The smallest of Japanese local breeds is the Noma horse, native to the Noma region of Imabari in Ehime Prefecture. It is said that in the 17th century Lord Hisamatsu of Matsuyama Han charged local farmers with the breeding of horses.
The smallest of these, the ancestors of the present breed, were particularly useful as packhorses on steep mountainsides and on remote islands.
There are today 47 Noma horses being kept by several stud farms in the region. They are used as riding horses for children and as subjects of study in local schools.
Height: approximately 10.3hh.