Balikun Horse Facts And Information – Breed Profile

The Balikun horse is from China and has been bred for over 200 years. This light-breed horse is used for draft work, riding, and pack work.

Do Horses Neigh At Night


There is not an extensive amount of history when it comes to the Balikun horse. They come from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, and it is believed that they are descended from Kazakh and Mongolian horses

History tells us that the Balikun County was under the rule of the Mongolian and Kazakh tribes. These tribes bred their horses with existing wild ponies in the region. 

The first evidence of the domestication of horses in China dates back over 5000 years when breeders in Mongolia started to train Tarpan Horses. Also known as Eurasian wild horses, the Tarpan is a now-extinct subspecies of wild horses.

The history of the horse in China is extraordinarily profound, and the success of the empire was significantly dependant on its cavalry. Good war stallions were pivotal to fighting in Mongolia.

China’s long history has had to face times when the number of horses was few and far between. To make up for this, trading goods at markets was a source of bartering for horses. In China, horses are considered a sign of prosperity and crucial social status, especially for the Chinese elite.

The farmers in the area who bred Balikun horses did so selectively. They were bred to withstand harsh weather conditions, sometimes as cold as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The offspring of the selective breeding process was thoroughly examined and used for breeding in the future, and the less desirable ones were sold. By doing this, the horses in the Balikun lineage got more robust and were able to survive harsh conditions with little food. 

Characteristics And Appearance

The Balikun is roughly 56 inches, or 14 hands, with a hardy head. The small ears are a bit contrasting to the neck, which is stout and muscular. 

The Balikun’s withers stand low, and her back is short, flat, and very strong.  The croup is sloped, and it has a shallow set tail. It has slight and muscular shoulders, powerful, strong legs, and quarters with sturdy feet. Their heavy heads usually define them.

The Balikun is usually bay and chestnut-colored, with a very thick, dense coat. This allows the horse to live in rough pastures and survive in sub-zero temperatures under 40f.


This rare Chinese horse comes with a beautiful temperament. They are friendly and calm and don’t spook easily. The Balikun is also eager to help and be put to work. They are more than willing to do what is asked of them. They are also straightforward to manage and have a very easy-going manner.


Balikun horses like to graze all day, and their diet doesn’t differ much from other horses. They love grass, and it’s a great natural food that is excellent for their digestive system. Hay also keeps them full and keeps that digestive system working well, especially in the cooler months.

Balikuns also do well with grains, like oats, barley, and corn. These provide a great deal of energy for the horse.

Breeding And Uses

The Balikun has been well adapted to withstand its habitat, which is usually very harsh. These horses are tough and easily used for transport. They can also be used for pleasure riding but are generally used for work. 

They can carry a pack weighing over 220 pounds for up to fifty miles a day with ease. They are also used in cart pulling, pack work, and draft work. 


The Balikun horse is a rare but exciting breed that comes from China. If you are looking for any more information on this horse, check out the sources below.

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