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By Jeffery Garfield

Last updated: 5th July 2023

Indian Half-bred


Jeffery Garfield
Last updated: 5th July 2023

The Indian Half-bred, a type of horses from the Indian subcontinent, is a cross between Thoroughbreds and local, as well as imported horses. Widely used as a cavalry horse and polo pony by the Indian armed forces and the Police Service, these horses are now developed throughout India, including the Baburgarh army stud and Saharanpur remount depot.

Indian Half bred Pictures

Quick Information

Temperament / Personality Calm, willing, gentle, intelligent, alert
Physical Characteristics Variable conformation with quality heads, kind eyes; the ears are sometimes curved in; long, muscular neck, nicely sloping shoulder; quite narrow, deep chest; long and fairly straight back, rounded hindquarters, strong and properly set limbs
Colors Any color; bay, chestnut, and gray are common
Height (size) 15-16 hands (60-64 inches, 152-163 cm) at the withers
Weight Unknown
Common Uses Sport, competitive and recreational riding
Health No health issues specific to the breed are known thus far
Popular Traits Muscular, flexible, hardy; adjusts well to the terrain and climate of its native land
Feeding/Diet Forage including hay and pasture grass; small amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements, grains
Country of Origin India
Ancestors Thoroughbred, Arabian, Australian Waler, and Kathiawari horses

History and Development

During the 19th century, the Indian cavalry had used primarily Arabian horses for their requirements. Later, they were replaced by Australian Walers, which served as the principal mode of transportation until the emergence of mechanized systems. In the 20th century, a significant number of English Thoroughbred stallions were added to the Half-bred’s breeding stock that included the Walers, native Kathiawaris, and Oriental horses.

During India’s partition in 1947, eight English and four French Thoroughbreds were retained and used for further refinement of the Half-bred horses. Aside from the local country-bred mares, imported-brood mares including Argentine, French Bretons, and Polish Masuren and Malapolski are now used for the development of this Indian horse type.

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