An elegant medium height, strong horse with track record of bravery and loyalty in the battle fields of medieval period. Now famous for traveling long distances, have strong feet and hoof, has his home in the area called "Malani" which is part of Barmer district of Marwari, in the villages namely Nagar, Gudha, Jasol, Sindhari, Bakhasar and some areas of Sanchor Tehsil. These areas are said to be the nucleus of the breed Marwari Horse. The nearby Pali and Jalore districts have some famous breeders of Marwari breed. The others who are fond of Marwari Horse have taken it to the districts of Udaipur, Jaipur, Ajmer and even to Gujarat and Kathiawar and to other states. The horse stock, of the breed is maintained for breeding, travel, marriage ceremonies and personal interest. A good number of Marwari Horse can be seen in fairs of Pushkar, Tilwara and Naguar.
The bardic literature of Rajasthan speaks very high of Marwari Horses, of their heroic exploits, leaping up to Haudus of Elephant crossing over the high barrier walls of cities and forts. Few of the famous horses are "Chetak" of Maharana of Pabuji, and Veer Durga Dasji's horse "Arbud."
The world famous polo player Maharaj Prem Singh of Jodhpur has mentioned about few good polo ponies, Pig stickers, and long distance tonga ponies racing in his article "Great men and their great horses." According to the writer the Marwari horses has participated in Pig sticking, played Polo against thorough breeds.
It is difficult to exactly trace the origin of true Marwari horse with precision but undoubtedly it has connections with "Arab" and may have mixed with Turkmenian breed the horses of Alexander's army which were of this breed. However by selective breeding for the need of the warriors of the middle ages was evolved a breed which can survive well in difficult arid terrain. Their growing demand was in battle field of a indigenous breed for that the Marwari breed was evolved. A breed which could withstand intense heat and cold, could cover long distances with speed, and has hard strong hoof and feet.
Characteristics of Marwari Horses:
Head: The head is refined, relatively long and wide between eyes, with a medium muzzle and a shallow firm mouth.
Face: Long flat, broad with light forehead.
Ears: The medium sized ears are curved inward at the tips and often touching the length varying from 9 to 15 cm located 90 degree axis and can rotate 180 degrees.
Eyes: Large eyes, set widely and reflect intelligence and a placid disposition.
Nose: Spacious, slightly Roman, the nostrils are full and sensitive.
Jaws: Well developed jaws imply great strength.
Neck: The head joins the neck at about 45 degree angle, proportionate with good musculature, the neck blends into sloping shoulders. It is clean at the throat.
Shoulders: Long, set at an angle of about 45 degree, well muscular, the slopes of shoulder blends into the withers.
Withers: Medium high, well defined, the wither are same height or are slightly higher than croup (about 1 to 2 cm high)
Chest: Broad, deep chested, wide round girth the muscling on the inside of the forearm gives the appearance of inverted "V."
Back: The short saddle back is powerful. The barrel or girth is deep with well sprung ribs. The underline or belly is longer than the back and does not cut high into the flank.
Rear Quarters: They are broad deep and heavy, well muscular, the croup is long slope gently from hip to the tail set. The hip muscle extends down into stifle.
Stifle: The stifle is deep; when viewed from rear extends out below the hip and above the gaskin. When viewed from the rear the stifle is the widest part of the animal.
Gaskin: It is wide and shows related thickness both inside and outside when seen from rear.
Hock: The hock is broad, clean, strong low set and free of excess tissue. The muscling lies well into the hock joint. There is no play or give in the hock joint except directly forward.
Cannon: The cannon bones are short with hock and knee joints low to the ground. The cannon bones both front and rear show a perpendicular position and appear quite broad when viewed from side. The tendon, back and below the knees and hocks appear sharply separated from the bone and from each other.
Ankle Pastern & Hoof: The ankle is well formed and strong to withstand shock and strain, the medium length pastern denote strength. They have a slightly forward slope about 45 degrees, viewed from either the front or rear. The legs cannons and pastern are straight. The hoof if oblong. Its size balances with the overall size of the individual animal, it has overall same slope at the pastern. The sole and the wall are very strong. They are seldom shod except in hills and on metal roads.
Average Height: 155 cm Stallion-(145 to 169) cm
153 cm Mares-(142 to 163) cm
Average shank measurement-20.5 cm Stallions and 20.0 cm Mares.
Colors: A wide variety of colors is observed in Marwari breed horses. The most prevalent body colors are dark brown, bay, chestnut, dun, gray, flea-bitten gray, skewbald, pie bald.
Col. Umaid Singh, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur-342 006 India
Photographs: Col. Umaid Singh, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur-342 006 India