Monday Minstrel: The Kathiawari Horse

In this painting Shah Jahan(1592-1666) is shown riding a black and white( piebald) horse with very ornate bridle and saddle. Shah Jahan is best known as the builder of the Taj Mahal.  This horse apparently appeared in several paintings and miniatures. This would indicate that this horse is highly prized by the Shah’s family and was considered to be a very fine specimen.

The Kathiawari breed was established in India in the time of the Mughal emperors (1536-1857) and is famous for its curly ears that seem to point to each other. It was also noted as possessing great stamina. This breed was traditionally bred in royal houses. Today these horses are still sought after and respected in their native area of Gujarat. IMG_20180624_1034277

This painting is attributed to Bhag. Ink, colors and gold on paper. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I found the photo of this painting in Tamsin Pickeral’s book The Horse , 30,000 Years of the Horse in Art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. The painting is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    What a fine horse! I was intrigued by the curly ears!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      the horses in India at the only ones I know that have those ears.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is an informative post, and I want to thank you for spreading the breed history and breed status. But I want to point out a little differnce about the picture of Shah Jahan on a horse. The Kathiawari breed is the only breed which does not have black as a color on its body. It can be dun, skewbald, etc but black color in a Kathiawari is not included. Any horse included in this breed with black color is false. It is mixed or the other Indian Breed – the Marwadi horse breed. Other than that, the breed was established by the Kathi clan from sindh and above who migrated to Gujarat state, also known as warrior on horses clan. After the Kathi clan the breed is known as Kathiawari horse and after the arrival of the Kathi the trading began over India.
    The horse is a very old bloodline of pure horse breeds and in the Mugal dynasty it was as early as accounted in Emperor Akhbar’s biography. Before that other Royal Hindu rulers are too involved in owning these horses.
    Hope this helps 🙂a little bit of more information. Thank you for your generous post though

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for adding to this post. Do you know if colored ( skewbald or piebald) horses were or are common in the Indian breeds?

      Like

      1. Your welcome!
        Yes they Definatly were and are. Horse breeds like Sindhi, Marwadi, horse breeds on the north-east parts and many others have these colors in them. The crossbreeds which are crossed with Kathiawari can also get dominated of black color on their coats, which of course won’t be considered in Kathiawari breed. Today, it’s very common, these two colors (piebald and skewbald)

        Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for the reblog Danny!

      Like

  4. Beautiful horse!! Legend has it that after the Shah built this incredible tomb for his wife after giving birth to 14 children, he had all the workers put to death so no other building could be erected like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my God! That is dreadful. However i suspect it may be true as rulers in those times had absolute power.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah you can call that. The tyranny of the two generations before Shah Jahan and after him were dreadful. After he made the Taj Mahal his son Aurangzeb locked him in a dungeon to rot with a single window in site to let him look at his creation until his death.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Whaaaaat? That is horrific. I think that in England various people were locked up in the Tower of London, including two little princes who died there. I did not know of this part of India’s history. Thank you for filling me in!

          Like

          1. Same here. I have a similar story here of two Sikh princes who were penetrated alive in brick wall. 😐 Stories like these are horrifying.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. can’t take my eyes of the picture …truly beautiful ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you Ray! It is quite a horse and rider.

      Liked by 1 person

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