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Hello Riders,

I am a new member on this forum and an avid horse rider from India - the land of the Marwari horses. :runninghorse2:

I would like to add a little info on the current status of this breed.

There have been many developments in the recent past in the federal rules leading to the resurgence of the Marwari and other horse breeds namely Kathiawari, Spiti pony, Bhutia pony, Manipuri Pony and Zanskari breeds of India. These are the 6 indegenous indian horse breeds.

In local tongue the Marwari horse breed is called as Malani.

In folklore the Marwaris are considered by the Rathores (warrior clan) as the descendents of the Sun god and even today you can this referrence in the folksongs of Rajasthan. The Rathores believed that the Marwari horse could only leave a battlefield under one of three conditions – victory, death, or carrying a wounded master to safety. The horses were trained to be extremely responsive in battlefield conditions, and were trained in complex riding maneuvers. They are considered as a member of ones family and not as a pet.

These nobles selectively bred these horses that could withstand extreme temperatures and minimal rations, carry a soldier with weapons and armour for long periods in rough terrain, and still be swift and nimble. They bred for wiry, sleek horses that were ideal for war. Marwaris and Kathiawaris were noted for their loyalty and bravery in battle, often defending their riders even when wounded themselves.

It is said that there are references in the old Hindu texts and even in Ramayana that this breed was present even in those days. Historians are trying to verify this since during those times India consisted of the landmass from Afghanistan to Indonesia, making this claim quite possible and true. The Arabian horse built and the Marwari horse built is quite similar as also their genetic links.

Being war horses they are for their built, indeed fierce and fiercely loyal ... They are very energetic and affectionate but not at all harmful as is mentioned in a few posts in other threads of this forum. They are very very protective of their owners... My grandfather had a stable full of various Indian horse breeds and cattle with 5 Marwari horses which I recall very clearly from my childhood... My toddler cousins used to crawl under these horses and no harm ever came to them ... They are not harmful but protective.

The Marwari/Kathiawari horse is very sensitive and their ears are even more sensitive. The curved inward-tipped ears, like two birds kissing are one of the hallmarks of this breed. Unlike other breeds the Marwaris can move each of their ear 180 degrees independantly giving it a 360 degree hearing ability. While riding in jungles and ravines the soldiers used to look at the horse's ears and shoot the arrow in the direction where the horse's ears faced to kill the hiding enemy.

If pure bred, then they have a natural ambling gait, sort of a swift, lateral pace called the Revaal gait. Mixed breed Marwaris/Kathiawaris also most of the times exhibit it with varying accuracy.

They are very intelligent and attentive and do not spook easily. They have very high endurance and speed. There are many endurance races held across India where these horses have excelled and beaten other breeds.

They are very hardy and can survive on low rations (as in desert conditions)... Their hoof walls are very thick and hence not much prone to hoof diseases and thats why they are often seen without horseshoes...

Amazing horses to ride in hilly terrain, farms and difficult countryside. They are narrow and slender compared to thoroughbreds that I often ride and they fit nicely between your thighs and give you a good seat ... The ride is very comfortable.

There are many Marwari stud farms in the Rajasthan and the Maharashtra states of India. The pure breed Marwari owners are very reluctant to give their animals to be bred with other horses and follow a strict standard to maintain that purity of breed and hence the ones you see are mixed breeds about 80% of the times or more.

The ones that you generally see around in Rajasthan and across India are not pure Marwaris ... They are mixed breed and mostly Kathiawaris mixed with local breeds... The curved inward-tipped ears is not the only feature of the Marwari horse. It is just one amongst many features like the slight Roman nose, slender face with wideset eyes, dove eyes, thick hooves (their footprint is small but not rounded, thicker at the middle and tapers to the end), short cannon bones, etc.

Since pure Marwaris are very expensive many agents sell these mixed breeds as Marwaris to the unsuspecting or un-knowleageble buyers ...
Though the pure Marwaris are rare even today but nowadays they are quite easy to purchase in India and come with DNA certificate and passport as per the breed standard (horseindian.com and marwarihorsesociety.com)...
These were taken from the stables of Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur (Rajasthan) and other descendants of nobility from Rajasthan and Maharashtra... Pure-bred Marwaris have an ideal height of 16 - 16.2 hands ... higher and lower than that are not preferred for buying. I don't recall the exact reason for not preferring taller ones, probably taller horses may seem coarse ...They come in all colours ... And they are easier to maintain.

They are now registered by The Marwari Horse Stud Book Registration Society of India. The registration process involves evaluation of horses by a panel of experts who certify if the horses conform to the breed standards specified by the Marwari Horse Society of India. The horses are then categorised on the basis of its physical characteristics, unique identification marks like whorls, its physical dimensions like girth, length and width of ears, length of the head, etc. It is then photographed from several angles, and finally, allotted a registration number which is ‘cold branded’ onto the animal carefully. Cold branding is a unique painless and animal-friendly procedure whereby numbers are dipped and chilled in Liquid Nitrogen canisters and pressed onto the skin of the animal for 10 seconds. And the animal carries the unique number marking for its entire life.

This registration is voluntary and carried out by the panel of experts for a nominal fee as specified by the society.

Since they were war horses historically they were being trained in the old days to leap on to the top of the enemy elephants so the rider can kill the enemy with his sword or spear. This with their natural tendency to perform has lead them being increasingly used in dressage across Rajasthan and Maharashtra nowadays. They are found to have good jumping and athletic abilities ...

Hopefully we see them compete on the international level and the horse lovers all over the world get to be proud owners of these magnificient creatures :gallop:

The Indeginous Horse Breeders' Association and The Marwari Horse Society of India also organise annual/bi-annual shows, tent pegging (taking off the pegs of a tent with a spear while on horseback to trap the enemy soldiers inside the collapsed tent) and racing events. Owners are now even allowed by the government of India to take their horses for shows outside India.

This stud farm revantamarwarihorses.com is very close to my house ... Check it out ...

In January of 2019 they will be allowed to race on the Mahalaxmi race course, Mumbai. This is a first for this breed as only thoroughbreds were allowed to do that untill now.

My in-laws are starting a Marwari stud farm soon in Nagpur (Maharashtra) and I am eager to ride these marvelous horses again ...

Will keep you guys posted as and when it happens ... Hopefully soon... :)
 

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We saw several Marwari horses last summer at the Kentucky Horse Park during an event. They are really interesting animals, and what a fascinating history.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How does one get malwari semen? Just curious
Well as I mentioned in the Op-ed, it has become quite easy here in India to get your mare sired by a stallion from one of the many Marwari Stud Farms for whatever their price is...

If you want Marwari semen out of India then I don't think you can send it out of the country without government permission. However there are a few Marwari horses/mares in different countries so you might want to approach their owners if they can facilitate it if you are that intent ... :smile:
 
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