- Conservation breeding efforts have helped increase the population of the indigenous Chamurthi horse breed of Himachal Pradesh.
About Chamurthi Horse
- The Chamurthi or Spiti horse is one of the six recognised indigenous breeds of horses or ponies in the country.
- The breed faced the danger of extinction when the animal husbandry department set up a breeding and conservation farm at Lari in Spiti in 2002.
- The breed population statistics were not known at that time, but the 2012 livestock census estimated a population of 1,500 Chamurthi horses in the country.
- Currently, the population has increased to around 4,000 in Himachal alone.
- Chamurthi horses are also reared in Uttarakhand, Ladakh and Tibet, but their “true breeding tract” is confined to 15 villages in Pin valley of Spiti, according to a veterinary official. Small in height, they are known for their endurance in the tough mountainous terrain, and are able to undertake long journeys at high altitudes.
- They are also able to walk on ice and survive in extreme cold temperatures, and are mainly used as pack animals.
- One peculiar characteristic of Spiti horses is that their colour changes from dark to light as they grow old.
- This breed of horse is a descendent of a wild horse which used to inhabit the alpine region of Spiti, Ladakh and Tibet.
Source: Indian Express
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