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The Marwari is an ancient breed which stands up to 14.3hh in height but should not be classes as a pony. The exact origins of the breed are not known but the breed evolved in the state of Marwari and possibly in the North-West of India bordering Afghanistan. They have developed along the same lines as the neighbouring Kathiwari horse and has a high percentage of Arab blood. It also has similarites to the old Turkmenian breed.
The horses were originally the warrior horses for the Rathores. The Rathores were the rulers of Marwar and used selective breeding of their horses as far back as the 12th century. The horses were highly prized and were considered the finest animals for centuries. It is said that the Marwari horse would not fall down, even when injured, until it had carried it's rider to safety and would stand guard over their rider if they fell off or were injured in battle. There are many legends surrounding the bravery and loyalty of the Marwari horses.
The breed was used during the First World War and became nearly extint by 1930. It was only saved by the Maharaja Umaid Singhji who bought some good Marwari stallions and sent them to be bred with the best Marwari mares that could be found. The ongoing effort of the Indian goverment and the Marwari Breeders Association is preserving the numbers of the breed.
The Marwari is quite a distinctive breed with a slightly heavy head topped by the hallmark of the breed which is the extremely turned in ears. They are generally a well built, strong, noble looking horse of some quality. The neck is usually well muscled and of a good length with a compact back and a good depth of girth. The chest is deep and the shoulders reasonably sloping. The hind quarters are muscular and the legs strong, tough an with dense bone and hard feet. The breed can be cow-hocked and can range in colour from brown, chestnut, bay to pinto.