Nangchen Horse

The Nangchen Horse is an ancient breed of horse that is found in the remote and high mountainous regions of Tibet.

They are known for their strength, and endurance.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Nangchen Horse, including their history and physical characteristics, so if you are interested in learning more about the Nangchen Horse, read on!

Nangchen Horse Breed Info

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

Height (size) Average 13.0 hands high
Colors n/a
Country of Origin Tibet
Common Uses Herding livestock, racing

Nangchen Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

Native to the Kham area of northern Tibet, the Nangchen horse is a small breed that has been selectively bred, and kept pure since the 9th century.

According to reports, these animals have no Mongolian, Arabian, or Turkish lineage, common for other Tibetian pony breeds.

Long before the Mongols invaded China, historical writings and books in Chinese had made reference to the Tibetan riders and their magnificent Nangchen horses.

Before they were first discovered by French anthropologist Michel Peissel in 1994, the Western world was very unfamiliar with this Asian horse breed.

However, the research that Dr. Michel Peissel conducted helped shed some light on the development, temperament, and physical characteristics of these horses.

He devoted much of his time exploring Tibet in search of the legendary horse recorded in 6th century Chinese documents.

Peissel traveled to Tibet once again in 1995 with the purpose of doing more research on this breed.

These additional studies included an examination of the skeleton, the collection of physical measures, the assessment of the cardiovascular efficiency and respiratory rates, as well as the collection of hair and blood samples for the purpose of generating a genetic profile.

Ultimately, all of his plans fell through and he was unable to buy any of the individual horses because of the high prices that the locals set for them.

However, on the way back, Peissel’s team went a different way and discovered the Riwoche horse.

Because they were traditionally raised at a height of more than 15,000 feet (4,500 meters) by Tibetan nomad horsemen, Nangchen horses have adapted to life at high altitudes and now display a tremendous degree of power, resilience, and overall physical perfection.

In contrast to the free roaming Mongolian horse, the Nangchen has only survived due to continuous human involvement and selection.

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

Alternative Names



High-spirited, brave

Physical Characteristics

They are the size of tall ponies, and are fast, powerful and agile.

One of the ways they have adapted to the very high altitude of the area is by developing enlarged lungs and hearts.

Since this breed has been isolated for almost 14 centuries, there is a good chance that it is purebred, with no traces of Arabian, Turkish, or Mongolian blood.



Height (size)

Average 13.0 hands high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Herding livestock, racing



Popular Traits

They are similar to modern race horses



Country of Origin