By PetMD Editorial on Jan. 3, 2010

The Jielin horse is one of the breeds that originate from mainland China. It is the result of a continuous and conscious inter-breeding program designed to develop a horse type that could help Chinese farmers perform their duties. The end result, the Jielin horse, is a big, well-constructed and strong animal that can be used for riding, draft work and farming-related activities.


Physical Characteristics


Compared to other Chinese horses, the Jielin is huge. It measures up to 15 hands (60 inches, 152 centimeters) high, and it has a massive body. It has a medium-sized head, well-formed and powerful hind legs, and generally good body structure. Jielin horses come mostly in shades of bay, although a few have chestnut or black coats.


Personality and Temperament


The Jielin horse is very much suited to draft and farm work, as well as for riding, because of its cold, placid temperament. Despite its size and strength, Jielin horses are innately good-natured, docile, dependable, and obedient – traits that are essential for farm horses.




Owners of Jielin horses should be careful about checking their horses for any signs of pain and discomfort. Jielin horses should also be fed regularly and sufficiently. Horses that are used for draft work, like the Jielin, must have an adequate amount and variety of food, but some food groups, like grain, should be given in regulated doses. Work load and duration of use must be controlled, lest the horse become exhausted or lame. Nevertheless, the Jielin is a hardy breed so, unlike more pampered breeds, it is resistant to many kinds of illness.


History and Background


The Jielin horse breed comes from the districts of Baicheng, Changchun and Sipling in the north-eastern portion of mainland China. These places offer the perfect setting for horse breeding due to their semi-agricultural landscape.


The Jielin came from a long line of Mongolian horses. However, it is not pure Mongolian but rather a result of cross-breeding. These cross-breeding efforts were undertaken to produce a breed that has the ideal size and overall performance that could be the answer to the agricultural requirements of the district.


The introduction of the Ardennes and the Don breeds to the local horse population commenced during the 1950s. These efforts resulted in two main varieties: the light and the heavy types. Specialists from the Jielin Academy of Agriculture and the Jielin Agricultural University further inter-bred these sub-types.


Other strains of the Jielin horse were formed in 1962 after Su-yi stallions were used in the early 1960s. Later that same decade, a line-breeding program was started. The resulting Jielin breed was developed and recognized during the last years of the 1970s. Today, Jielin horses are being used in inter-breeding programs to develop other horse breeds.

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