Indian Half – Bred
conformation plain head, well-formed withers, good back,
plenty of bone, hard feet
colour all colours
height 15.2 hands
uses riding, competition
India’s native horse breeds – the Marwari, Kathiawari and Sindhi – are tough and robust, making them well suited to the subcontinent’s harsh climate, but they are also small and lean. The Indian Half—Bred was developed as a larger cavalry mount in the 19th century, by crossing native stock with Australian Walers to add bone and substance, and Arabs for refinement. Later, English Thoroughbred blood was added and there is now little evidence of the Arabian influence. The
Thoroughbred blood was of major benefit, as Thoroughbred horses cope well with the Indian climate. The Indian army continued to use Thoroughbred stallions on carefully selected mares and the resulting Indian Half Bred proved a superlative cavalry mount. One stallion, called Thomas Jefferson, produced particularly good stock and was used for several years at the army stud at Babugarh and the remount depot at Sarahanapur. With the partition of the subcontinent between India and Pakistan in 1947, India kept eight English and four French Thoroughbreds, which were to form the basis of future breeding stock.
Since then, other breeds have been used, including Anglo-Arabs, Bretons and Polish horses, but the modern Indian Half – Bred remains a wiry, enduring horse well suited to his harsh environment.
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