Breeds from Around the World: Part Three – Marwari

Posted on November 3, 2020

In this series of blogs, we take a look at horse breeds from around the world. In this post, we head to India to learn about the Marwari.


The Marwari Horse

This breed comes from the Marwar region of India. It is said that the Marwari can be traced back to a period “when the ocean was churned to extract nectar for the Gods; a period when horses had wings”. These horses are as magical to ride as the folklore that surrounds them. On all of In The Saddle’s itineraries in Rajasthan, you’ll ride these forward going, responsive and well-mannered horses.

Marwari Horses – a Firm Favourite

By the 12th Century, this breed had proven itself as particularly well suited to the desert and in battle. With amazing homing instincts, they regularly saved their riders’ lives when lost out in the sand dunes. Marwaris were a firm favourite in the country, and Mogul Emperor Akbar had over 50,000 in his cavalry.

Marwari horses

Noble Marwaris showed great bravery in battle

Almost Lost

When going to battle on horseback became a thing of the past, the Marwari breed was almost lost too. However, a handful of people (including riding guide Kanwar Raghuvendra Singh – known as Bonnie) set up studs and breeding programmes specifically for maintaining this special native breed.

Bonnie has played an important role in preserving this incredible breed

Breed Characteristics

The most obvious characteristic is their curved ears, which sometimes touch at the tips. Marwaris have exceptional hearing, which again made them desirable on the battlefield. Both horse and rider had the advantage of an early warning to any impending danger.

Marwari ears

One of the Marwari’s most notable characteristics are their curved ears

Surviving in the Desert

Marwari horses have very thin skin which allows them to withstand extreme thirst and heat. A compact body and long legs also help to prevent overheating, by keeping the main organs away from the hot sand. The average height of a modern Marwari is between 14hh and 15.2hh. They are hardy enough to survive on the limited food available in the Indian desert environment – what incredible horses!

Marwari horse

The Marwari is thin skinned, compact and hardy, making them ideal to withstand a desert environment

There is no better way to see Rajasthan than riding a beautiful, spirited Marwari horse. Here is a summary of the In The Saddle trips that feature this amazing breed:

Experience the magical Marwari in its native desert environment on a ride through the ancient Kingdom of Shekhawati, a region littered with magnificent forts and palaces.

Explore Rajasthan from the back of a Marwari horse, visit Jaipur, Agra and the Taj Mahal, plus experience the world’s largest camel fair on the Pushkar Fair itinerary.

The Nagaur Fair ride features six days of riding through the Great Indian Desert aboard a beautiful Marwari horse, as well as visits to Delhi, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and the famous Nagaur Fair.

On the Fairs & Festivals trip you’ll spend six days riding a Marwari horse in Rajasthan, visit Delhi, Jaipur, Taj Mahal at Agra, the Bharatpur bird sanctuary and the horse fair at Bateshwar.

To book your holiday riding a Marwari horse, call one of the In The Saddle team on +44 (0) 1299 272 997 or email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *