Kathiawari Horse

As per the evidence on hand the ‘Kathiawari’ horse predates all the indigenous breeds of horses in India. In the official document, Bombay Gazetteer of ‘Kathiawar’ of 1880 the British have described this breed in detail. But, the origin of the ‘Kathiawari’ horse is still not known and obscure as the martial clan Kathi’s themselves who bred these horses. In the above official document more than a century and two decades ago they have described this breed of horse as teachable, honest, free from vice, full of spirit, hardy, sure footed, nimble, long lasting and decidedly good looking. In ancient time, this breed was developed by a Warrior clan called 'KATHI's ' from the Western region of India. This region is known as SAURASHTRA. It has the longest Coast line, and trade with Gulf was very much at that time. So may be in that trading business ARAB breed horses were brought to this part of India and sold to the local Kings of the regions. From their Stallion, they mixed with the local breed and produced this KATHIAWARI breed horses, because if you see the confirmations of this KATHIAWARI breed, it is much similar to the ARAB breed. The only difference is that in the ARAB breed DUN colour is NOT available at all, and where in KATHIAWARI breed all colours are based with DUN and, this colour is very prominent colour in KATHIAWARI breed. Also BLACK colour you found in ARAB breed, but BLACK is the only colour you don't found in KATHIAWARI breed. Also the curved Ears of KATHIAWARI breed, is another prominent marking to differ this two breeds. But at some point I personally think, that these two breed has mixed up during the olden times…..but the experts of the KATHIAWARI breeds are simply denying this statement. This KATHIAWARI breed was developed for the WAR horse, and also for the Pleasure riding purpose. The primary occupation today for the KATHIAWARI breed horses is mainly for the pleasure riding, competition riding, and mainly used by the farmers to go one place to another. But never used for the Farming work. In 1991, the Government of Gujarat State has done the counting of the pure breed KATHIAWARI horses in the state, and it was numbered only 700 horses only. But today with the efforts of KATHIAWARI HORSE SOCIETY and KATHIAWARI & MARWARI HORSE BREEDERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD. - GONDAL, and PORBANDAR HORSE BREEDERS ASSOCIATION, today in Gujarat State , more then 20, 000 of Pure Breed KATHIAWARI horses are their , and we expect this figure will reach to 100,000 by year 2010.

The Kathiawari breed horse is accepted throughout the India as the purest and oldest of all horse breeds. Its origins are in the Middle Eastern land of Saurashtra region in State of Gujarat in India, where the Kathi's tribesmen and Rajput clans rulers used it as a warhorse, abandoning any animal which could not carry him at speed across miles of open dry lands of 'Kathiawar' with little food or water and they favoured the Kathiawari breed mares because, unlike the Kathiawari breed Stallions, he could trust her to keep quiet.
Today, almost every breed and type of horses has traces of Kathiawari breed blood in India and all are descended in the male line from the Charles, Gulfaam, Ashwini kumar in early 1900s era which were bred by the 'Nawab's' and 'Maharaja's' and in recent times Stallions like, Scarlet, Chand, Amit, Rajhans, Nilesh, Chandragupt, Chital, from Government of Gujarat Kathiawari Horse Breeding farms in Junagadh and Innaj which were all bred into Gujarat in the early 1980s.
The Kathiawari breed horse averages 13 hands to 14-5 in height and odd Stallions goes up to the 14-5 hands to 15-2 hands in height. The stallion has great presence whilst the mare gives an impression of elegant gentleness. They have a distinct outline and are of perfect proportion. The coat has an iridescent sheen. The head is slightly dished and concave profile, tapering to a fine muzzle; the eyes are large and evenly placed with a tod eyes looks, while the throat is fine, with a well shaped arched neck. The back is short and the loins strong and muscular, the croup is level and the tail set high. The ears are small and maximum of 14 to 17 cms, narrow at base; tips are curved inward and touching or almost touching like a 'Sting of a Scorpion', with rotation of 180 degrees backward. To these must be added dense flat bone, hard feet and hoofs with double in-sole, acute eyesight and hearing, purity and pre-potency coupled with a gentle temperament and ability to survive. Black Eel Stripe on back and Zebra markings on front legs are seen in this breed too. These are the hallmarks of the Kathiawari breed.
They are the most comfortable riding horses, with great stamina; their pace is light and free, with an elevated trot capable of great extension. They can carry disproportionate weights whether jumping, racing or, in particular, over endurance distances where pure and part Bred Kathiawari excel against other breeds.
When crossed with other breeds and those of unknown breeding, they produce very good riding and performance stock with good ears formation, colour, and endurance distances riding. Presently in India, breeders do cross breeding in Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and in North region of India and they are eligible for getting a market in the Kathiawari Part Bred section to the Police and Army stables in other parts of India.
Breed Characteristics
Head: Small and Concave or Dished profile
Eye: Large (toad like) set on the sides of a broad forehead. Not all skewbald have the blue eyes. It is considered that if both the eyes are blue, it is a good omen. But, if it is one Blue and one Black eye it is a bad omen, and good breeders don't keep such horses in their stud farms. They sell them in North India, where they are used as domestic transport, for the people who live in the Mountains.



