage. They have been used for a broad range of work — for herding, riding, carting, in agriculture, as pack ponies; and when not suitable for these tasks, and sometimes even when they are, they supply meat or milk for their masters.

The mares are milked for three months after foaling, and the milk is made into cheese or fermented into kumiss on equine dairy farms. It is thought that yogurt was a Mongol invention made originally from mares’ milk.

In a region as vast as the one covered by the Mongolian pony, naturally, many variations have developed, some because of differences in climate and fodder and some due to imported blood or selective breeding. Among them are:

Wuchumutsin, a more refined Mongolian type reared on rich grassland; Heilung Kiang, having a large head with a slightly convex face; Hailar, Sanho, and Sanpeitze, which carry the blood of imported Russian stallions and stand 14-1 5hh; a Russian-Mongolian cross standing 14.2-15hh, useful as a riding and pack animal.

The Mongolian is one of the most antique of all pony types. Its influence is apparent in breeds throughout Asia and its extent is due to the nomadic and warlike habits of the Mongols, who took vast herds of ponies on their travels as a remuda. Even today Outer Mongolia has more horses per head of the human population than anywhere else in the world.

See more: Peruvian Stepping Horse

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