VIETNAMESE HMONG HORSE
Vietnamese Hmong Horse
Breed Organization Information
International League for the Protection of Horses
Anne Colvin House
Norwich NR16 2LR
About the Breed
In the spring of 1999, the International League for the Protection of Horses was invited by the Vietnam Sweden Mountain Rural Development Program (MRDP) and the Ha Giang Development Project for Ethnic Minorities to assess the condition of working horses within the Ha Giang Province of Vietnam. Special attention was given to the horses kept by the upland Hmong and Nung ethnic minorities. Ha Giang Province is located in the northernmost mountains of Vietnam on the Chinese boarder.
There are reportedly some 50,000 horses in Ha Giang Province that are used mostly for pack and riding purposes. The ILPH determined that their horses were well-handled, well-fed and in basically very good health. The horses they found were very uniform in type and it was felt they should be recognized as a breed. The horses seem to breed true to type and have very little outside influences due to the isolation of Ha Giang Province. It is possible that this group of horses represents the world’s largest repository of naturally kept domestic horses as they have never known modern veterinary vaccination practices.
Very little is known of the exact origins of these horses except that they were likely derived from the smaller Mongolian ponies or other Asian ponies. As research continues on these small horses, we may better understand from whence they came and the impact they have had on the people of the Ha Giang Province.
The Vietnamese Hmong Horses are believed to have originated from horses of Mongolian, Sichuan or Timorean descent with a later inclusion of Arab blood from the late nineteenth century French colonization of the region. They are diminutive in size standing between 10 and 11 hands high. They have a broad forehead, intelligent eyes with a slightly dished face. Their manes are thick and are kept cropped making them stand up to form a crest. They range in color from bay, sorrel, buckskin dun, pewter dun with eel-stripe, light palomino, paint to grey and are found if various coat patterns. Their temperament is good-natured and malleable and they are especially sure-footed in the mountains.
The International League for the Protection of Horses was founded in 1927 by Miss Ada Cole, the main aim being to prevent the ill treatment of horses exported to Europe for slaughter. It has grown to become the world?s leading international equine welfare charity.
Around the world, particularly in developing countries, the ILPH runs educational and training courses in saddlery, hoof care, veterinary care and nutrition to combat the major causes of equine suffering and help the owners to help themselves.
In the United Kingdom, the ILPH runs five Recovery and Rehabilitation Centers with around three hundred equines in their care at any one time. Fifteen full time ILPH field officers, nearly all ex-policemen, investigate cases of cruelty and neglect, inspect markets and ports and also check the horses on the ILPH’s horse loan plan. Over 1,300 rehabilitated horses and ponies have now been found approved homes
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