The Kathiawari is a breed of horse from India, specifically originating in the Kathiawar peninsula. The horses, although small, are not ponies. The animals are up to 14.3 hh in height, and can be any color except black, including palomino and pinto.
The Kathiawari is though to have been first bred in the 14th century, by the crossing of native ponies, Arabians, and other oriental breeds. There is a legend that shipwreaked Arabians swam to shore and breed with local ponies. Others believe that Arabians and other oriental breeds were shipped to India during the reign of the Mongol emperors and deliberately crossed with local breeds.
The breed has great endurance and stamina, due to its Arabian ancestry, the animals are highly prized in the area. The horses were originally bred by wealthy families who would name a strain according to their foundation mare. Today, however, the government-controlled stud at Junagadh breeds most horses.
The Kathiawari is similar in appearance to the Marwari, with extremely turned-in ears that are large and very mobile. Their ears touch together at the tips. The have fine heads attached by a graceful neck. The build is very narrow and wiry, with a narrow and deep chest. The shoulders are moderately sloping, the back is long, and the croup sloping. The tail is set and carried high. Although the legs are slim, they are strong, and the hooves are tough. The horses are commonly have cow hocks.
The horses are tough and frugal. Although sometimes unpredictable, they generally have a quiet temperament. Many have a natural ability to pace, possibly from the influence of the breeds of Central Asia.
Today, the horses are used for mounted police work by the Gujerat division, as well as the game of tentpegging.