Our Massive Real World Equine Reference!
[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Taishu [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
A small yet capable horse:
Tsushima is an island located at the south-western side of Japan. It is also one of the two closest Japanese islands to mainland Asia (situated near what today is South Korea.) It is not surprising, then, that horses were introduced to Tsushima over a thousand years ago during the 8th century. Out of those horses, the Taishu was born.
Despite its small stature and narrow body, the Taishu proved a capable work animal. Combining a small size with impressive strength, able to carry up to 150kg on their narrow backs, Taishu horses were ridden by anyone on the island, from children to the elderly. Soon enough, they gained popularity on Tsushima, serving as a pack, farm, and riding horse.
Falling out of favor:
The Taishu's small size fell out of favor in the second half of the 19th century during the Meiji era. Emperor Meiji banned the breeding of small horses in all of Japan (save for a handful of locations), and commanded to cross them with larger, European horse breeds in order to generate proper cavalry horses. The Taishu survived that period, although it is unclear to which extent it was crossbred.
What the Taishu did almost failed to survive was the mechanization of transportation and agriculture during the 1950s and 1960s. With no need for Taishu horses, breeders stopped breeding them. Within forty years, the numbers of horses plummeted from over 2,000 to only a couple dozens.
Becoming one of Japan's rarest horse breeds:
Not everyone wanted to see the Taishu disappearing, and starting from the 1970s, efforts were made to save it. In 1972, the Taishu Horse Promotion Association (today: Preservation Society) was established to promote the breeding of Taishu horses.
The numbers of Taishu horses eventually stabilized during the 2000s, ranging from 30 to forty horses. This makes the Taishu one of the two rarest horse breeds in Japan (the second one being the Miyako, whose population also stands at around forty horses.)
The Taishu today:
Today, Taishu horses are found at Mehoro Dam Horse Riding Park in Tsushima, where they serve for recreational riding and are ridden by children and light adults. They are also bred at Aso Bay Park.
The Taishu is a small horse. Its head is large, its neck tapers toward the head but is broad at the base, its back is short, and its croup is sloping.
The mane is of medium length, bulky and coarse with a full forelock. The legs are either clear from feathering or have light feathering behind the fetlock.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered Taishuh horses in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 12.7-14.0, 13.3 (0.3), 0.07.
Sprint: 25-37, 31 (3), 0.55.
Accel: 0.81-0.99, 0.90 (0.04), 0.01.
Decel: 0.79-0.96, 0.86 (0.04), 0.01.
Jump: 4.71-4.96, 4.85 (0.06), 0.01.
Pull: 0.98-1.72, 1.27 (0.16), 0.03.
Turning: 39.18-52.93, 46.12 (2.83), 0.55.
Reverse: 2.2-2.7, 2.4 (0.1), 0.02.
Stamina: 44.18-49.30, 46.96 (1.14), 0.22.
Reaction: 0.67-0.78, 0.73 (0.02), 0.00.
Coats & Height:
Colors: usually bay or chestnut, more rarely brown or black.
Additionals: flaxen, sooty. The coat is always solid.
Markings: Taishuh horses usually don't have markings except for chestnut individuals who sometimes have white markings on their face or up to their pasterns. In Horse Isle, Taishuh horses of all colors can have minimal white markings (up to a stripe on their face or a couple small socks) although it is rare.
* Taishuhs usually stand between 12.1hh and 13.1hh, but some can be as short as 10.2hh.
** note that only horses who are 12hh or higher are rideable in Horse Isle.
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