Ride Around the World Horse: The Kathiawari of India
In the spirit of this year's Ridefest theme, "Ride Around the World," we're going to explore a horse breed from across the world each week.
Origin: 13th-14th century
Colors: All, except black
Uses: Harness, Saddle
The Kathiawari can be looked upon as being indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. Its homeland is Kathiawari, the peninsula framed by the Gulfs of Kutch and Khamba on India's western coast. It is also found in Gujerat, in southern Rajasthan, and throughout Maharashta.
Breeding: The origin of the distinctive Kathiawari breed lies with the Arabian imports of the Gulf states to the province's principal port of Verbal, in the days of the Mongol emperors, and then in the later years to Bombay. These horses were crossed with native stock carrying much eastern blood - the Kabuli and Baluchi strains, for example. From that point, the horses were bred selectively by the princely houses. There are 28 distinct strain recognized.
Characteristics: The tough and hardy Kathiawari is a narrow-built horse, like the Arabian in general appearance. The best examples exhibit the characteric high tail carriage. Many have the natureal ability to pace, indictaing an affinity with central Asian breeds. They are claimed to be intelligent, docile, and affectionate.
Edwards, Elwyn Hartley; Langrish, Bob (PHT). “Kathiawari.” Smithsonian Handbooks Horses, Dk Pub., pp. 188-189.