Noma Horses
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Noma Horses (Noma Uma in Japanese) come from the Nomarnregion of Imabari in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. They originated in the 17thrncentury from Mongolian stock, they are the smallest of the native Japanesernhorse breeds. They are valued for their gentle personality and strength. In thernpast they were used for riding, light draft work, and as packhorses on thernsteep mountainsides in the rough Noma region. Today, they are mostly used asrnriding horses for children and as study subjects in local schools.

It is believed that in the early 17th century, Lord Hisamatsurnof Matsuyama Han charged local farmers with breeding his warhorses, and thernbreed grew in popularity until the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, when thernJapanese army were caught off guard by the much larger horses of their enemy.rnThis led to a Japanese military breeding program and introduction of severalrnbreeds from abroad.

While this had many positive side effects, such as anrnincrease of interest in breeding and racing horses, it also led to the near-extinctionrnof native Japanese horse breeds. The newly formed Japanese Agency of EquinernAffairs banned all breeding of small horses and by 1970 there were just six purebredrnanimals remaining. Thanks to the stubbornness of a handful of farmers whornillegally kept native horses for farm work that we still have the Numa poniesrntoday. As of 2008, there were 84 purebred ponies in existence.

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

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