Thank you to Rajesh Jadeja, Hon. Secretary of the Kathiawari Horse Society of India, for providing the information and images on this page.

Rashmi, 7 year old mare


The Kathiawari breed horse is accepted throughout the India as the purest and oldest of all horse breeds. Its origins are in the Middle Eastern land of Saurashtra region in State of Gujarat in India, where the Kathi's tribesmen and Rajput clans rulers used it as a warhorse, abandoning any animal which could not carry him at speed across miles of open dry lands of 'Kathiawar' with little food or water and they favored the Kathiawari breed mares because, unlike the Kathiawari breed Stallion, he could trust her to keep quiet….!

Today, almost every breed and type of horses has traces of Kathiawari breed blood in India and all are descended in the male line from the Charls, Gulfaam, Ashwinikumar in early 1900s era which were bread by the 'Nawab's' and 'Maharaja's' and in recent times Stallions like, Scarlet, Chand, Amit, Rajhans, Nilesh, Chandragupt, Chital, from Government of Gujarat Kathiawari Horse Breeding farms in Junagadh and Innaj which were all bread into Gujarat in the early 1980s.

The Kathiawari breed horse averages 13 hands to 14-5 in height and odd Stallions goes up to the 14-5 hands to 15-2 hands in height. The stallion has great presence whilst the mare gives an impression of elegant gentleness. They have a distinct outline and are of perfect proportion. The coat has an iridescent sheen. The head is slightly dished and concave profile, tapering to a fine muzzle; the eyes are large and evenly placed with a tod eyes looks, while the throat is fine, with a well shaped arched neck. The back is short and the loins strong and muscular, the croup is level and the tail set high. The ears are small and maximum of 14 to 17 cms, narrow at base; tips are curved inward and touching or almost touching like a 'Sting of a Scorpion', with rotation of 180 degrees backward. To these must be added dense flat bone, hard feet and hoofs with double in-sole, acute eyesight and hearing, purity and prepotency coupled with a gentle temperament and ability to survive. Black Eel Stripe on back and Zebra markings on front legs are seen in these breed too. These are the hallmarks of the Kathiawari breed. 

They are the most comfortable riding horses, with great stamina, their paces are light and free with an elevated trot capable of great extension. They can carry disproportionate weights whether jumping, racing or, in particular, over endurance distances where Pure and Part Bred Kathiawari excel against other breeds.

When crossed with other breeds and those of unknown breeding, they produce very good riding and performance stock with good ears formations, color, and endurance distances riding. Presently in India, breeders do the cross breeding in Rajasthan, Punjab, Utter Pradesh and in North region of India and they are eligible for getting market in the Kathiawari Part Bred section to the Police and Army stables in other part of India.



  1. Head: Small and Concave or Dished profile.
  2. Eye: Large (toad like) set on the sides of a broad forehead. Not all Skewbalds have the Blue eyes. We consider that if their is Both Blue eyes, then it is good Omen. But if it is One Blue and One Black eyes then it is Bad Omen, and good breeders don't keep such horses in their stud farms. They sell it to the North India side , where they use as domestic transport, for the people who lives in Mountains.
  3. Forehead: Broad forehead.
  4. Ears: Very small line narrow and of the shape of sting of a scorpion and when cocked or pricked the tips of the ears touch or nearly touched also rotates 360’.

  5. Neck, Shoulders & Withers:
    1. Neck- Crested and Stout
    2. Shoulder- Well Slopping
    3. Withers - Prominent

  6. Back & Body:
    1.Back – Short
    2. Body – Short coupled

  7. Quarter & Tail:
    1.Quarter – Strong & well developed almost square.
    2.Tail – Set high

  8. Fore legs: Fore arms long.
  9. Hind legs: Hocks well laid down
  10. Feet/Hoof & Sole:
    1.Feet- Wall, very dense
    2.Hoof- Round & sufficient large
    3.Sole- Concave, hard & many animals has double sole with healthy frog.
  11. Coat, Hair, Skin, Mane & Tail:
    1.Coat- Shining & very refined.
    2.Hair- Fine
    3.Skin- Smooth
    4.Mane & Tail – Long but not very bushy.
    In the picture below of the stallion Jogi, you will see a formation of hairs in neck region , looks like a scar....We consider this as very very lucky markings, the bigger the mark, is the luckiest of Horse. In our local language it is called 'DEV MANI' means Markings from the God.....!

