Hokkaido Pony

Hokkaido Pony

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Hokkaido Pony

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The Hokkaido pony, generally called Do-san-ko as a term of endearment, is an old but rare breed of pony native to Japan.The eight native Japanese horse breeds are the Hokkaido Pony, Kiso, Misaki, Miyako Pony, Noma pony, Tokara, Tsushima, and Yonaguni


The Hokkaido pony is thought to have been brought to Hokkaidō from Honshū by fishermen during the Edo period (1600–1867). The fishermen came to Hokkaido in search of herring and the ponies were used for transportation, but were left in Hokkaido when the fishermen returned home in Autumn. The ponies were expected to survive without assistance in a land with very little vegetation and covered with snow throughout the winter, with the exception of bamboo grass found in the mountains. The fishermen would return in spring with new ponies and would also use the surviving ponies. The enduring strength for which the Hokkaido pony is now known is thought to have been developed in this way.

The Hokkaido pony is considered a descendant of the Nanbu horse, a breed which is thought to have been bred in Tohoku the northern region of Honshū. However, the Nanbu breed no longer exists and there is no definitive information on its history. This is because the Nanbu horse was historically renowned as a military horse and was heavily crossbred during the late 19th...
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