The Mongolian pony is, perhaps, one of the oldest breeds and also
one of the most influential, standing right up there with the Arabian and Iberian Horse. They
originated in Mongolia, hence their name, and descended from the Przewalski's Horse, which was
also known as the Asian Wild Horse. When the Mongolians invaded their surrounding countries, their
influence spread across Asia and Europe. The were probably at one time the mount of Genghis Khan
and his feared warriors. The Mongolian pony has stayed mostly unchanged and, true to its original
form, retains many primitive characteristics.
Largely due to environmental conditions, several different types of
breeds have emerged from under the Mongolian heading. There are four main groups, commonly known
as the forest, mountain, steppe, and Gobi types. The forest type is the largest and stands as
tall as 13.2 hh. They have the heaviest body frame and are the best suited for draft and pack
work. The mountain type, on the other hand, is smaller and stand approximately 13 hh and usually
has a pinto coat coloring. The steppes pony type is usually around the same size as the mountain
type, and in conformationally more suitable for ridden work. The Gobi, or desert type, is the
smallest of them all and usually has a pale coal coloring. They are never used for milk production,
although the others commonly are.
All four of these types, though, are coarse in appearance but have
excellent stamina and are able to work long and hard hours with little care. They are very tough
and live out in the elements all year round, usually with no extra food and little shelter. They
have amazing endurance and will often travel distances of sixty to one hundred and twenty miles
per day, a feat rarely achieved by any other horse. Some of the even have lateral gaits, which
are very smooth and further enhance their usefulness as long distance endurance horses. They are
used for draft, pack, and riding, but are also raised for milk and meat production. They are selectively
bred for these purposes.
In appearance they are not particularly attractive, but rather often
have a coarse, primitive type head. They are short and stock an have muscular necks with a wide,
strong frame and a short, compact back with powerful hindquarters. Their legs are short and strong
and they have very tough feet.
These ponies are found mainly throughout the northeast, northwest,
and northern China, mainly in the high plains and highland areas. It is one of the numerous indigenous
breeds of China.
Mongolian Horse Talk
Livestock Breeds Of China: Mongolian
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