Traditionally, Rathore rulers were the first to breed the Marwari, a horse that dates back to 12th century India. The rulers promoted purity, hardiness and strict breeding strategies making the Marwari horse a rare breed due to strict exporting guidelines. The guidelines have lessened some since the year 2000 and are now available in the United States in small quantities. The breed is believed to be descendants from Arabian horses crossed with native Indian ponies.
The breed is known for inward turning ear tips, slender neck, deep chest, straight shoulders, long back, slender legs and small, well-formed hard hooves. The Marwari horse stands slightly taller than most breeds at 16 hands. The average weight of the breed is 827 pounds, which means the breed is approximately 198 pounds lighter than most other breeds.
The breed is available in a variety of equine coat colors. Many breeders prefer the pinto coat patterns. Gray horses tend to be the most valuable. In India, black horses are considered unlucky as black represents the color of death and darkness. White markings and four white socks represent good fortune.
In India, the Marwari horses are commonly trained for dancing and performing at festivals and celebrations such as weddings. Although the horse is often used for light draft work and hauling, the breed has mostly provided service in the calvary. This breed of horse is remarkably loyal and has displayed bravery in battle many times.
The Marwari is a resilient breed and has no known breed specific health issues. The horse should possess a physically fit long life with regular veterinarian maintenance.
The horse is generally high-strung and presents as an exceptional partner for an advanced horse owner. The breed performs quite well with endurance riding, dressage, jumping, polo and other mounted athletics. The horse is born with a four beat lateral gait, which is more comfortable than a trot. The horse requires skillful training. The breed is unsuitable for a novice rider due to an unpredictable temperament.
Photo courtesy of IMG 9201 as uploaded by Manu Sharma 303 at Flickr’s Creative Commons.