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If you couldn't tell by the name, this particular breed of horse is Japanese in origin-Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan to be exact. The horse was first seen in 1697 when the Akizuki family of the Takanabe Clan was taking horses, and then they were free to roam wild but under the protection of the family. A stud farm was created where they gave the breeding stock full freedom and then rounded up once a year for the selection of certain ones for training, health checks, and some were even castrated as they might have seen them unfit to further breed. This system is still used today, checking the health and spraying or dipping the horses to rid them of insect infestation.
The breed has been designated a National Natural Treasure and it brings a large number of tourists to Japan. Misaki Horses are believed to be the descendents of horses that were brought into Japan more than 2,000 years ago. Today, they are separated into eight distinct breeds. It is believed that many of the ancestors of these and many other Japanese breeds were brought from the main lands of Asia for many different years through many different routes.
They are considered the wildest of the all the breeds that are Japanese in origin and are quite rare, today there are somewhere around 100 Misakis left in existence. It was after the end of the Second World War that their numbers dwindled. The term Misaki actually means "cape" and has something to do with the area they are frequently found roaming, the meadows of Cape Toi.
The Misaki has very standard solid colors such as black and bay, white markings in the face or legs are a rare thing for a Japanese horse to have.
Interaction from men has rarely been able to control this horse, as it is particularly wild by nature. The only time man has really interfered with the Misaki is when many of the male horses were removed, an act which left only a small amount of male stallions to continue the legacy of the Misaki Horse.
The head of the Misaki Horse/Pony's head is noticeably larger in proportion to the rest of their body, which is short and stocky.
These horses were commonly used as packhorses and were loaded up with goods and such then used to travel along highways and even up mountains and other terrain that larger animals like oxen, which were favored in Japan for a long time, could not ascend easily.
Some say it is possible that some Masaki were used during the time of the Samurai, not as warhorses, but as pack animals, to haul provisions during times of fighting when a sturdy animal was need for the constant traveling.
Misaki and other small horses weren't widely used in the everyday chores at first, but soon they replaced oxen who couldn't make it through some terrains, Misakis evolved through the years and learned to adapt in many different environments.
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