This is a good article. Click here for more information.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Kathiawari (horse))

  • Kathiawari
  • કાઠીયાવાડી
Kathiawari 2.jpg
Conservation status FAO (2007): not at risk [1]: 61 
Other names
Country of originIndia
Distribution Kathiawar peninsula
Standard Indigenous Horse Society of India
  • Male:
    325 kg [3]
  • Female:
    275 kg [3]
  • 139–159 cm [4]: 53 
  • Male:
    average: 149 cm [5]
  • Female:
    average: 147 cm [5]
Distinguishing featuresunusual in-curved ears
Kathiawari 1.jpg

The Kathiawari or Kathiawadi is an Indian breed of horse. It originates in the Kathiawar peninsula of Gujarat in western India, and is associated with the Kathi people of that area. It was originally bred as a desert war horse for use over long distances, in rough terrain, on minimal rations. It is closely related to the Marwari horses of Rajasthan; both breeds have been influenced by imported Arab horses. [6]: 479  It is found in all colours except for black, and is most commonly chestnut. In the past it was used as a war horse and cavalry mount. Today it is used for riding, in harness and for sports; [5] it may be used as a police horse and for the sport of tent-pegging. A stud-book is kept by the Kathiawari Horse Breeders' Association, which also organises annual shows.


The origins of the Kathiawari are unknown. There were indigenous horses on the western coast of India before the arrival in the early sixteenth century of the Turco-Mongol invaders who later established the Mughal Empire. [7]: 160  During the Mughal period, and later under the British Raj, Arab horses were imported to India and crossed with native stock, creating the ancestors of the modern Kathiawari breed. There may also have been some Mongolian influence. [7]: 196 

The horses were bred as a desert war horse for use over long distances, in rough terrain, and on minimal rations. They were wiry, sleek, agile and fast, and could carry an armed man for long periods. According to tradition, they were loyal and brave in battle, often defending their riders even when wounded themselves.[ citation needed] Some noble families bred their own line or strain, twenty-eight [8]: 117  or thirty-six [6]: 479  of which still exist. [7]

The Kathiawari is bred mainly in the Kathiawar peninsula, but is found also in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. A breed society, the Kathiawari Horse Breeders' Association, keeps the stud-book. [7] The government of Gujarat maintains a conservation herd at Junagadh, and has a number of stallions standing at stud in other parts of the state. [8]: 117  The Indigenous Horse Society of India is also involved in conservation efforts. [6]: 479  In 2007 no more than fifty Kathiawaris were in private hands. [9]

A breed standard was drawn up in 2008. [6]: 479  In 2010 the Gujarati government commissioned Saurashtra University to research the options for recovery of the Kathiawari breed, and also the extent to which it is related to the Marwari. [6]: 479 

In 2007 the conservation status of the Kathiawari was listed as "not at risk" by the FAO. [1]: 61  No breed numbers have been reported to DAD-IS since 1997, when there were about 7500. [3]


The average height at the withers is 147 cm (14.2 hands). [10] Height should not be more than about 152 cm (15 h); taller horses may seem coarse. [7]: 161  It may be any colour but black; [6]: 479  Chestnut is the most common colour, followed by bay, grey and dun. Dun horses may have primitive markings, a dorsal stripe and zebra stripes on the legs. [7] Skewbald patterns can occur. [6]: 479  The Kathiawari has a concave facial profile, with a broad forehead and short muzzle. The neck and body are proportional and relatively short, while both the head and tail are carried high. [9] Although well-proportioned, many Western breeders consider them to be lacking in bone in the legs. However, soundness is an inherent characteristic of the breed. [7] One of the breed's most distinctive features is its ears, which curve inward to touch and sometimes overlap at the tips. The Kathiawari has the most extremely curved ears of any breed of horse. [9] At some points in the breed's history, breeders focused on the preservation of these curving ears, to the detriment of some other, more important, physical characteristics. [7] Like many desert breeds, the Kathiawari can subsist on minimal rations and water and is more resistant to the heat than breeds developed in colder climates. As well as the usual gaits, the Kathiawari also performs a swift, lateral pace, called the revaal[ what language is this?]. [7]: 161  It is a high-spirited, intelligent and affectionate horse. [9]

The Kathiawari is closely related to the Marwari breed from the Marwar region of Rajasthan, which borders with northern Gujarat. [5] Genetic diversity analysis groups the two breeds, while the other four Indian horse breeds – the Bhutia, the Manipuri, the Spiti and the Zaniskari – form a distinct and separate group. [11] The Kathiawari and the Marwari are also phenotypically similar; in particular, they have the same unusual in-curved ears. The Kathiawari is not as tall as the Marwari, and has a smaller thoracic circumference; [4]: 53  it is most commonly chestnut, while the Marwari is usually black. [5]: 71  Kathiawaris tend to have slight facial differences from the Marwari. [12] The Kathiawari also resembles the Arab horse, which contributed significantly during the development of the breed. [7]


In the past, the Kathiawari was considered a good cavalry mount. It was used by Maratha cavalry, and later – until the end of the First World War – by the Indian Army. [7]: 161  [9]: 252  In modern times it is used as a riding horse or as a harness horse. Some are used by Indian police forces, sometimes for tent-pegging, to which the Kathiawari is well suited. [7]: 161  In 1995, annual breed shows were hosted by the breed association. [7]: 161 


  1. ^ a b Barbara Rischkowsky, Dafydd Pilling (editors) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN  9789251057629. Archived 23 June 2020.
  2. ^ Breed Standards of Kathiawadi Horse. Indigenous Horse Society of India. Accessed December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Kathiawari/India. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed December 2016.
  4. ^ a b A.K. Gupta, S.N. Tandon, Y. Pal, A. Bhardwaj, M. Chauhan (2012). Phenotypic characterization of Indian equine breeds: a comparative study. Animal Genetic Resources (50): 49–58. doi: 10.1017/S2078633612000094
  5. ^ a b c d e R.K. Pundir, R.K. Vijh, R.N. Shukla, A.S. Vyas, B. K. Bhavsar, A. E. Nivsarkar (1997). Characterisation of Indian Kathiawari horses. Animal Genetic Resources Information 21: 71–80. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN  9781780647944.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Elwyn Hartley Edwards (1994). The Encyclopedia of the Horse. London; New York; Stuttgart; Moscow: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN  0751301159.
  8. ^ a b Elwyn Hartley Edwards (2016). The Horse Encyclopedia. New York, New York: DK Publishing. ISBN  9781465451439.
  9. ^ a b c d e Bonnie Hendricks (2007). International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN  9780806138848, pages 250–252.
  10. ^ Equines in India: Horses: Kathiawari Horse. Indian Council of Agricultural Research: National Research Centre on Equines. Archived 22 November 2015.
  11. ^ A.K. Gupta, Mamta Chauhan, Anuradha Bhardwaj, Neelam Gupta, S.C. Gupta, Yash Pal, S.N. Tandon, R.K. Vijh (2014). Comparative genetic diversity analysis among six Indian breeds and English Thoroughbred horses. Livestock Science 163 (May 2014): 1–11. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2014.01.028 (subscription required).
  12. ^ About Indian Horses. Indigenous Horse Society of India. Accessed December 2016.

Further reading