I had the pleasure of talking (actually a long conversation) to a Indian gentleman that raised and trained Marwaris and Kathiawaris. After speaking to him I researched further about these neat animals. He has photos and all kinds of literature about them. I was intrigued and he was estatic to learn I knew about the horses ingeneral.
Here is what I have learned from hiim and the literature I got from him and my general research.
Kathiawaris and Mawaris are extremely simlar but they originated in two different areas or provinces. There are about 28 different variations depending on provinces of above mention animals. Kathwaris are highly modled after the Arabian with heavy arabian influence and should not be over 15 hands. In fact its frowned upon if they go over 14.2 hands. The Kathwaris have body structures very much like that of Arabians with arabian like heads with dish faces and wide sets eyes. Their ears are small and many can rotate on a 360 degree axis with tips that touch one another. Well suited for hot dry climates, hearty and can live on meager rations.
The Mawaris are very similar but are more larger in build, not as refined as the Kathiawaris and tend to have larger more coarser heads. Both, however, have arabian influence. Thier ears set a little further apart but are also sharply curved at the tips and can touch one another. They are usualy no taller than 15.3 hands and most breeding studs are pretty strict about keeping such physical characterisitc standards but also depends on the province or area of breeders.
The breed was nearly extinct back in the early 1900s due to British influence.
Both are generally fiarly docile but some can be hot minded (as Rahim put it) and fractious in temperments (he stated that stallions that portray hot temperments are looked at as being virile and strong spirited and are favored). The gait the animal is also known for is the Revaal or Rehwal. It is a pace (lateral gait) but some do perform the stepping pace (one hind leg touches the ground a fraction of a second before the other), making the gait more smooth, some amble. The ones Rahim (the gentleman I conversed with) worked with carriage animals and jumpers. He stated that many Marwaris do infact trot as well so it varies. He stated that most are used in parades and agriculture also. They were once prized war horses of the upper class. I asked him about the harsh bits commonly used and he agreed that yes many do use the harsher bits but through better education things are going a better direction in that regard. The bit I saw his horse wearing was a typical elbow driving bit with an english jumping saddle.
He said you rarely if ever saw a completly black Marwaris because they are considered back luck and omens of death. India leans alot on religious belief and superstitions and such and therefore puts alot of emphisis on such things. If you see a "black" animal it is usualy with a pie bald face with several or all four white feet because a horse with all 4 white feet is considered lucky (here in the states its considered unlucky....go figure). Also much emphisis is put on whorl (hair sworls) locations and size. Long whorls down the neck is good luck but whorls under the eyes is usualy looked upon as bad. Whorls on the legs are seen as good luck and supposedly is a sign of stamina, longevity and speed. White varieties are primarily for religious settings and are considered "pure" and are other wise rare. Paint varieties are very popular today and are highly sought after. Rahim said the paint varities go for twice the amount that the regular ones go for. All in the name of colour.
As of right now exportation of such animals is prohibited. At one time certain few people had a license to export select few but that has since been ceased.
Rahim sold his horse so that he could come to America. He said that was the hardest decision. I asked him if it was a good one and he stated that it was but he does miss his family. (he was a groom at one of the farms I worked at)
"The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, can they suffer?" Jeremy Bentham