  12. Color & Markings:
    1.Color – greys of all types (iron grey, dappled grey, flea beaten grey, etc.) Dun with dorsal band or eel mark from wither to tail having sometimes zebra markings on the fore legs. Dun is the very prominent color in KATHIAWARI horse, there is also Yellow Dun and Blue Dun, Chestnut, Bay and Skewbald found in KATHIAWARI horses.
    is the color not found in KATHIAWARI horses. In fact, all the color of KATHIAWARI breed horses is very through Dun.
    Pictured below is Jogi, a pure bred Kathiawari stallion, age 11 years. The Skewbald colour is known in the local language as ' LAL BAVLO'. This stallion JOGI has a very long and thick mane. It touches his knees. His sire NILESH, was Red Chestnut colour (from Gujarat Government Kathiawari breed Stud Farm in Junagadh) and dam was Dun colour owned by a private owner in central Saurashtra region, where the ancient KATHIAWARI horse breeding started.

    Photo below are of Chetak. The Stallion CHETAK, has four White stockings and Face White. We call such horse as ' PANCH KALYANI' ....means Five Good Markings from God. It also called as 'Horse of the Lord Krishna'. Our this Stallion CHETAK is very popular amongst the Breeders. He is 5 years old and already a father of at least 25 Best quality & Pure breed Mares in our area, of same colour and markings. He won ' BEST KATHIAWARI STALLION' title in 2004 , 2005 and 2006.

    Photo below is of Mahi, 4 year old mare.

    Mahi, at 3 years old

    Photo below is of 11 month old filly and government stud mare.

    Basanti, 8 month old filly

    Sujja, five month old filly

  13. Height: 13 ½ h.h. to 14 ½ h.h. Odd animal may go up to 15 h.h. Short boned animal, smaller in height than Marwari breed horses. ‘Kathi’ or ‘Kathiawari’ is the only indigenous breed of horse in India whose, Physical Parameter is fixed.

The 22 points of Kathiawari or Kathi breed of horses are as under:

      1. Broad limbs or part of body: (i) feet (ii) chest (iii) forehead (iv) hind quarters
      2. Narrow / fine: (i) mouth (ii) hair (iii)sheen (iv) tail (long & fine but not bushy)
      3. Long: (i) fore arm, (ii) neck (sufficiently long and crested from breeds standard but not too long.) (iii) fore lock       (iv) tail
      4. Curved: (i) ears (ii) neck (crested) (iii) back (saddle back), (iv) profile (concave or dished)
      5. Short: (i) pastern (ii) muzzle (iii) ears, (iv) back
      6. (i) Good height from breed standard i.e.14.2 h.h. and        (ii) Good condition

As per the evidence on hand ‘Kathiawari’ horse predates all the indigenous breeds of horses in India. In the official document, Bombay Gazetteer of ‘Kathiawar’ of 1880 the British have described this breed in detail. But, the origin of the ‘Kathiawari’ Horse is tilled not known and obscure as the marshal clan Kathi’s themselves who bred these horses. In the above official document more than a centaury and two decades ago they have described this breed of horse as teachable, honest, free from vice, full of spirit, hardy, sure footed, nimble, long lasting and decidedly good looking.

Breed history

In ancient time, this breed was developed by a Warrior clan called 'KATHI's ' from the Western region of India , this region known as SAURASHTRA. It has a longest Coast line, and trade with Gulf was too much at that time. So may be in that trading business ARAB breed horses were brought to this part of India and sold to the local Kings of the regions. From their Stallion , they mixed with the local breed and produced this KATHIAWARI breed horses, because if you see the confirmations of this KATHIAWARI breed, it is much similar to the ARAB breed. The only difference is, that in ARAB breed DUN colour is NOT available at all, and where in KATHIAWARI breed all colours are based with DUN and, this colour is very prominent colour in KATHIAWARI breed. Also BLACK colour you found in ARAB breed, but BLACK is the only colour you don't found in KATHIAWARI breed. Also the curved Ears of KATHIAWARI breed, is another prominent marking to differ this two breeds. But at some point I personally think, that these two breed has mixed up during the olden times.....but the experts of the KATHIAWARI breeds are simply denying this statement. This KATHIAWARI breed was developed for the WAR horse, and also for the Pleasure riding purpose. The primary occupation today for the KATHIAWARI breed horses is mainly for the pleasure riding, competition riding, and mainly used by the farmers to go one place to another. But never used for the Farming work. In 1991, the Government of Gujarat State has done the counting of the pure breed KATHIAWARI horses in the state, and it was numbered only 700 horses only. But today with the efforts of KATHIAWARI HORSE SOCIETY and KATHIAWARI & MARWARI HORSE BREEDERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD. - GONDAL, and PORBANDAR HORSE BREEDERS ASSOCIATION, today in Gujarat State , more then 20, 000 of Pure Breed KATHIAWARI horses are their , and we expect this figure will reach to 100,000 by year 2010.

Breed alphabetical listings: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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