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Horse Breeds
First Posted: Aug 1, 2009
Sep 24, 2010

Manipuri or Manipur Pony

Manipuri Pony

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Country of Origin: India

The Manipuri Pony is a breed of pony developed in India. Today they are bred mainly for playing polo and racing. They are rare and were on the verge of extinction.


Manipuri breed of ponies is one of the purest and prestigious breed of equines of India. They are found in Manipur and Assam, and are similar to the south-east Asian type pony. The Manipuri Pony is thought to have been derived from ancient stock, as a cross between the Mongolian Wild Horse and the Arabian. They were probably brought to India by invading Tartar tribes, who also brought the equestrian game of polo. The breed has been bred for centuries in the Manipur area of northeast India. In 1977, the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association was established to promote the Manipuri Pony breed and the game of polo. In recent years, breed numbers have decreased, and it is believed that only around 2,300 Manipuri Ponies exist today.

Physical Description

Manipuri Ponies have a light head with a straight profile, set on a well formed neck, somewhat pronounced withers, a deep chest and sloping shoulders. The croup is sloping, the legs sturdy and the hooves well-proportioned. They have a short back well developed quarters and strong limbs. The mane is generally coarse and the tail is well set and commensurate with height. They are intelligent and extremely tough. They have great endurance. The breed's overall appearance is elegant, an inheritance from their Arabian ancestors. Manipuri Ponies generally stands 11 to 13 hands high, and the breed is available in 14 different colors: bay, black, gray, mora white, leiphon white, sinai white, stocking, liver chestnut, roan, light gray, reddish brown and dark bay.


The Manipuri Pony is one of the well-known breeds of India and has been claimed as the oldest polo pony. The British learned of the game of polo during the 19th century while watching it played on Manipuri Ponies in India. The breed is still used for polo today in India, but other breeds are more popular in Europe and America. They are also used extensively for racing. Manipuri ponies are also used for packing, riding, and trekking.

For More Information:

National Research Centre of Equines - India
Equinest Pictures from India - Horses
"Indigenous Manipuri pony on the verge of Extinction At the Birthplace"

Horse Breeds