Hequ Horses
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About Hequ HorsesAbout Hequ Horses



Hequ, or Hequl, horses are found in the Qinghai Province ofrnChina and are used as a pack and draft animal as well as for riding and racing.rnHequ means "river zig." They originated in the border area ofrnQinghai, Sichuan, and Gansu provinces where the Yellow River makes a largern"zig." Prior to 1954 the breed was known as Nanfan which is oftenrnmisapplied to the Tibetan horse. During the T'ang dynasty the Hequ horse was arnfavored spoil of war in the region.rnrn 

rnrnDuring the T'ang dynasty (618-917) the emperor established arnlarge horse facility to develop the calvary. To do so he imported large numbersrnof horses from western Asian countries to use on the local Tibetan stock. Chiefrnamong the breeds influencing the Hequ were animals imported from Dawan. Dawanrnwas the ancient Chinese name for the kingdom that included Fergana, home of thernAkhal-Teke breed. During the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), Mongols of the Xianbeirntribe invaded the area resulting in Mongolian stock being mixed with the Hequ.rnrn 

rnrnThe Hequ breed's native area is at 11,000 feet in altitudernwhere temperatures are low but the climate is temperate and moist during thernsummer. Mares mature at two years of age and are usually bred at three.rnConception rate is generally around 70% but improved nutrition and care canrnresult in rates as high as 80-90%. Mares sometimes produce twelve to thirteenrnfoals during their lifetime.rnrn 

rnrnThe breed is classified as a draft-riding animal, solid butrncoarsely built. The Hequ may be black, brown or grey.rnrn 

rnrnThere are three varieties of Hequ horses. The Jiaode type isrnfound mainly in the southern parts of Gansu province. These horses are rougherrnin constitution and have a larger, courser head. The hooves of the Jiaode arernalso not as strong. The Jiaode is found mainly to be grey and stands about 13.3rnhands. The Suoke type is located in western Sichuan province. This variety hasrna relatively large head and ears and a short loin. The Suoke carries its tailrnvery high as did the ancient T'ang horse. The Kesheng is found in KeshengrnMongolian Autonomous Region in the province of Qinghai. The breeding of thernKesheng is mixed with Mongolian horses.

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