About Dosanko Horses
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
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 HorsernBreeds (rnwww.lingualift.com/blog/japanese-horse-breeds/ ).