Marwari Horse Breed Standards


The exotic beauty and vigour of the Marwari horse is their lasting heritage. Marwari was bred to lift the heart in battle and please the eye. He is easily recognized by his proud carriage, upright graceful neck and distinctive aquiline head with deep expressive eyes, The crowning glory of which are the unique lyre or scimitar shaped ears set high on the poll and without exception unique to the noble Indian horse.

The intelligence and natural regal bearing of the Marwari is blended with tremendous equipoise, graceful animated gaits and stamina. He displays an alert stillness when in repose and incredible elan vital in action. Hardiness and longevity have enabled the breed to survive wars, famine and droughts. The Marwari agreeably adapts to different life styles and environmental conditions and performs in various sports and formal riding disciplines.

Loyal, tireless and competitive, the Marwari has evolved from one of the world ancient breeds to present a new archetype of beauty, brilliance and personality.


For the purpose of these breed standards we are concerned only with that portion of horses produced or shown by conscientious breeders to meet the stringent demands of excellence in type and conformation leading to the expectation of judging standards. These horses, the best of their kind, are INDIANS DIPLOMATS of the Marwari breed, which represent the absolute showcase in the public eye, and from which we must expect the very highest degree of excellence. 

The Marwari type as described in the BREED STANDARD SECTION that follows is the standard to which all breeders must strive. This is the horse our successful breeders will choose to enter their breeding herd and perpetuate the breed at its ultimate best.

In the increasing competition of today’s horse show, there is little room for deviation from this type, either by the breeders who selects his show-stallion or mare or by the judge who evaluates the Marwari against the standard.

There is but one standard of perfection for the Marwari horse although variation of type within the breed will be taken into consideration, as well as the mental attitude and natural aptitude of each and every individual animal


There is only one standard for type and conforruation of the Marwari Horse.

TYPE : Type is the ideal or standard of perfection for the breed. In addition to its physical characteristics, the Marwari is defined by its personality and vigour, handsome forthright presence and arrogant bearing in the stallion and doe eyed beauty in the mare.

CONFORMATION: Conformation is the degree of perfection of the component parts and their harmonious relationship to each other.


The head conveys the undefinable oriental presence of the horse and should be expressive with a high forehead, large sparkling prominent eyes, straight or slightly Roman long face giving a clean chiseled profile and well rounded defined jaws, the nostrils are large and gently flared set over firm fine lips and an even bite. The ears should be of medium length and shapely, curving and curling inwards at their points in a scimitar or lyre shape typical to the breed. They will be somewhat longer in the mare.

THE THROAT – LATCH is deep and sufficiently refined to allow proper flexion and normal respiration at all times in all movements.

THE NECK: MAYURA GREEVA , proud as a peacock. The neck should come out from an extremely well angulated shoulder with good breadth from top of the withers to the point of shoulder. It should neither be thickset or narrow but arched, well muscled and tapering in relation to sex. It should blend easily without break into the withers and back . Additionally it should be sethigh enough to allow proper head position well above the lines of the withers and to display to advantage the ” Marwari look” which is predicated upon the way the neck grows out of the back. The stallion should have more crest than the mare or gelding.

THE WITHERS: should be well defined and in proportion to the angulation of the shoulder.

THE CHEST: on the Marwari is not particularly broad, but it should be well developed and a weak or narrow chest considered a severe fault.

THE BODY should be compact and rounded with a medium to short back and close coupling, well sprung ribs and deep loins. The croup is long and well muscled with the tail attached high and curved gracefully. A low back is a fault and the Marwari should not be higher at the rump than at the withers. Viewed from the side the top line presents a sensual curve from the poll to the straight back rounding into the thigh. The neck should give the impression of sitting on top of the withers rather than in front of them. The underline should be long and deep through the heartgirth and flanks. 

The extreme angulation of the shoulder place the front legs further forward on the body. The front legs are straight and perpendicular to the ground, as are the rear cannons when points of hock and buttock are in the same vertical line. The stifle should be placed well forward and low in the flank area.



should be straight and sound with flat bone, good length of forearm and a shorter cannon. The cannon bones are strong and slender, and the pasterns of sufficient length and angulation to provide a light, flexible and springy step. The knee bones should be flat and the feet in proportion to the size of the horse, round open at the heel with concave soles, and sound.

The conformation of THE REAR LEGS is extremely important. Any weakness in standing or movement should be considered a fault, such as cow hock, sickle hock etc. Lack of proper smooth flexion of the hock and stifle should not be tolerated in breeding stock or show horses. Viewed from the rear, the croup should be well rounded. Thighs and gaskin should be muscular and full. The legs should be seen to carry the horse squarely and upright. Like the forearm, the gaskin will be relatively longer than the cannon.

THE HEIGHT of the Marwari Horse will range from 14.2 hands to 15.2 with some exceptions either way. Horses should be serviceably sound. Stallions must be masculine in appearance and mares must be feminine. The coat should be smooth, fine and silky in appearance.

COAT OR EYE COLOUR shall have no bearing on the breed standard except in a few instances; the albino is bred in India specifically for religious use and is not acceptable in the breed standard. The Nukra or Cremello horse may be acceptable, if of exceptional type and conformation. While the distinctive metallic bright bay is highly desirable, the flat chestnut colouring is a result of interbreeding with non oriental foreign imports and should not be considered for show or breeding stock.

THE GAITS : Should be performed with great style, collection and lightness of’ motion. The walk should be flat footed, free, rapid, elastic and ground covering. Horses must show purpose and intent to travel forward without undue restraint or aids.

The trot should be an elevant balanccd trot with ail enhanced precise natural action with sufficient speed to be ground covering but with enough collection to maintain the speed for extended periods of time. Overall graceful form should not be sacrificed for speed or for height of action alone.

The Revaal qualifies the Marwari Horse as a “gaited ” horse although this action is act found in all individuals and does not impact the breed standard in any way. The movement must not include paddling, winging or landing on the heels. Any horse with revaal scars on the rear of the pastern should be penalized as should be unnatural movement, characteristically produced by excessive use of shackles, hobbling over and under riding and poor training methods.

The canter should be smooth. collccted and straight oil both lead.s at all times.

The Marwari should be able to achieve a full gallop from standing start and stop on command. He should be able to reverse with ease, and at all times display the bold and fearless presence of the breed.


Content Copyright: Indigenous Horse Society of India

Images Copyright: Getty Images


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