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Horse Breeds
First Posted: Sept 21, 2010
Sep 21, 2010

Nangchen Horse


Image Credits-Tibetan Horse Festival in Amdo


Country of Origin: Tibet

The Nangchen horse is a small breed of horse native to the Kham region of northern Tibet, thought to have been bred pure since the 9th century. They became known to the western world in 1994 due to the exploration of French anthropologist Michel Peissel.

These animals are said to contain no ancestry from any of the common sources for most other Tibetan pony breeds, neither Mongolian horse, Arabian nor any type of Turkish blood. They are powerful and fast, said to have many of the characteristics of a modern racehorse. They have refined features, are pony-sized, but tall for ponies, swift and agile. Their unique characteristics include adaptations to the very high altitude of the region, including enlarged lungs.

In 1995, Peissel returned to Tibet in hopes of purchasing some individual animals to study in more detail, but they were unable to do so due to the high prices asked for the animals by local tribesmen. On their way back, Peissel's expedition took an alternate route through a remote area and discovered the Riwoche horse.

For More Information:

Purebred Horse Unknown to West Is Reported in Highlands of Tibet/By Tim Hilchey/Published: May 24, 1994

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