The Chamurthi is one of four recognized indigenous horse breeds in India. It is thought they originally came from Tibet, which is likely as the Tibetans have a very similar type of pony. This area has traded with Tibet for centuries and horses were obviously a main form of transportation as well as highly prized possessions. They are still taken to local fairs every year, as they are well known as excellent riding ponies.

Chamurthi pony
Chamurthis are very strong, sure-footed, rarely fall sick, and have incredible stamina. They are about 12-13 hands in height and almost always gray or black with the occasional bay or brown. They have a fine head, almost like a Welsh pony, and their abdomen is barrel-shaped. Their round, strong hoofs are seldom shod. They have a short, strong back and neck, good hind quarters, and tend to be wider in the chest than most other ponies found in this part of the Himalayas.  

Their most distinctive feature is they do not trot – they pace – and can easily cover great distances at this gait, seeming to skim the surface rather than touch it. They also have a running walk or amble. Their gaits are of the utmost smoothness and are very comfortable for riding. Rough terrain is no obstacle for them since they are born into a difficult environment. This also ensures the survival of the fittest in this breed.

They are easy keepers, having originated in an area with little vegetation. Apart from grazing, they are mainly fed barley, which is one of the local staples. The mountain people claim that although vegetation is sparse, it is of high nutrient quality for the ponies.

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