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Manipuri Pony

According to the National Commission on Agriculture (1976), horses in India can be placed broadly in two classes viz. the slow moving pack ponies and the fast running saddle horses used for riding or for drawing carriages. The indigenous breeds of horses/ponies include Marwari, Kathiawari, Manipuri, Spiti, Bhutia and Zanskari. Among these, Marwari and Kathiawari are considered as 2 distinct breeds or types although they have several characteristics in common. Kathiawar (Gujarat) and Rajasthan are the homes of Kathiawari and Marwari breeds, respectively. The Manipuri horses having qualities of both hill and plain breeds of horses have been bred over centuries in Manipur area of northeast. Manipuri horses reputed for their intelligence are used for polo and racing. They are also kwon as Manipuri pony. Manipuri pony is one of the earliest breeds to be used as a polo pony which has been played throughout Asia since time immemorial.

Physique of Manipuri Ponies

  • Head: Heads are generally well proportionate to the body with clean cut features, usually straight and nose is a bit straight forward.
  • Nostril: Wide and open.
  • Eye: Prominent, slightly slant , wide spaced , clear and have a kind look.
  • Ears: Small, pointed ,pricked, quite reactive and carried alertly.
  • Neck: Strong, muscular , medium length and well proportionate to the body.
  • Withers: Not too prominent.
  • Shoulder: The shoulders are generally strong, well-muscled and slopping.
  • Chest and Body: Deep and blends into well-muscled shoulder, enabling the animal of this breed to excel in the polo game and other activities requiring adequate stamina and endurance. The body of Manipuri pony is more or less round, well-muscled with well sprung ribs.
  • Leg: Squarely set , straight , well balanced and moves easily. The hoof has almost the same slope as pastern. They are tough and compact.
  • Mane: Manes are coarse with plenty of hairs, grow upright but fall on the side when hairs grow longer.
  • Back and loin: Back is short and straight. The loin is short, wide and well-muscled.
  • Croup: Croups are lengthy , muscular and slopes gently from hip to the tail head in majority, in few animals, the croups are slightly steep.
  • Hindquarters: Muscular and strong.
  • Tail: Switch reached up-to fetlock.
  • Skin: Usually thick, rough hair and sometime curly.
  • Mammary Gland: Small , proportionately sized teat.
  • Body Colour: Bay, chestnut, grey, skewbald type and brown. Other colours like white (leiphon), black (karoo), dun (kabrang) and piebald type are available.
  • Body size: small and medium size, ranges , from 122 cm to 130 cm, while some of the animals stand between 130 to 136 cm.

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Swamp Type Buffaloes of Manipur

Swamp Type Buffaloes of Manipur

The swamp type buffaloes of Manipur are medium in structure, compact with strong legs, grey to grayish in colour with sickle shaped horns. The horns are broad at the base and corrugated in nature. The tail is long with a moderate switch. There are two distinct white markings, one around the neck and other at the brisket region. A typical white to grayish white colour is observed from knee to hoofs in majority of animals. The neck is comparatively short .The forehead is almost flat and face is proportionately small compared to their body. The eyes are large and slightly bulging in male. The majority of swamp type buffaloes of Manipur are semi-wild in nature.

The majority of the buffaloes in Manipur is swamp type and mostly reared by the poor farmers. Their production potentiality is low. The sheath of male buffaloes adheres close to the body except at the umbilical end. Albinoid buffaloes are also found in Manipur. The farmers milk their buffaloes once in the morning and allow them to graze in the forest or nearby grazing lands throughout the day.

The buffalo sheds in the state are temporary in nature and there are no scientific applications in construction of the buffalo shade in the entire state. In hill areas, housing condition and rearing system are comparatively very poor.

In hill areas, buffaloes are reared under semi-domesticated system of management while in plain areas, buffaloes are reared under settled system of management. Under zero input system buffaloes thrived well and provided triple benefits of milk, meat and drought power to the farmers.

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