conformation plain head, carried low on a short neck,
thickset body, slender legs, good feet
colour bay, brown, chestnut, roan, cremello, often with
dorsal stripe, no white markings
height 13-13.2 hands
uses trail riding, packhorse, harness
fend for themselves. Onl the hardiest animals survived and
All Japan’s equines are thought to have descended from animals brought from the mainland of Asia at various times and by various routes, although there were certainly
domesticated horses in Japan in the 6th century and perhaps even earlier. breed. The Hokkaido – sometimes called Dosanko – is thought to have been brought to Hokkaido, the northernmost of the four main islands of Ja an, durin the Edo era (1600-1867) by fishermen from Honshu, who sailed across the Tsugaru Strait in search of herring.
Their horses were used for transport. but when the fishermen went home in the autumn, they left the horses behind, to survive as best they could in a snow-bound land. /Vhen the fishermen returned the following spring, they brought new horses, which again would be left behind to thrived, resulting in the abiding strength for which the Hokkaido is renowned.
Today’s Hokkaido is exceptionally strong for his size and is easy-going and willing. Many ranchers still winter their horses in the mountains, which ensures the hardiness of the The horses feed mainly on bamboo grass, and in spring return naturally to the ranches, because this is when the mountain bears awaken from hibernation and will prey on the Hokkaido foals.
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