Fore legs: Fore arms long.
Hind legs: Hocks well laid down
Feet/Hoof & Sole:
Feet- Wall, very dense
Hoof- Round & sufficient large
Sole- Concave, hard & many animals has double sole with healthy frog.
Coat, Hair, Skin, Mane & Tail:
Coat- Shining & very refined.
Hair- Fine
Skin- Smooth
Mane & Tail – Long but not very bushy.

In the picture below of the stallion a formation of hair is seen in the neck region, which looks like a scar. This is considered a very lucky marking; the bigger the mark is the luckier is the Horse. In the local language it is called 'DEV MANI', which means ‘Markings from God’.


Colour & Markings:

Colour: Greys of all types (iron grey, dappled grey, flea beaten grey, etc.) Dun with dorsal band or eel mark from wither to tail having sometimes zebra markings on the forelegs. Dun is a very prominent colour in the KATHIAWARI horse. There is also Yellow Dun and Blue Dun, Chestnut, Bay and Skewbald colour found in KATHIAWARI horses. Black is the colour not found in KATHIAWARI horses. In fact, all the colour of KATHIAWARI breed horses is very a thorough Dun.
Pictured above is Jogi, a pure bred Kathiawari stallion, age 11 years. The Skewbald colour is known in the local language as ' LAL BAVLO'. This stallion has a very long and thick mane. It touches his knees. His sire NILESH, who was of a Red Chestnut colour (from the Gujarat Government Kathiawari breed Stud Farm in Junagadh) and his dam was a Dun coloured mare owned by a private owner in Central Saurashtra region, where the ancient KATHIAWARI horse breeding started.
1. Height: 13 ½ h.h. to 14 ½ h.h. Odd animal may go up to 15 h.h. Short boned animal, smaller in height than Marwari breed horses. ‘Kathi’ or ‘Kathiawari’ is the only indigenous breed of horse in India whose, Physical Parameter is fixed.

The 22 points of the Kathiawari or Kathi breed of horses are as under:
 Broad limbs or part of body:
• (i) feet
• (ii) chest
• (iii) forehead
• (iv) hind quarters

 Narrow / fine:

• (i) mouth
• (ii) hair
• (iii) sheen
• (iv) tail (long & fine but not bushy)

 Long:

• (i) fore arm,
• (ii) neck (sufficiently long and crested from breeds standard but not too long.)
• (iii) fore lock
• (iv) tail
• Curved:
• (i) ears
• (ii) neck (crested)
• (iii) back (saddle back),
• (iv) profile (concave or dished)

 Short:
• (i) pastern
• (ii) muzzle
• (iii) ears, (iv) back
• (i) Good height from breed standard i.e.14.2 h.h. and
• (ii) Good condition

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