The ITBP is the first paramilitary force in the country which has started breeding horses after getting permission from the ministry of home affairs.
Ram and Zara – the two members of the family of horses at Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) – have started showing signs that they will take up the legacy of their mother and father.
Ram is a male and Zara is a female horse who took birth at ITBP’s BTC training centre in Panchkula in March and April respectively. The story of their naming is very interesting. The name Ram is taken from his mother ‘Red Rum’ and father ‘Mahaan’, while Zara is a blend of the names of her mother ‘Tara’ and father’ Zanith’.
Both these horses, who have dark brown colour, are kept in the stable compound, along with 48 other horses, of ITBP’s Mounted Police unit. They are with their mothers in a separate enclosure in the stable.
“These two kids have started showing signs that they will excel in sports. Sometimes they jump, shout and play with their mothers. Their general training will start soon,” Dr Raveshwar Singh Rana, Second in Command and Central Equestrian Team Captain and Breeding Incharge, told The New Indian.
“Soon we will separate them from their mother so that we can train them properly. Once they become three years old, they will be ready for riding. Then their training for sports and equestrian will begin,” stated Rana.
Rana further added they have kept these two kid horses usually on their mother’s milk. They’re also given some mineral supplements, oats and green grass as their daily diet now.
The horses in ITBP are mostly used for two purposes majorly – for equestrian sports and for training newly inducted officers in riding. The horses are also used in ceremonial events like Raising Day.
The record of ITBP horses is remarkable. In the recently-held All India Equestrian Championship, ITBP’s team got 25 medals. One horse named as Maruti won five medals and was Numero Uno in the championship.
The ITBP is the first paramilitary force in the country which has started breeding horses after getting permission from the ministry of home affairs last year. Inspector General ITBP, IS Duhan, said the breeding will enrich their Mounted unit.
“The other forces which still depend on the Indian Army to buy animals can come to us as well. If everything goes well and the strength of our horses increase, we can start the process to give our horses to other forces as well,” said Duhan.
On an average, a horse serves in the force between 16 to 17 years. After that they are retired. ITBP officials say they don’t give their retired animals to NGO and look after them till they die.