Dosanko Horses
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About Dosanko HorsesAbout Dosanko Horses

Photo by uran2008


Dosanko horses, also known as Hokkaido washu, are a popular Japanese breed of horse. It is believed that Dosanko horses were brought to Hokkaido, Japan, by fishermen from Honshu during the Edo period (1600–1867). They were used for transportation, but were left in Hokkaido when the fishermen returned home in autumn. The ponies were expected to survive in very harsh weather, in a land with very little vegetation, covered with snow, which is how the Hokkaido pony developed its exceptional enduring strength for which it is known today.

Unlike the Nanbu breed, of which the Hokkaido pony is considered to be a descendant, and which no longer exists, the Dosanko is the most plentiful of the remaining ancient Japanese ponies, numbering at around 2000. Today, it is still used for heavy transportation in the mountains unreachable by truck. Some ranchers in Hokkaido even continue to winter the horses in the mountains, maintaining the breed’s hardiness.

 Hokkaido pony feed mainly on bamboo grass and wander around in the mountains in search of it till spring when they return to the ranches without assistance to escape bears as they awake from hibernation and start to prey on the foals. 

Source: Japanese Horse Breeds ( www.lingualift.com/blog/japanese-horse-breeds/ ).

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