HomeHorseMongolian Horse: The Most Ancient Horse Breed of Asia

Mongolian Horse: The Most Ancient Horse Breed of Asia

The Mongolian horse is the native horse breed of Mongolia. The horse has been mostly unchanged since the time of Genghis Khan. More than 3 million horses live in Mongolia, more than the total population. The horses lived outside from comfortable temperatures at summer 30° C to extreme cold in winter, -40° C. The horse is traditional in this country; used for transport, meat, racing, and agriculture. 

Origin and History of Mongolian Horse

The Mongolian horse originated from the World’s oldest horse breed Przewalski. Przewalski horse and Equus ferus caballus occurred more than 240,000 years ago as wild animals in this region. Many Asian horse breeds, like Akhaltekein, Yunan, Japanese, Tuvinia, and Cheju, originated from Mongolian feral horses. Among the horse breeds of Asia, Arabian, Anglo-Thorougred, and Japanese, the Mongolian horse has the highest genetic heterozygosity (0.77). The people of nomads have used horses since 2000 BC. A census was held in 1918, and the horse population of Mongolia was 150,000.  

Wild Horses of Mongolia
Wild Horses of Mongolia

Physical Features of Mongol Horse

The horse is medium to small in size and has a stocky build body, a big head, and short but strong legs. The mane and tail are relatively longer. The strands are used for braiding ropes, and tail hairs are used for violin bows. The horse has thick bones, large barrels, thick coats, and thick skin to protect it from the cold.  

Features of Mongolian Horse

Height and Weight of Horse

The average height of the Mongol horse is 12–14 hands (48–56 inches). The average body weight of the horse breed is 500–600 pounds (250 to 300 kgs).

History of Mongolian Horse

Color and Markings of Mongol Horse

The Mongol horses are found in a wide variety of colors. The different areas/tribes of people of Mongolia love different horse colors. The Darkhad tribe likes white horses, but the Nyamgavaa ethnic group likes dun, bay, or black horses. The other colors of Mongol horses are chestnut, gray, and black.

Colors of Mongol Horse

The Behavior of Mongol Horse Breed

The horse is hardy and suitable for sustainability in wildlife. The majority of the horses live in open spaces as free-ranging animals. Only a few horses are kept in herds and stables for commercial purposes. The commercial breeders bred the horse to export to China. Despite semi-feral conditions, the horses can live from 20-40 years. 

Behavior of Mongolian Horse
Behavior of Mongolian Horse

Food and Nutrition of Horse

The free-ranging horses live on grazing. The horses can survive without feed and water for many weeks during an extreme winter. The horses store fats and, during winter, sustain producing energy from subcutaneous fat. You can supply grains and horse supplements for stalled horses. During winter, the horse can eat grass beneath the snow and drink water from the snow. 

Mongol Horse
Mongol Horse

Health and Care of Horse

The horse is generally healthy and fit for work. The horse breed is suitable for sustaining itself in extremely cold conditions. The Mongol horse is affected by fewer diseases. Commercial breeders must ensure regular vaccination and deworming for healthy herds. 

Is Mongolian Horse Endangered?

The Mongol horse is part of Mongolian culture. The people are considered rich or poor based on the number of horses they own. Horse racing is the most popular game in Mongolia. Former Mongolian heroes conquered more than half of the World by riding this excellent horse. 

The Gait of Mongolian Horse

The Mongol horse has five gaits instead of the four basic gaits (walk, trot, canter, and gallop). The fifth gait is running-walk, tolt, racking, or single-footing. There is no breeding society or registry for Mongol horses. 

Versatile Use of Mongolian Horse

The horse is used in various events and purposes in Mongolia and associated countries like Kazakhstan, China, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

  • The horse is used in agriculture in Mongolia.
  • The Mongol horse is a part of daily transport in rural areas of Mongolia.
  • Horse meat is a delicious food in Mongolia.
  • In a few countries, horse milk is collected from mares (six times a day) and ade different traditional food items. 
  • Horse hairs are used for making ropes, fiddle strings, and various ornaments.
  • Horse dung is used for fuel.  

Concluding Remarks on Mongolian Horse

The Mongol horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in the World. The horse originated more than 200,000 years ago and remains unchanged at the present age. The horse is the ancestor of many versatile Asian and European horse breeds. The horse is medium in size, extremely hardy, and part of Mongolian culture. The horse breed is also a primary attraction to tourists in Mongolia.

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