Your local stable is probably home to plenty of familiar horse breeds like Thoroughbreds and Arabians, but there’s one breed that you likely won’t find there: the Marwari. Native to India, the elegant Marwari is extremely rare. But once you learn about the Marwari, you’ll never forget it!
Marwari horses have a long history as war horses, and today’s Marwaris possess a wonderful combination of athleticism, hardiness, and bravery. They have long been prized as trustworthy and loyal horses, known for their stamina and adaptability. But there’s more: In addition to all of these wonderful qualities, the Marwari is an attractive and intelligent breed.
The Marwari’s most iconic physical trait is undoubtedly its unique ears, which curve in at the tips so that the ears touch each other. The breed has captured the interest of scientific researchers, and in 2014 they mapped the entire genome of a Marwari horse. In their results, they detected a strong Arabian influence, noted a gene variant that could be the cause of the curved ears, and discovered that the Marwari has a heightened sense of smell. (See, we told you they are extra-special!)
The Marwari Horse Society was established in 1998 in India, and the society works to promote and preserve the Marwari horses. India banned exportation of Marwari horses for many years, and there was only a short period of time in the early 2000s in which Marwaris were allowed to be exported to other countries.
The population of Marwaris in India is low (perhaps only 3,000), but because of the exportation ban, the global population is even lower. There are only a few dozen Marwaris in the United States.
At a Glance
Colors: The Marwari is found in many colors, including bay, brown, chestnut and gray. Albino is considered a disqualification from registration.
Height: Although Marwari horses used to be smaller in the past (closer to pony size, thanks to their original native pony influence), today’s Marwaris typically range from 15 to 16.1 hands for males and 14.3 to 16.1 hands for females.
Did You Know: The Marwari hails from an area in India that’s sometimes called the Jodhpur region, which is the same place that riding jodhpurs got their name.