Kiso Horse

Originating in Japan, the Kiso Horse is a rare breed that has been used for centuries in agriculture, transportation, and as war mounts.

If you want to learn more about the Kiso Horse, keep reading.

Kiso Horse Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Kiso horse:

Height (size) Around 13.2 hands high
Colors Bay, chestnut, gray, and many have a dorsal stripe
Country of Origin Japan
Common Uses General riding and light draft work

Kiso Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Kiso, often known as the Kiso Horse, is one of Japan’s eight native horse breeds.

It is the only native horse breed that comes from Honshu, which is the principal island of Japan.

The origin of Kiso, like that of the majority of Japanese horses, is mostly unknown.

The only thing that is known about them is that they originated in Japan over a thousand years ago and were originally around the size of a pony.

They got their name from the river Kiso, which runs through the area of the country where this breed was first established.

The breed is said to have originated from either the plateau animals from central Asia or the Mongolian horses from the grasslands.

In the past they were used as war mounts, and in times of peace for transport and farm work.

In fact, Kiso performed so well on the battlefield that they were incredibly popular for centuries, taking part in numerous battles.

Horses have been used in the hilly Kiso region of Japan, which is by no means affluent, not only for transportation and agriculture but also for the manure the animals create, which is vital for the region’s poor soil, and for the valuable income generated by the production of foals.

Between 1950s – 1970s the Kiso experienced a dramatic decline in numbers and bottleneck that left only 31 horses in existence.

However in 1976 a pedigree registration was established in the Kaida village at the foot of Mt. Ontake.

Kiso is today critically endangered, but the Japanese government has taken steps to try and prevent their numbers from decreasing further.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Calm temperament

Physical Characteristics

The head is heavy and the neck is thick and short.

The body is long, and the legs are short and strong.

The hooves are hard and well-formed.


Bay, chestnut, gray, and many have a dorsal stripe

Height (size)

Around 13.2 hands high






Male around 990 lbs (450 kg)

Female around 660 lbs (300 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses

General riding and light draft work



Popular Traits




Country of Origin