Developed in the state of Marwar (Jodhpur), this rare breed of equine descends from the mounts of the famous Rajput warriors. A breed of strength, loyalty, and grace, the Marwari horse is known for its beauty and unique ears, but did you know these interesting facts about this rare breed?
The Marwari horse is a loyal and brave war horse
Marwari horses were used in battle for various reasons. They remained loyal to their riders and were known to always be able to find their way home, carrying an injured or lost warrior miles to safety through the desert. These horses also have exceptional hearing, notifying their masters when danger was near even before they were able to see it.
A horse of many legends
The Marwari horse is a subject of many tales. One of which is about a horse named Chetak. The famous stallion was believed to have carried Maharana Pratap, a warrior who slayed the last of the Moguls in the battle of Haldighati. The grey stallion was brave enough to take on an elephant and reared to allow Pretap to kill the Mogul on top of the war elephant. Even after being wounded by the tusks, the horse carried his master for miles before dying near a river.
Some people even believe that the Marwari horses can be traced back to the period of the gods and their horses with wings. There is an ancient Indian legend that many believe surrounding these horses. It was believed that if a soldier was wounded in battle, a truebred Marwari would always carry his rider to safety.
It was illegal for a Marwari horse to leave India
Because the breed is rare and faced extinction, there was an export ban placed in the 1930’s and no Marwari horses were able to leave India. It wasn’t until 2000 when the first shipment of six horses was sent to the US to Francesca Kelly, a horsewoman with a passion for Marwari horses. Today, the breed is still rare with fewer than 5,000 purebred horses in the entire world. Kelly hopes to help restore numbers by breeding in the US today.
A horse studied by scientists
The Marwari horse was the first breed of Asia to have its whole genome sequenced. Because of being endangered, scientists wanted to help try to restore the breed. They were able to trace back the breeding input of Arabian and Mongolian horses. Additionally, they were also able to pin the gene connected with their unique feature, their inward turning and sometimes touching ears being linked to the Kathiawari horse, another rare and old breed.
Marwari horses are a breed set apart from many in that they become one with their masters, even willing to die for them. Even though the breed is rare and has faced extinction, people respect these beautiful horses and have given back the same level of loyalty in hopes to increase numbers and continue breeding the pure and unique Marwari horse. And who can resist those ears?